Thursday, 8 October 2015

How I Keep Our House Clean & Tidy with a Toddler

Something which has always baffled and astounded me is how some people manage to keep such a tidy and organised home when they not only have a toddler or baby but also work long hours. I've often been to friends homes and wondered where on earth the piles of laundry are hiding, where the mounds of dishes from breakfast are and the crumbs underneath the highchair. 

As a 'working stay at home mummy' (as I now call myself) I find that sometimes things can really get on top of me, be it running my small business as and when I can, doing my private music teaching, keeping on top of household chores, planning and cooking meals, and all the while being the best mummy I can be to Little One- taking him on trips out, reading with him, doing crafts and baking, playing and building forts with the cushions off the sofas. And I know I won't be the only parent who is in this situation. But I am mostly at home and luckily have a very flexible routine and then wonder to myself how on earth other parents manage all this and go out to work? "Do they have a cleaner?" I always wonder...

I am a bit renowned particularly amongst family for being a bit of a clean freak. I do enjoy the satisfaction which comes from cleaning, even though I find dragging the hoover round very tiring at the moment. I definitely don't spend every waking hour polishing taps or cleaning the loo, but I have found a few things which help me to keep a clean and tidy home without too much effort...

Do things together
I know the jobs I can get done with LO helping me. There are certain things like emptying the dishwasher, putting shopping away, tidying away toys and doing the laundry which he enjoys helping me with. He's now done these so many times that he knows the drill and we make a bit of a game out of it. He now knows where most food items and dishes go in the cupboards. And while I could probably do it quicker myself, the point is that we are doing it together and he's learning and playing at the same time. 

Cleaning Bucket
I keep a supply of key cleaning things in a bucket which I can easily take out of the cupboard and carry around with me. My go to items are rubber gloves, bleach, antibacterial wipes, jay cloths, Fairy liquid (great for cleaning spills on the carpet and the shower glass), a general cleaning spray and of course, disinfectant. I have been using Zoflora as I know it kills 99.9% of bacteria and leaves a lovely long-lasting fragrance in our house. We recently got sent the Pink Grapefruit and Bouquet disinfectants to try. Disinfectant is really useful in areas like the kitchen, the change mat and bathroom.

Rotate Toys
We recently got a new toy storage unit in the living room for LO's toys. We have found it has really helped to keep the room tidy and his toys are organised. But we don't keep all his toys out all of the time. We tend to rotate items every couple of weeks, keeping some stashed away in another cupboard. This way we don't have too many toys lying around and it feels like he's getting new toys when we bring them out of the cupboard. 

Clean as You Go
This is something I learned to do very early on. If I'm in the shower, I will then clean the shower before I get out. If I'm in the bathroom before bed, I will quickly spray and wipe the basin, taps and toilet. it doesn't even take 5 minutes and until I do a deep clean, I'm managing to keep on top of it. In the kitchen, when I'm preparing a meal, I will quickly put things away as I use them, meaning I don't have to do a big tidy up after we've eaten. 

Set a Simple Daily Routine
I do't stick to this rigidly, but I try and roughly keep a little daily routine. In the morning, I quickly make the beds, gather up laundry in a basket and put in the washing machine with LO helping then we empty the dishwasher. Before afternoon nap, we tidy away lunch together and load the dishwasher. Then once he's down for his nap, I always tidy away his toys so I can think and the floors are clear. I have a quick hoover downstairs and every few days I'll mop the hard floors. Then I'll sit down with a coffee and fold laundry while watching Escape to the Country. In the evening, I load the dishwasher and Mr F and I alternate reading LO bedtime stories while the other puts away all the laundry, but only if we really have the energy! 

So this is what we do to keep our house clean and tidy. I find I have to do this to keep me sane. It may sound a lot but really it isn't. Of course, there'll be days where I do a deep clean of the house, but it's made easier by keeping on top of the daily things. 

NB: I was kindly sent two bottles of Zoflora disinfectant to try out to include as part of a blog post. 



  1. Aww, I wish I had a front load washer. It's kinda tough for my son to help with laundry since it's too high for him to reach. My daughter does love to help "fold" the laundry though :)

    Jeff @ Calgary Cleaner

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