How do I keep my house clean with a baby? The short answer: teamwork. And no, I don’t mean that I regularly hire people to come and clean my house for me. It would be awesome if I could! Rather, I mean that it is something that my husband, Erik, and I constantly work on together. So if you are working on developing a cleaning system for you and your family, read on. Here is how we clean our house:
Usually, J is the first person to wake up in our family, and I am the one to get up with her. Periodically, Erik will get up with her so that I can sleep in, but usually, it’s me. So I get up, we go downstairs, and I begin to make breakfast. After breakfast, I’ll unload/reload the dishwasher, wipe down the counters and cabinets, and sweep and mop the floor. We find that it’s incredibly important to do this each day. We have an open floor plan, and the kitchen is the center of everything. So if the kitchen is a mess, the whole house looks like a mess.
During the day
Erik is the one who cleans during the day because his schedule allows him to be home a lot. He doesn’t have a specific list of chores that he follows, he just does what he sees needs to be done. Sometimes he has J with him as he does this. Other times, he doesn’t. I will say that he is a rockstar at cleaning while our daughter is with him whereas I am a mess. I can’t clean anything if she is around. It’s all about discovering what works for you. Maybe you are like Erik; maybe you are like me. Things Erik does during the day include laundry, dishes and sweeping and mopping the floor.
A special word about sweeping and mopping: with a one-year-old, we have discovered that you can never sweep or mop enough. J lives on the floor. She walks around and plops down on the floor. She lays on the floor. And yes, she even eats food off the floor if she drops it, and we don’t get to it in time. I know that most people will tell you to always clean your floors after you’ve done the rest of your cleaning for the day. But I would say that, with a baby, clean your floors constantly. That being said, one of the greatest things we have bought is a Neato. We chose one over the Roomba because the reviews were so outstanding, and it hasn’t disappointed. Plus, we have it hooked up to our Amazon Echo and our iPhones. So we can even clean our floors when we aren’t there. Lol!
Most evenings, I cook dinner. Erik watches J in another room. I unload/reload the dishwasher and try to clean as I go along.
After dinner, Erik watches J again and this is where our system really comes into play. I first heard about zone cleaning from Jen of the YouTube channel, HowJenDoesIt, but I have a slightly different method than her. Each day I have assigned a different zone, and I clean as much as I can in that zone for 15-20 minutes.
Here are our zones below for our three bedroom, 3.5 bathroom house:
Zone 1: Guest bedroom and Guest bathroom
Zone 2: dining room, living room
Zone 3: Powder room and foyer
Zone 4: Kitchen
Zone 5: J’s bedroom and bathroom
Zone 6: Master bedroom and bathroom
Zone 7: Nothing. Rest!
And then I repeat this each week. I find that breaking it down into zones like this keeps the job from getting too big or too overwhelming, and it also keeps me from spending a ton of time cleaning.
Here is a quick breakdown of what I do in each zone:
Zone 1: dust bedroom, clean windows and mirrors, vacuum, mop, clean toilet, clean tub, clean sink, replace linens if necessary
Zone 2: dust, clean windows and mirrors, vacuum and mop
Zone 3: clean windows and mirrors, vacuum and mop, clean toilet, clean tub, clean sink, replace linens if necessary
Zone 4: clean counters, cabinets, clean out fridge, vacuum, mop
Zone 5: dust bedroom, clean windows and mirrors, vacuum, mop, clean toilet, clean tub, clean sink, replace linens if necessary
Zone 6: dust bedroom, clean windows and mirrors, vacuum, mop, clean toilet, clean tub, clean sink, replace linens if necessary
I think when you see it listed like this, you realize that it is really nothing. It is 100% manageable, and everything stays relatively clean until the next week. Except for those darn floors, but thank goodness I have a robot for that.
Now I want to hear from you! How are you keeping your home clean? What would make the job easier?
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