Or didn't you already know that? Kids are gross and dirty and messy....yet, we still insist on keeping them around!!
Every morning about 6:30, I can be found cleaning up the aftermath of three kids eating/playing/reading/fighting at the breakfast table. Just about the time I'm cleaning up one catastrophe, they have migrated to the living room to cause another. I feel like I've spent my kids childhoods cleaning!
You know those crazy guys who follow tornadoes all over the plains, stormchasers?? I'm thinking they need to visit my house...they'd find something (3 someones) to chase!
"Clean enough to be healthy but dirty enough to be happy!"
Hey, my house will never be featured in Good Housekeeping but I try to keep it clean...enough. I have a couple cleaning shortcuts I thought I'd share with you.
1. Toilets - This is the one part of my house I HAVE to have clean. If I have a gross toilet it just bugs me. Have you ever tried cleaning a toilet with a toddler? All Yahoo wants to do is help! Well, I clean the toilet when she's in the bathtub. She's contained and I get the job done.
2. Tableclothes - I use tableclothes for every meal. Why? Because they work wonders in catching crumbs and spills caused by the short ones. At the end of the meal the tablecloth gets rolled up and thrown straight into the washer. I have a ton of tableclothes and none of them are pretty. Most of them are Christmas tableclothes I picked up on clearance in January. They contain the mess and that's what counts.
3. Floors - I used to carry around a mop bucket once a week and dutifully clean my hardwood floors. After Yahoo was born I think I averaged mopping once a year! But I recently threw out the mop bucket and I switched to one of those mops with a MicroFiber cover and a squirt bottle vinegar and lemon juice. Whenever my bare feet detect a few too many grimies I know it's time to mop. Squirt the floor, wipe it off and throw the micro fiber cover in the wash. Quick and no spilt mop bucket to contend with.
4. Cleaning Supplies - Rather than lugging a bunch of cleaning products all over the house I stash a spray bottle full of all purpose cleaner and rags in as many rooms as possible, like in the tv cabinet. It makes a small cleanup job easy and quick without having to run to another part of the house for cleaning stuff.
These have been the most useful cleaning shortcuts I've used so far but as the boys have gotten older I'm learning that their messes get bigger and better. I'm asking for help to all of you with kids older than mine. What cleaning shortcuts do you use? How do you keep your house livable without becoming a slave to the dust rag? How do you keep messes contained? I'll need all the help I can get!