Growing up, you may only have been exposed to your own parent’s way of managing household chores and their day. If you’re like me, even those were sometimes hard to learn if your parents took care of them while you were busy at school or with friends. As an adult, roommates or spouses may have exposed you to other ways of handling certain day-to-day activities. However, I believe the saying that if you want to find a better way, ask a busy person. Or in this case, a busy mom!
As a busy mom, I have included below some that I feel provide the best bang for your buck when it comes to managing household chores. We all want to be efficient and feel a sense of control. These can help with that!
1. Keep Up With Laundry
I’ve talked to many moms with young children who lament that they put a load in the washer, only to discover it a day or two later wet and reeking because it never made it into the dryer.
If your laundry set up allows it, keep the light on in that space as long as a load is still running. As you go about your day, it will prompt you to check on it. When I hear noise I carry on with my day. When both the washer are silent, you’ll be prompted to move the laundry to the next stage. Only turn off the light after the last load of laundry has finished drying and has been removed from the dryer.
I’ve only had to rewash a load once in my life using this tactic.
2. Keep The Toy Bin(s) Organized
Kids have a lot of toys these days. Even if you are particular on what you allow into your home, they still add up over time. This is especially true if you have children across a range of ages. It can also cause a variety of problems. Some common ones include toy fatigue (feeling overwhelmed from too many choices), trouble getting everything cleaned up at the end of the day, and arguments with your children on where to store all these items.
I have found using larger, clear, tote bins work great for this. I recommend 50qt or larger, and getting 4 or more based on your situation.
Each tote represents one week of toys your children get to play with. There are several benefits to this tactic:
- The clear bins make it easy to see what is inside. This actually enhances your child’s interest in playing with them. It is the same mental trick as using clear food storage containers. You are more likely to eat the food in it. This works both with types of food and finishing it off before it goes bad.
- With one bin each week, the number of toys to clean up and keep track of is more manageable.
- Cleanup is simpler. Everything goes in the bin! It may not be neatly stacked. In fact, it may look more like a mini mountain. However, everything still fits. And, there is no question about where something gets stored. Each week when it’s time to change the bin, a more organized pickup is done to ensure all pieces to toys are accounted for and the lid can fit on.
I have three boys under 5, and cleanup takes 5 minutes each night. And they do all the work! It’s so important to have kids help with the daily chores and responsibilities! This is vital in managing household chores with help from the ones who help make the mess!
3. Keep Your Entrance Way Fresh
For some, this may sound like a no brainer. However, if you currently wear shoes throughout the house, consider how much more cleaning you are doing because of that. Each time you go outside and come back in, dirt, sand, dust, and any other number of things get stuck to your shoes. When you then wear your shoes into the living room, your bedroom, the bathroom, those particles rub off and stay in other parts of your house.
So, instead of only cleaning the rug at the entrance way, you now need to clean all the floor areas! Granted, I know you will need to vacuum or sweep all floor areas at times, but taking your shoes off immediately upon entering your home will drastically minimize how often that is needed and how much dirt you clean up when you do.
I’m always amazed at the quantity of dirt we track in during the winter since our roads get dirt instead of salt put on them to prevent icing. And then in the summer, sand, pollen, grass clippings, and mud find their way onto the rug. Multiply this by the number of members in your family and their corresponding level of awareness of what they track in, and you can get a good picture of how much of the outside you are tracking inside!
PS – this works great with food too. Only allow eating in the kitchen/dining/designated room, and be pleasantly surprised how many fewer crumbs and stains you find around the house!
4. Don’t Make More Work For Yourself!
Who loves having to pick up the floor before vacuuming? Aren’t chores more fun when you first have to complete another item to tackle what you actually want to do? Just kidding. Let’s consider another way.
A prime cleaning chore example is vacuuming. Maybe you want to vacuum the playroom, but the floor is covered with toys. Don’t pick up the toys yourself to then vacuum the room. Piggy back it onto toy cleanup time.
I love doing this on the day we switch out toy bins. The floor is picked up and all the toys are in their designated tote. Before bringing out the next bin, take a few minutes to vacuum.
I also like to vacuum after clean laundry has been folded and put away and washing dishes after everyone has finished eating a meal. You can also reverse the thinking a little such as doing these chores before the toys come out in the morning and mowing the grass before the kids play outside.
Additional Tips To Manage The Stress From Motherhood
I know all these ideas focus on managing household chores and the ongoing maintenance that goes along with them. Interested in tactics to manage your mental stress and organize your day to make you a happier mom? Then check out my recently released book “15 Ways For New Moms To Manage Stress & Stay Sane: The Actually Useful New Mom Care Package”. I discuss 15 ways not commonly written about you can use daily to make life easier while on your parenthood journey.
Written by a mom who had three kids under age three for over a year. Edited and influenced by first time moms who are past the first year. Made for moms who want to:
- Learn about ways to organize their day and manage their expectations.
- Discover how to tap into their local community, family, and friends for support.
- Minimize stress caused by four main money concerns by implementing provided strategies.
- Maximize their mommy/baby bond with four parenting frameworks.
A perfect gift for any new mom and mom-to-be! To get a handle on your stress levels, stay sane, and enjoy the everyday in every day, starting today!