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How has having children impacted on the cleanliness in your home? Share your stories with Cif to win a £250 Love2Shop voucher NOW CLOSED

(171 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 02-Oct-13 11:40:24

Cif have asked us to find out whether having children has had an impact on your family's cleaning habits.

Here's what Cif have to say: "We all know that children see the home as a playground, and playgrounds get dirty. But we also understand how difficult it can be to clean up after your child, so we want to help make that process as easy as possible."

Do you and your DP/DH (if applicable) find yourselves doing more cleaning since you've had children? Or less? How have things changed post children in this regard? Do you find yourself looking for the anti-bac cleaning products now or were you always partial to this type of product? If your home gets cleaned more now, is it more likely to be a quick clean here and there to tidy up after teatime etc? Or is it do regular deep cleans as well/instead? Are you now more likely to look for quick convenience products like wipes? Or – has nothing changed?!

We'd love to hear your views. Everyone who adds their comments to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £250 Love2Shop voucher.

Please note your comments may be used by CIF on their pages on MN and possibly elsewhere (anon of course) please only add your comment if you’re happy with this.

Thanks and good luck,

MNHQ

MadMonkeys Wed 02-Oct-13 14:05:09

The house is generally cleaner than it was pre children, but less tidy. The most important areas - kitchen and bathroom - get frequent quick cleans, but the rest of the house gets cleaned in fits and starts as the opportunity arises. Some places rarely get cleaned now - life is just to busy to clean the windows often or scrub the skirting boards. I do use short cuts sometimes - baby wipes to clean all manner of things, for example, and i have to confess i had my oven professionally cleaned for my birthday present from dh!

CheeryCherry Wed 02-Oct-13 14:10:15

It has change.... and we have a bigger house now plus I now work full time. Bathrooms and kitchen are top priority, I hoover every day but the floors don't get washed as often as I like. I do blitz the bedrooms every school holiday though.
Top tip is to regularly invite people over... it forces me to crack on and clean!
I have baby wipes in the car, and give it a wipe down and clear the rubbish when waiting for clubs to finish etc.

nextphase Wed 02-Oct-13 14:33:48

Much messier, but much cleaner, as I've bitten the bullet, and pay for a cleaner.
The house is properly clean once a week, and then I get time to do the extra bits like taking all the crap collected in the fan out.

DifferentNow Wed 02-Oct-13 14:51:14

We definitely need to clean more since having children - we have 5. I am (or used to be) very house proud but as time has gone on I've had to lower my standards because I just don't have the time or energy to clean as much as before. I'm big on hand washing and shoes off in the house to try and minimise the mess and we prioritise the cleaning, doing the important stuff regularly and deep cleans every now and then. The products I use haven't really changed other than I like to have anti-bac hand wash for the kids.

CMOTDibbler Wed 02-Oct-13 15:34:22

More cleaning - its amazing how much dirt one small boy creates. Especially round the toilet hmm

elizaco Wed 02-Oct-13 15:46:01

The house is certainly messier and more cluttered than in the pre-child days! When the children were very small and at the crawling stage, the floors were always kept clean - they're perhaps not cleaned as often as they should be these days, now that the children are older. I use anti-bacterial wipes much more than I used to (perhaps they weren't as available back then?) - I find them much easier to keep kitchen surfaces/the bathroom clean. Would love to employ a cleaner, but probably can't justify the expense :-(

EeTraceyluv Wed 02-Oct-13 15:48:32

er..was this done a week or two ago as well? I recall writing my hilarious top tips before..

Cherrygrape Wed 02-Oct-13 16:51:31

I do more cleaning now, but that's more because I am home more and people come over more. Ive always used anti bacterial products, sometimes wipes, depending on whats on offer. I do a quick clean and tidy daily then a more deep clean every so often.

jellyandcake Wed 02-Oct-13 16:58:13

Convenience is the big priority! It's harder to clean as the house is so messy and we do do much more laundry nowadays plus have less time to clean - haven't got the hang of getting toddler to 'help' with housework! When he was a crawling baby I was very interested in anti-bac type products but didn't want to use overly harsh chemicals so I looked out for gentle cleaning products. I hate cleaning so anything time-saving appeals to me.

In general, pregnancy and then having a baby did make me more rigourous about cleaning but I'm still reluctant!

MikeLitoris Wed 02-Oct-13 17:00:43

I clean more but it is soooo much messier here, especially since dc3. I have no idea how one tiny person can cause so much chaos.

I feel like I never stop cleaning, tidying or sorting something.

jellyandcake Wed 02-Oct-13 17:01:51

And DH and I definitely do quick cleans maybe when toddler is napping or just to clean up the immediate mess whereas pre-children we would take an afternoon here and there to do a proper deep clean - our house hasn't had one of those since my MIL came round whilst we were in hospital having DS (now nearly three...).

trikken Wed 02-Oct-13 17:04:54

Yes definitely, before children the tidying would be done in a couple of hours and then be able to sit down and relax but now with two I tidy one area go away to do another then come back to the first place and its a mess again. With children tidying is never ending.

Spirael Wed 02-Oct-13 17:06:56

I do more cleaning now than I did before DD (3 YO) came into our lives. In part because we live in a bigger, nicer house now so I have more to clean and feel it should be kept cleaner! But also because she creates mess in a way adults don't tend to.

I've spent years teaching DH to be clean and tidy, I think DD will take a bit more work yet. But she's coming along nicely!

We use disposable wipes a lot, normally bought in bulk from Costco. I keep a pot in every bathroom, the lounge and the kitchen so I can quickly wipe up if needed.

I think the wipes are anti-bac, but I don't use them specifically for that. I tend to go with the thinking that a bit of dirt is good for building up a robust immune system. After all, no-one is going to make sure the bus I ride every day is bacteria free!

Agree with the tip of inviting people over; Nothing motivates us to get the house clean like having the grandparents coming to stay. wink

trikken Wed 02-Oct-13 17:08:45

I do use more cleaning products as the kids seem to make everything dirty, walls, their toys, cupboards so I buy stuff that is a bit tougher and antibacterial. Also good if it can get out nasty smells in furniture too.

DoubleMum Wed 02-Oct-13 17:19:00

Definitely changed since we had children - the time you really notice is the odd nights when they are staying away, as if you've tidied it suddenly stays tidy! We always have wipes available but try not to use them for everything as it gets expensive. For stuff like cleaning the bathroom we use a bathroom cleaner and j-cloth.
I thought children were bad but actually having house rabbits is even messier ...

Aethelfleda Wed 02-Oct-13 18:24:53

Children are dirt multipliers. If it can become covered in jam/biscuits/mud/snot then it will be! So lots more cleaning to keep it clean (rather than tidy as another poster said!) The worst I remember was having all my windows professionally cleaned cleaned top to bottom and then the next day seeing two big greasy sets of children's hand marks right in the middle of my patio doors halfway up at five-year-old and one-year-old height!.....I almost cried.....

DP and I have always been clean but messy... Upon arrival of Dd it just went from bad to worse.

I felt like I spent all of my time cleaning so we capitulated and got a cleaner in a couple of hours a week.

It's such a load off my shoulders. I was obsessed with not wanting Dd to remember growing up in a messy home!

dahville Wed 02-Oct-13 22:37:17

Hmm, I clean more as more mess is made but the house looks dirtier and messier. I like when my husband takes the two boys with him for the day and I get to clean all day and then enjoy a neat, tidy, clean, & orderly home... until they come back and they give us that lived in look grin

RachelHRD Wed 02-Oct-13 23:02:58

I think I do clean more because the DC's (5 & 3) can be messy when eating but most of my time is spent tidying and washing endless loads of clothes and bedding!!!

The house generally looks at it's best when the kids are in bed!!

HoneyDragon Wed 02-Oct-13 23:05:42

I dust less, but surfaces like the floor and tables are always spotless, mainly because they get eaten off.

Theimpossiblegirl Wed 02-Oct-13 23:13:29

My house is cleaner and more organised now I have children because it has to be.

I used to do the bare minimum before kids but I had a small flat and the minimum was enough. Now I work really hard to keep what I consider a "nice home" but it's worth it when I can relax in a clean tidy space in the evenings.

DH is really good, does his fair share but doesn't see dust.
smile

letsgetreadytoramble Wed 02-Oct-13 23:31:14

Ironically, before I had my first baby I I had loads of time to clean and enough money to fully equip myself with all the products I could want - but I wasn't interested and only did the basics with a deep clean maybe once a year. But ever since the nesting instinct kicked in at 8 and a half months pregnant, I haven't been able to put the antibacterial wipes down. I seem to spend every spare moment cleaning something, and even though I don't enjoy it, I find it hugely important to keep DS in a clean house. Except that it is never bl**dy properly clean because all the smaller everyday jobs take all my spare time (work full time) and the dust continues to accumulate on the skirting boards (except in the nursery.)

In terms of money, we are on a really tight budget so I usually wait till the products such as CIF are on special offer and then buy them. I love the wipes, my DP doesn't understand why I buy them instead of using the sprays (I have those too) but when you literally have 20 mins to clean everywhere before you have to go to work those things are a (very environmentally-unfriendly) godsend.

In conclusion, please make some environmentally friendly antibacterial / anti grease wipes that actually work for £1.50 and I'll be your loyal customer. Or, run a competition to have your house cleaned for a year and make me the winner, thank you.

AndHarry Thu 03-Oct-13 10:35:47

My house looks like an explosion at a toy factory but it is much cleaner now I have children. My DD is crawling and picks up any bit of grub she comes across so it's really important to keep the floors clean, while DS is 3 and very quick to tut at any dust or grubby marks (which he usually made!) and get out his toy brush or duster. I don't get away with anything.

Some things are cleaned as we go along, like high chairs, work surfaces and the floor after meals. Anything dangerous or spreadable - liquids on the floor, paint, glue, glitter - is cleaned up straightaway. More general household dirt and clutter waits until the children are in bed and DH and I tidy up and clean every evening. DH takes the children out on a Saturday morning so I have a few hours to do a deeper clean. We used to blitz the house together on a Saturday morning so this is a natural progression now we have the DC.

I used to be a big fan of antibacterial wipes but now cash is more limited and I'm more aware of environmental concerns I use antibacterial spray and a cloth instead. That combination seems good for all sorts of things. Other staples are spray polish, vinegar-based window cleaner, loo cleaner, tile spray and another sort of spray for the bathroom.

flamingtoaster Thu 03-Oct-13 11:13:31

The amount of cleaning varied with the ages of the DC - at the crawling stage I started hoovering every day, floors were washed more often, I used more anti-bac wipes for speed and hygiene. When they were small all the toys could be thrown into one large box at bedtime. As they grew tidying became more difficult with just the sheer amount of things so tidying took more time than the cleaning.

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