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What's the bare minimum?

(10 Posts)
justsodamntired Tue 11-Mar-14 08:40:57

I have a two year old and a six month old. I have had next to no sleep for six months and I've just had to get rid of the cleaner because we can't afford one anymore so I wondered what you thought the bare minimum I can get away with in terms of cleaning is?

It's a 4 bedroom house, floorboards downstairs, carpet upstairs. I keep it pretty tidy but its a) a bit shabby/worn and b) quite cluttered.

What are the essentials and what can I let go for a bit without permanently damaging the house/ being unhealthy?

AMumInScotland Tue 11-Mar-14 13:18:24

Total essentials? Probably clean dishes and a kitchen bin that isn't overflowing. And, with children that age, any surface they eat off.
After that, for me, top of the priority list is bathrooms - bleach down the loo, and a cloth & Cif over the basin and bath.
Then sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor.
Then shoving a vaccum cleaner (or equivalent) over whatever bits of floor are visible.
And then wiping a duster over the other surfaces.

How often you need to do any of that depends on how mucky your house tends to get and your personal standards. For me, weekly is enough for bathrooms, and monthly for dusting, but I know there are people on here who would consider that pretty grubby...

Pretty much everything else is on an as-time-allows kind of basis, like cleaning out the fridge if it 'looks like it needs it' which isn't often as I keep things neatly wrapped so spills are unusual.

Getting rid of clutter does make it quicker to clean - since if the floor is empty you can sweep/vacuum it more effectively. But life with small children doesn't make it easy to declutter, so don't beat yourself up about it.

Antidote Tue 11-Mar-14 13:18:33

I reckon aiming to do all the basic tasks once a week.

Hoovering or cleaning floors in high traffic areas (not the spare room for example).
Changing bed clothes.

Kitchen surfaces and sink I do everyday.
Dining room floor gets a brush and wipe most days because of weaning.

I try to do one load of washing a day, and make sure the washing up is done before bed.

My dc are 3 and 6 months. I have an alarm on my phone at 6pm which is tidy up time. DS does his toys, I do the hall, dining room table and kitchen surfaces for 5 minutes.

Mrswellyboot Tue 11-Mar-14 13:23:15


Beds - even just sheet and pillows

Toilet and sink

Wipe of kitchen surfaces

TheGreatHunt Tue 11-Mar-14 13:24:15

Kitchen and bathroom little and often. Plus weekly vacuum (can your dh do this?).

Cooking - batch cook.

Also go out more. House gets less trashed then!

ToFollowJulie Tue 11-Mar-14 13:30:43

I would try to get rid of some of the clutter so that there's less to dust... smile

yomellamoHelly Tue 11-Mar-14 13:45:40

Food in, rubbish out, laundry done. Everything else a bonus. Doing the floors can make a big difference.

Nocomet Tue 11-Mar-14 14:07:54

Filling the dish washer, doing the laundry, wiping food prep and eating surfaces. Getting DH to Hoover once in a blue moon.

Our kitchen floor is filthy 2 seconds after it's washed as it's basically the front hall.

crazykat Tue 11-Mar-14 14:30:36

I mop downstairs and bathroom once a week, wipe up any spills as and when (usually after the kids have eaten).

Dust twice a week. Hoover and change the beds once a week.

I clean the bathroom once a week top to bottom which takes about half an hour. Cif (or own brand) foam cleaner is brilliant for this - spray on bath/sink/tiles, clean the toilet then wipe the bath/sink/tiles with a sponge and rinse off with the shower.

Kitchen worktops get cleaned after use and I usually clean properly once a week.

Nets, curtains and a proper clean (under sofas, down the side of the kids beds, top of wardrobes etc) gets done when I have the time and energy (every 3-4 months).

When I had ds1 in nursery half a day, dd2 and baby ds2 at home I used to just about manage to keep up by doing little and often.

DH also helped when he got home, he'd bath the DCs and put them to bed and I'd do a quick blitz downstairs (quick sweep of the floor and tidy toys away).

justsodamntired Tue 11-Mar-14 14:34:02

Thanks. Very useful.

Floors are such a pain. I've been hoovering but not mopping. I tend to wipe up spills then and there but it's sooo depressing to mop as kids throw food on it the minute it's done, plus wellies tramping through.

Might try the alarm thing!

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