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Housekeeping with children in tow. How?

(5 Posts)
Missnearlyvintage Thu 23-Mar-17 23:33:27

As in the title, please could you share your top tips for keeping your houses in good order, whilst maintaining your sanity, and the happiness of your family?
I'm stuck in a vicious cycle at the moment where best laid plans for the day have often been ruined by about 10am, and from then on in I'm just holding on until 7pm for when the kids go to bed. Mostly this involves TV, and not moving far from the sofa unless I really have to which I know is terrible! I've read on other posts that being outdoors is key, which makes sense, but I always feel I have so much that needs doing inside that I can't deal with going out as well. Yet give me five minutes without kids and the first thing I'll want to do is just have a break and enjoy the quiet, so nothing really gets done while my 17 month old naps (1 hour daily), or after the kids have gone to bed. Therefore I need to adjust my attitude to find a sustainable way of sorting everything with small ones in tow, without endlessly resorting to TV or continually telling me 4y/o that I can't play because I'm too busy doing housework. My house is still a mess at the end of each day and I need to do something about it as I want my kids to remember me playing with them and having fun, not always saying I'm cleaning but never actually having a clean house to show for it!
We have 6 cats whom I adore, but which continually make mess, (litter on floors, mucky kitchen floor etc, dust/hair around) so no point in getting a cleaner in as nothing stays clean/tidy for very long with them about.
Anyway, tips would be so much appreciated to help me kick start a new, and better at housekeeping, housewifery/parenting journey!

mycavitiesareempty Thu 23-Mar-17 23:37:08

6 cats?? There's a main part of your problem.

You have to lower your standards or go out all day IME.

Or look at what you're really doing when doing housework. Is it avoidance of playijg? Nit all parents like pretend games etc.

AppleMagic Thu 23-Mar-17 23:37:30

Idk you'll normally get a few posters telling you to get the kids to join in and "make a game of it" etc. Those people must have lots more patience than me!

Chocolateteabag Fri 24-Mar-17 07:24:56

Just one black lab and 2dc here - considering getting a cordless Hoover light enough for my 3 year old to use and let him get on with it!

TheABC Fri 24-Mar-17 07:57:17

First off, look at ways to minimize the mess. I have two cats, a 3 year old and a crawling baby. Cat bowls are on a tray, on a designated surface to prevent the baby getting them. Cat litter is now in a high sided tray in the under the stairs cupboard, with a tracking mat. The cats get access to it via a hole cut in the wood. It has saved a lot of mess! With six cats, you will have a few litter trays around - consider putting them in cabinets or hollow seats to get them out of the way of the kids. IKEA hacks have some good ideas.

Kitty paws everywhere are the next problem. I have a mat by the back door for wet weather. However, the Maine coon loves to watch me cook (and tries to steal food), so he gets banished to the hallway during food preparation and I wipe down all working surfaces with antibacterial cleaner before I begin.

Kids toys are the bane of my life. We use a lot of IKEA cube storage and I have designated boxes for chucking each child's toys into. Likewise shelving for books -the 10 month old loves chewing them. Between 9 and 10 each day, I have a power hour for housework, where basic tidiness plus one chore gets done. For me, that's sorting the dishwasher, putting clothes on to wash, decluttering surfaces, and sweeping the floor (we have wooden flooring and an open plan space -with a crawler, I am a bit fanatical about a clean floor). Floor get mopped three times a week. Each day also gets a set task - Monday, bedding, Tuesday, bathrooms, Wednesday, hoovering upstairs etc.

You do need to lower your standards, but also arrange your house to keep cleaning quick and easy. We had a massive clear out in January to keep on top of the mess and we have deliberately gone low maintenance where possible - wipe clean surfaces, leather sofa etc. In terms of spending time with the kids,even if the house is a certified disaster zone, get out with them for some time each day. Stick it it on the essentials list - it will save your sanity.

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