Simple Cleaning Tips for Busy Moms: Creating a Healthy Home Environment

*This is a collaborative post*

With the right strategies, keeping your home in tip-top shape doesn’t have to be time-consuming or overwhelming.

Photo by Kinga Howard on Unsplash

Let’s break it down into simple, actionable cleaning tips into manageable tasks and further explain the easiest ways to accomplish each. Dive in!

Declutter Regularly

Sort Belongings by Category

Go through clothes, toys, and kitchenware monthly. The easiest way is to implement the three-box method for quick decision-making. 

This involves creating three designated areas or boxes for items: one to keep, one to donate, and one to throw away. Begin with one category at a time to avoid overwhelming yourself and your family. 

For example, start with clothes one month, then move on to toys the next, and kitchenware after that. This cyclical approach ensures that every item in your home is evaluated regularly.

Engaging the entire family in this process can be both efficient and educational. Assign tasks to each family member based on their age and capabilities. 

For children, sorting toys can be a game where they decide what they cherish and what they can part with. This teaches decision-making and the value of giving to others. 

You can use this time to discuss the importance of charity and the environmental benefits of reducing waste. It can be a meaningful family activity that instills values of responsibility and generosity.

Digital Declutter

Organize digital files and unsubscribe from unnecessary emails weekly. Set aside a dedicated time each week, such as 10 minutes on a Sunday evening, to go through your digital clutter. 

Start by organizing your files into properly named folders and deleting anything outdated or unnecessary. 

Next, tackle your email by unsubscribing from newsletters or promotions you no longer read. This prevents future clutter and makes your inbox more manageable.

Automating this process can save time and ensure consistency. Many email services offer filters or rules that automatically sort incoming emails into designated folders. If you need half work done for you, think about using apps designed for file organization that can help categorize and even highlight duplicate or rarely accessed files for deletion.

Teaching older children to manage their digital clutter can also be a valuable skill, helping them stay organized with schoolwork and personal projects.

Establish a Cleaning Routine

Daily Quick Cleans

Focus on high-traffic areas like the kitchen and bathroom. Make it a habit to wipe down kitchen countertops and dining tables after each meal and do a quick sweep of the floors every evening. 

In the bathroom, a rapid wipe of the sink and toilet with disinfecting wipes can keep these areas sanitary without much effort.

Store a small supply of cleaning products in each high-traffic area. 

For instance, keep a set of wipes and a microfiber cloth under the bathroom sink and in a kitchen drawer. This makes it easy to grab and clean on the go, preventing the buildup of dirt and grime. It also makes it easier for family members to help with spot cleaning as they see the need.

Weekly Deep Cleans

Rotate through rooms each week for a deep clean. Focus on one room each weekend, dedicating more time to thoroughly clean from ceiling to floor. This includes dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and organizing. 

By rotating through rooms, every area gets deep-cleaned at least once a month without the process feeling overwhelming.

Create a detailed checklist for each room to ensure that no task is overlooked. Include everything from cleaning under furniture to washing window treatments. 

This not only ensures a thorough clean but also helps distribute tasks among family members effectively. 

For example, older children can be responsible for vacuuming their rooms or dusting surfaces, while adults focus on more intensive tasks. 

Having a playlist of favorite songs or an audiobook to listen to while cleaning can also make the time pass more pleasantly and efficiently.

Maintain a Pest-Free Home

Implement preventive measures to deter pests like insects and rodents. Regularly inspect and maintain your home to prevent pest entry. 

Seal cracks and openings around doors, windows, and foundation. Ensure that food is stored in sealed containers and that trash is disposed of promptly. Removing sources of food and water is key to deterring pests.

Consider natural repellents for a safer, non-toxic approach to pest control. 

For example, peppermint oil is a natural deterrent for spiders and mice, while citronella can help keep mosquitoes at bay. Place a few drops of these oils on cotton balls and distribute them around potential entry points. 

Encourage natural predators in your garden, such as birds, by installing bird feeders or birdhouses. This not only helps control pests but also enhances your garden’s ecosystem.

Regular Cleaning and Yard Maintenance

Keep your home and surrounding area tidy. Regular vacuuming and dusting can remove potential food sources for pests. In your yard, trim bushes and trees away from your home to eliminate shelter for pests and prevent them from easily moving indoors.

Conduct a monthly check of damp areas, such as basements, attics, and under sinks, for signs of pests. Use dehumidifiers in damp areas to discourage pests like cockroaches and silverfish, which thrive in moist environments. 

In the garden, use mulch sparingly as it can provide a conducive environment for pests to thrive. Instead, consider alternative ground cover options that are less attractive to pests.

Use Efficient Cleaning Tools and Supplies

Opt for Multipurpose Cleaners

Reduce the number of cleaners by choosing those that work on multiple surfaces. Embrace the simplicity and effectiveness of making your own cleaning solutions using everyday household items like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon. 

These natural ingredients can clean most surfaces without the harsh chemicals found in commercial cleaners. For instance, a mixture of vinegar and water can serve as an excellent window cleaner, while baking soda is great for scrubbing tiles.

Before using a new cleaner, especially on delicate surfaces like hardwood floors or marble countertops, test it on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it does not cause damage. This is crucial for homemade cleaners, as the acidity in some natural ingredients can react negatively with certain materials.

Invest in Quality Tools

Select tools that save time and effort, like microfiber cloths and a powerful vacuum. Look for products with positive reviews and recommendations from trusted sources. 

Investing in high-quality tools might seem costly upfront, but it pays off in the long run through better performance and longevity.

Once you have your tools, keep them in easily accessible places. For example, store a set of cleaning supplies on each floor of your home to avoid carrying them up and down stairs. 

This strategy encourages more frequent use and makes it easier to tackle messes as soon as they occur.

Focus on Air Quality

Regularly Clean Filters and Vents

Prevent dust and allergens by cleaning HVAC and exhaust vents. Use the hose attachment of your vacuum cleaner to suck out dust and debris from vents and filters every month. 

This not only improves air quality but also enhances the efficiency of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, leading to potential energy savings.

Schedule a professional HVAC maintenance service once a year. A professional can perform a more thorough cleaning and inspection, ensuring that your system operates optimally and catching any issues before they become major problems.

Use Natural Air Purifiers

Improve indoor air quality with plants and essential oils. Incorporate houseplants such as spider plants, snake plants, or peace lilies into your home decor. 

These plants are not only effective at purifying the air but also add a touch of greenery to your living spaces. Using essential oil diffusers with lavender or peppermint can also enhance air quality while providing a calming or refreshing atmosphere.

When selecting plants and essential oils, ensure they are safe for all members of your household, including pets and small children. Some plants and oils can be toxic if ingested or cause allergic reactions, so always do your research beforehand.

Implement Smart Storage Solutions

Maximize Vertical Space

Use walls and backs of doors for extra storage. Installing shelves, hooks, and racks can dramatically increase your storage capacity without taking up floor space. 

Utilize the backs of doors for hanging organizers that can store everything from shoes to cleaning supplies, maximizing unused space effectively.

Over-the-door organizers are particularly versatile and can be used in almost any room, including bedrooms, bathrooms, and pantries. This solution keeps items off the floor, making cleaning easier and reducing clutter.

Label Everything

Make finding and returning items easier with clear labeling. A label maker is a great investment for creating neat, legible labels for bins, boxes, and shelves. 

If you don’t have a label maker, writing directly on containers or using printable labels can work just as well. Labels not only help you find items quickly but also make it easier for everyone in the household to know where things belong, streamlining the organization process.

Get the whole family involved in the labeling process. 

Letting children choose labels for their belongings or decide on the wording can make them more invested in keeping the house organized. It’s a fun way to teach organization skills and ensures they know where to put things away, contributing to a tidier home.

By breaking down home cleaning and organization into smaller, actionable steps, busy moms can create a healthier, more manageable living environment without sacrificing precious time. 

The goal is to maintain cleanliness and order, not perfection. While writing these I’ve also found that I could go and declutter a bit – It’s not all so frustrating anymore when you give it a structure!