Keeping up with housework is hard. I’ve found that it is even harder when you have a baby or toddler around to “help” you.
So, I put together a short list of some tips that have worked for me:
1. If you’re anything like me, you’re not eating breakfast or lunch while your baby eats. You’re lucky to grab a protein bar during a nap. So, while your baby is eating in their highchair, get the dishes done and counters wiped down. Dishes aren’t very much fun in the first place, but trying to do them with a child whining and clawing at your legs is even worse. Plus, the loud noises and water running seems to keep them entertained while they eat.
2. Use the cloth you wiped the counters down with to dust a shelf or table in the living room. I use water, vinegar and paper towel to clean everything, and it’s usually not dirty after one wipe of the counter. So, I use it to dust something else that needs it.
3. Set the timer on your washer/dryer and fold the clothes immediately when they are done. Otherwise, you end up with a mountain of wrinkly clothes that you try to avoid for days.
4. Do not turn on a TV show thinking you’ll watch it in the background while you clean. No matter how hard you try, you will get sucked in. Instead, turn it on a music channel and get busy!
5. Write a list of what needs to be done, and try to coordinate it with naptime. I usually can’t get everything done during one nap, so I try to save the things on my list I can do while J is awake. For example, I’ll get the bathrooms cleaned first when he goes down for a nap and save the dishes until he wakes up.
6. I know what you’re thinking… nap time is “my time”. Me too! I motivate myself to get stuff done by rewarding myself with the things I want to do. So, I won’t get online until I vacuum the floors or I won’t watch something on the DVR until I finish folding a load of laundry.
7. If you have to get stuff done while your baby is awake, try giving him new, exciting things to play with. Here are some things that have occupied J for a bit while I work: a big storage tote he can push around, Tupperware, spoons, the Xbox controller.
8. If your child wakes up from their nap in a good mood, use that time to get things done in their bedroom. I can usually get about 10 minutes to hang up clothes or put away toys in J’s room when he wakes up if I give him a book or toy to look at.
I hope these tips can help you. I’d love to hear what you do to keep up with housework at your house!