The most important part of keeping a clean house while staying at home with your kids is to be organized and not too hard on yourself. Cleaning is a bit like raking your yard in the fall, you can do it perfectly and then the wind blows. For stay at home Mom’s the wind that blows is usually the little ones waking up from naps or coming in from outside. Who hasn’t finished shining the bathroom faucet to see the fingerprints of little ones only moments later. Being organized and creating a strategy can help keep order to the chaos and make cleaning a lot easier.

Clear it Up
Clutter is probably the worst culprit when it comes to cleaning. Seeing a room filled with clutter can give the impression that the room is dirty when in fact it just needs straightening. The first and most important job is to clear the clutter. Dirty clothes go to the laundry, trash in the trash, crayons and toys get put in their respective place. Once the room is picked up, the actual cleaning can begin.

High to Low
When cleaning it’s important to remember to start high and end low. When dusting furniture, shelves, ceiling fans and tops of doorways starting high is the best way because the dust will fall and you won’t have to do it twice. Wood furnishings can be dusted with a furniture polish or if you prefer no polish; a good microfiber cloth, or duster (feather/microfiber) can be used. Mirrors and glass can be cleaned easily with a good glass cleaner and paper towel or you can use vinegar, and hot water and a squeegee. The squeegee takes some practice but saves time and money when mastered. Now wiping windowsills, and baseboards can be done with a damp cloth that has been dipped in hot water and a nice smelling cleaning solution. This can make a huge difference in a room.

Those Floors
Vacuuming in carpeted rooms is the last step in cleaning. Always vacuum your way right out the door and give a little antibacterial squirt to the doorknobs as you leave. On hardwood floors it is best to vacuum first. By vacuuming first you won’t have to worry about spreading dirt and hair with your mop. Have your kids become part of the action too by letting them vacuum the corners or push the vacuum back and forth. Mopping is different depending on what material your floor is made of. Again, mop your way out of the room and let it dry without those little footprints running through it.