Busy single parent with no time for cleaning?
10 lightning-fast home cleaning tips for busy single parents. It needs to be done, but not everyone can afford (or justify) the expense of getting a cleaner in. To save you time and save your house from being taken over by child-related mess, try these super-fast, easy cleaning tips:
- Keep a lint roller handy for crafts and mess. Lint rollers are amazing for picking up everything from hair to glitter, so can save you loads of time cleaning up. You might not believe it, but a humble lint roller can be a single parent’s best friend!
- Turn chores into fun games to get the kids to help out. Children will join in anything if there’s a play element, so turn housework into a game to get them to clean up after themselves. For example, get them to play ‘race the egg timer to put the toys away’.
- Use a shower caddy to limit food and drink mess in the car. It’s such a simple idea, but using a plastic caddy or box to keep kids’ snacks and drinks in can stop a world of crumbs, spills, stains and rubbish getting all over the car.
- Mark kids’ clothes labels to make sorting the washing easier. If you have a few children of similar ages, sorting the laundry can take longer than it should as you try to work out whose is whose. It takes seconds to mark the labels of each item with one dot for the oldest child, two dots or three dots (for the other children in order of age). When sorting the washing, simply make piles according to the dots. A real time-saver for busy single parents!
- Buy three ‘magic’ cleaning products. These are WD40 to remove crayon, baking soda toothpaste for permanent marker and a good pre-wash stain remover for clothes – get it sprayed on the second a stain happens.
- Clean toys in the dishwasher. Provided they are dishwasher-safe, you can wash most plastic toys on a low heat in the dishwasher. Bung them all in, start a wash and put your feet up!
- Have a clear-out every birthday and Christmas. If you keep absolutely all the presents your kids receive, your house will simply burst at the seams. Try this instead – a few days after these occasions, ask your kids to put everything they don’t play with anymore in a pile for recycling or donating. You can sell them on the idea by saying that there needs to be room for the new stuff, or it’ll have to be given back!
- Keep baby wipes in every room. To mop up spills, smears and children’s faces at a moment’s notice, keep a pack of baby wipes within easy reach at all times.
- Keep a chore chart for older children. To teach older kids and teens responsibility for cleaning, draw up a simple and easy chore chart for them to follow on the kitchen blackboard. If it’s written down and they can’t avoid it – they may just do the chores.
- Last resort – kit out your kids in house-cleaning clothes! It may be a drastic step, but some single parents swear by rompers, slippers and socks made from mop-like fabrics so kids can unwittingly clean as they go – mwahaha!