Posted in Parenting

What’s Your Cleaning Routine?

Ask my mom how tidy my room was when I was growing up and she’d probably either give you an eyeroll or break out in some form of maniacal laughter.  (Actually, she’d probably tactfully say that it wasn’t one of my strengths but that I had plenty of other strengths) #gottaloveyourmama.

Ask my mom how tidy my house is now that I’m 31 with two and a half kids and she’d probably tactfully say that I’m a great mom and that it’s a good thing that I’m able to let go of the little things.

The truth is, I suck.  Like seriously suck.

I know how to clean, I know how to tidy up, I know it’s important.  I know the tricks.  But darn, I just can’t get my act together.

Problem #1: I am a serious procrastinator.

Last year, when I was still on maternity leave, I figured out a method that actually worked for me.  I started by decluttering (I used the 31 day decluttering guide I found on the Living Well Spending Less website).  Then, I scoured the Web and found a whole bunch of example cleaning schedules.  I mashed a few together, put them on paper and voilà, I had myself a cleaning schedule that worked for me.

Since I couldn’t just do everything in one day as I used to in my pre-kid life, I found that there were two general methods to go about keeping a house clean and tidy.  The first was to go at it room by room (as in, each day, you would tackle a different room).  The second was to go at it task by task.  I opted for the latter as I found it more logical to take care of all the laundry (or window/mirror cleaning, or mopping/vacuuming, or dusting) on the same day.

And it worked!  I was able to keep a clean and tidy house and not go totally nuts with the seemingly monumental-feeling task.

But then, life caught up to me.  I had to go back to work.

Problem #2: I work full-time and often have to bring work home.

Suddenly, I ended up going back to work full-time, juggling two toddlers and becoming pregnant.  (That’s when the procrastinator in me kicked in and determined that the kids, my sanity, some quality time with my partner and my sleep were more important than the tidiness of my house).

But boy oh boy.  Besides the fact that my house regularly looks like it was hit by a tornado, I find myself with horrors like this when I dare look under the couch in the living room.

This is the most recent stash that I found hiding under the couch.  Notice the can of baby corn to the right which is indicative of my daughter’s newfound passion for emptying the pantry.

Of course, I also find myself picking up toddler boxers all the time because, you know, why play with toys or the food in the pantry when you can just empty out your brother’s boxers and adorn yourself with them (yet another of my daughter’s passions).


Problem #3: I have an 18 month old and a 3 year old.

Luckily, I do have help.  My partner and brother and the ones responsible for doing the dishes.  We also pretty much split supper duty and my partner’s pretty good at sweeping the floors.

Honestly, I am able to live amongst clutter.  I am fine with seeing dust accumulate on my bookshelves.  I can relax on my couch and see toys littering the floor.  But I would like to become better at housekeeping.  I want to find a balance between being a good teacher, being a good mom and being a good housekeeper without going nuts or burning myself out because…

Problem #4: I’m a perfectionist.

And so, dear readers, I turn to you.

Do you have any suggestions?  What does your cleaning routine look like?  How do you juggle your different responsibilities?


Thirty-something year old discovering the joys and bumps of motherhood.

5 thoughts on “What’s Your Cleaning Routine?

  1. I don’t know, but if you hang in there, they grow up and help! My 12, 10, and 7 year old are great helpers! (I had to teach them, of course, but now I say, “Clean like Mommy.” and off they go!) I say if the mess doesn’t bother you personally, then you’re blessed! My mom was like that. She didn’t clean regularly, but when the bug struck her she did! Somehow, in all that, I grew up a neat-freak and learned how to clean. But I’ll tell you, working and having kids that age is TOUGH!!!!! So I know you’re doing GREAT! Don’t ever doubt that!

  2. Haha, guess I’ve just got about 4 more years before Charles can start helping rather than hindering ;). It’s interesting to know that your mom wasn’t bothered with the mess and that you turned out a neat-freak. My mom was (according to my memories) a neat-freak (though she learned to let thing go and allow herself to have some “me time” as the years went by). Perhaps we unconsciously end up trying to balance out the type of environment we lived in as we grow up.

  3. Tu sembles avoir déterminé les points qui te freinent dans ton objectif et tu sembles aussi déjà connaître un système qui fonctionne pour toi, alors c’est un bon départ! C’est certain que je ne suis pas DU TOUT dans la même situation que toi car je vis seule, mais je peux quand même te partager quelques stratégies que j’utilise de mon côté :
    1. Fais les choses à mesure : tu salis quelques assiettes et ustensiles? Lave-les tout de suite après. Tu as fini de manger à la table? Laves la table tout de suite après et les comptoirs qui auront été utilisés pendant que tu popottais. Tes enfants ont fini de jouer avec leurs jouets (car c’est l’heure de la sieste ou l’heure de manger)? Ils doivent ranger le tout avant de passer à autre chose. Quand tu te lèves le matin, tu fais ton lit tout de suite.
    2. Do it,do it now ( : J’avais déjà entendu dans une conférence de TedTalks que lorsque nous avons une impulsion qui nous traverse l’esprit (ex. « il faudrait que je passe l’aspirateur »), nous n’avons que 5 secondes pour agir. Alors quand on a cette impulsion, you have to act on it NOW. L’inverse est vrai aussi, si on a l’impulsion de faire quelque chose qu’on veut éviter de faire (ex. manger 15 biscuits), on devrait perdre majoritairement l’envie au bout de 5 secondes. So just do it, and do it now!
    3. When I lost all of my excuses, I found all my results : C’est une citation que j’ai trouvée qui me motive à faire mon workout quand je n’ai pas envie de le faire. Je crois qu’elle se prête à toute situation dans la vie où nous manquons de motivation. Parce que dans le fond, c’est simple : si je fais rien, les résultats seront conséquents. Si je fais mon ménage, les résultats seront conséquents. Il ne sera pas fait par lui-même, c’est certain!
    Sinon, peut-être que l’achat d’un lave-vaisselle s’impose? Aussi, peut-être as-tu besoin d’un coup de pouce d’une femme de ménage? Je sais que quand nous avions une femme de ménage à la maison, j’étais portée à m’assurer que ma chambre soit propre!
    Alors voilà, c’est ce que j’aurais à te suggérer!

  4. J’aime ta grande résilience,belle Sophie, je t’envoie un petit courriel personnel…. Je pense à toi tous les jours pour tous les gestes que tu dois faire pour jongler avec toutes tes tâches, tu connais tes priorités, les ajustements pour réussir à mettre à niveau ton “housekeeping” ne sont pas très importantes et sont facilement atteignables……je t’aime et ton gp aussi. A très bientôt. Gros bisous à toute cette famille: Sophie,Mathieu,Charles,Amélie (oncle Marc)

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