If you grew up watching a lot of Disney films, you may be wondering where your personal troupe of furry animal friends are to help clean up when life gets busy. Trust us, we’ve all had those “I wish” moments at some point or another. As we’ve gotten older and assumed more responsibilities, many of us are busier than ever during this time of the year-whether it’s adjusting to back-to-school routines or preparing for a (seemingly) endless stream of birthday parties and holiday gatherings that are right around the corner.
We get it—life gets chaotic and beautiful messes happen. It’s totally okay—and fully expected—that our homes are not spick and span 24/7 given everyone’s unique circumstances and familial demands. We wholeheartedly understand busy schedules make it hard to devote an indefinite amount of time to tidy up, so the GoBe Team is here to help by sharing some of our favorite cleaning tips and tricks!
Keep reading to learn more. Your home will have a whole new sparkle in no time at all!
Crumble Up Larger Tasks (or Multitask!)
Facing a large task (e.g. cleaning all the floors) can feel daunting when you’re limited on time-and one of the simplest ways to manage that is to break them up into smaller, more manageable chunks. Try to have “cleaning blitzes” where you set a timer (either your phone or one of these nifty pomodoro timers would work great!) and work on a specific cleaning task until the buzzer goes off. Another great way to get a head start on cleaning is to group together tasks. For example, while your kiddo is enjoying a fun bath, use that time to tidy up the bathroom space or wipe down the counter and mirrors. Solanda, one of GoBe’s co-founders, offers her own favorite tip when it comes to grouping tasks together:
“I clean the tables, plates and floor immediately after meals, rather than waiting to do them after an extended period of time. The mental burden of neglected chores like unwashed dishes and unswept floors can be so heavy! Choosing to address these tasks around mealtime—rather than postponing them—saves me a lot of energy and time in the grand scheme of things. I know this may not work for everyone but for us, combining cleaning and feeding schedules creates such a positive shift in our home.”
Schedule Time to Address Chores that Pile Up (Literally!)
We are going to talk about the two never-defeated, all-time Olympic gold medalists of chores: dishes and laundry. Not only do these two tend to accumulate quickly, but they have a magical way of reappearing when you least expect them (don’t worry, you’re not getting pranked by Harry Potter). Depending on the pattern that your household falls into, and also your own personal chore management style, it may help to actually schedule when you are going to tackle these chores. If washing and drying a load of laundry every day makes sense for you, that is all that matters. For dishes, you can schedule 15 to 30 minutes every couple of hours to clean up what’s in the sink to ease up what will need to be cleaned after dinner. Last but not least, don’t forget about your best little helpers: your kiddos! Including your little ones is a fantastic way to teach them important life skills and having toddlers match socks together is actually a great sensory activity!
Use a Catch-All Basket
Things get misplaced a lot when you have multiple bodies in a home, and especially with little ones running around. An easy way to incorporate some quick tidying up as you are moving around the house is to schedule time to walk around with a catch-all basket. This could be a laundry basket or any basket of your choice, and simply pick up the items that should be in another room. As you make your way around the house, put things back where they belong from your basket (even ask the kiddos to help!). Before you know it, you’ve accomplished quite a bit of cleanup in a fraction of the time (plus you get some steps in)!
Make it Fun!
Cleaning does not have to be boring—in fact, it can be the complete opposite. Put on some energetic tunes on your phone, speakers, or TV and let you and your kiddos get into that cleaning groove! Dance your way through the chores, and before you know it, cleaning will become a joyful and bonding experience for you and your little ones. (Plus, it’s a sneaky way to get in some exercise!)
Bless the Mess
Last but certainly not least, remember to be kind to yourself. Echoing our sentiments earlier, it’s completely ok if life gets chaotic, messy, and things aren’t spotless when you’d like them to. We’re all juggling a million things (and the list keeps on growing) in our respective lives, and it’s both important and healthy to give ourselves that extra bit of grace.
The most important thing is that you are present and actively engaged with the people who mean the most to you-your family. If the dishes or the laundry have to wait so you can spend some quality time with your kids or spouse, be okay with that. The cleaning will get done—filling your own bucket with love, fun, and wonderful memories can absolutely take priority.
We hope you found these tips helpful or at the very least, reaffirming that you don’t have to be Captain Clean (or a Disney princess). Your life is busy enough as is and has the understandable stressors that come with those varying degrees of business. Don’t allow cleaning to become an additional stressor. You are doing an incredible job as is by just focusing on what’s most important: taking care of yourself and your loved ones.