When my little mint was a newborn, I’d saved enough money in the budget to keep a weekly cleaner. I was planning to return to work after my 12 month maternity leave, but when that didn’t happen 🙂 it meant the cleaning was (primarily) up to me.
Finding a new cleaning routine
I tried out FlyLady, but it felt more applicable to families with older children. If you want to follow FlyLady (my mum loves this process), I’d recommend following FlyLady Diane on YouTube as Diane does a great job of simplifying the process.
Next I tried Motivated Moms and this worked for us. The chores are broken into small “bite sized” pieces, so they’re easier to squeeze into the day without losing too much time with my little mint. The weekly list is on the fridge, so if I’m having a tough day or my little mint is too poorly for me to leave her, my husband gets stuck into the chores too (he does it differently to me and that’s OK). As the kids get older, I might consider putting $ amounts next to the chores. Here’s some examples of the planners.
Through the new cleaning process I had to remember, like most things in life, that 80% is good enough. (Especially when I’d clean the windows and within the hour my little mint had her sticky fingers over my clean windows. It isn’t worth worrying about.)
Declutter the house
As I went through the cleaning process, we realised we needed to declutter the house, because chores were taking more than 15 minutes. (I wanted to complete a chore or two during nap times and still have a few minutes quiet time.) We decided to make a slight alteration to the KonMari “Does it spark joy?” (my toilets certainly don’t) to “Can we be bothered spending our time cleaning this?”. For the things we didn’t want anymore, we had three declutter areas; sell, throw away, or donate. As a bonus, I did find a lot of things I’d forgotten about that were really useful and saved money; how do you forget you own a Dyson stick vacuum that just needed the filter to be cleaned?! I think some days Mr Mint did worry what he’d (not) come home to, but he’s happier with the clearer house.
Organisation workshop (and girly night out)
Finally, we applied some ideas I’d learnt from a Kikki K workshop on planning/organisation (and it ticks the weekly Pamper Yourself task from the Motivated Moms checklist). The most useful idea for us was the inbox/outbox system. Mr Mint and I both have an outbox with our keys in it, so we don’t forget to take things with us e.g. prescriptions or letters to post. We also have a shared inbox in the main living area. All the letters (and other bits and pieces we bring home) all get put in the inbox, so they don’t clutter up the house. When we have a few minutes, we spend time going through the inbox. The inbox is nice to look at with a lid (I chose a large gift box from a discount store), so I can close it when friends are over (to hide the clutter).