The New Parent's Guide to Cleaning Without Going Crazy

The new mom club is full of loving kisses and sleepless nights. I'm in it too, so I feel you. Once baby arrives, you probably have a never-ending to-do list running through your mind -- and on that list, below feeding the baby, getting some sleep, and trying to feed yourself falls trying to clean up your home. How do you find the time to keep this place tidy for your new bundle of joy?

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Rather than let the need to scrub something get the best of you (glass cleaner and I have always been lovers), here's a game plan that won't drive you insane.

1. Give yourself a break. For heaven's sake, you just had a baby! It's okay to take some time to recoup and to leave some dirty dishes in the sink here and there.

2. Space out your endeavors. Who on earth says you have to tackle a week's worth of cleaning in a day? Do yourself a favor and spread things out. A little cleaning each day will keep the tasks from piling up.

More from The Stir: 10 Steps to Cleaning Your Home in Under an Hour

3. Give yourself some wiggle room. Planning can be a good thing, but you don't have to beat yourself up for not vacuuming on the day you had circled on the calendar. Spontaneity can be your best friend.

4. Accept help from those who offer. "Why yes, you can help. It would be amazing if you'd come over and clean my kitchen." Stop saying no to friends and family members who offer to extend a helping hand. The time has come to put a broom in one of them.

More from The Stir: 10 Dangerous Cleaning Mistakes You're Probably Making (PHOTOS)

5. Work when the baby sleeps. So, you probably heard that you need to sleep when the baby sleeps -- and that's true and all -- but that doesn't mean you can't take care of a quick cleaning task (or two) before getting some shut-eye of your own.

6. Change up your products. As you probably guessed, certain chemicals and aromas may be harmful to babies. This means you might want to switch out some of your harsher products for ones that are free of petroleum, solvents, phosphates, and/or VOCs. You'll worry a little less about the potential toxicity to your baby.

More from The Stir: Are Your Cleaning Products Truly Green or Just Pretending to Be?

7. Turn on some music. Snow White was onto something when she whistled while she worked. Almost anything is better and faster with a little motivating music.

8. Focus on the most important rooms. It's okay if you don't have the time, or energy for that matter, to vacuum your guest room or office. But killing kitchen germs and taking out the diaper pail trash are pretty essential steps to keeping everyone healthy. Do those and get to the rest when you can.

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9. Invest in some disinfectant wipes. Can we keep it real for a moment? Disinfectant wipes can go a long way. They make kitchen counters, TVs, and bathroom toilets look brand-new in a simple swipe.

10. Hire help. There's no shame in your game if you want to hire a cleaning crew to bless your home with their tidy magic. Here's a tip: Check local flash-sale site deals for discounts to save some cash.

More from The Stir: 5 Top Household Chores: Should You DIY Them or Hire Help?

11. Don't leave extra work. Careful now; that one dish in the sink can quickly turn into a pile of 10 things you need to wash. If you do decide to tackle a task, finish it (if that new baby lets you, that is!). You'll feel accomplished, even if that's the only thing that gets clean today.

12. Learn a hack or two. God bless you for trying to do things the old-fashioned way when it comes to making your home spotless. But there are some genius cleaning cheats that are so good they could change your cleaning life forever.

13. Call Mom. Or your best friend. Does this really need an explanation?

 

How do you manage to keep the house clean without making yourself crazy?


Image via Piotr Marcinski/shutterstock


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