You’re a parent. You’re busy. With kids of all ages, from newborn babies to teenagers on their way to college and boomerang millennial adults that are back at home with you, it feels like your home will never really feel clean. The good news is that we have 10 cleaning hacks for you as a busy parent that will streamline your cleaning routine for everything from getting pet hair out of the rug to organizing your dish rack in no time.

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  1. Commit to Daily Cleaning — Clean a little bit every day. Decide which tasks you’ll do daily, weekly, quarterly and monthly, and then commit to doing them. If you’re going to be doing laundry, keep your clothes and your children’s clothes in tiptop shape by using a lint brush to remove excess lint.
  2. Practice Micro-Cleaning — You don’t have to wait until you have a whole afternoon to yourself to clean because that probably won’t happen. Instead, practice the art of micro-cleaning. Clean your home in bursts of one minute here, two minutes here and so forth. It can be as quick as wiping down the kitchen countertop or putting away some dry dishes.
  3. Get Your Least Favorite Task Out of the Way — We all have that one cleaning task that we look forward to the least. It might be cleaning the bathroom or doing the laundry. Whatever item on your to-do list is the bane of your existence, do that one first so you’ll feel more relieved once it’s over and done with. Use the right tools for the right job. If you hate menial tasks like getting your dog’s, cat’s or even kid’s hair out of the carpets and furniture, use a large pet hair remover to help remove all that fur and hair.
  4. Clean from Top to Bottom — Here’s one cleaning hack to be more efficient. When you’re cleaning any room, clean from top to bottom. If you’ve ever watched professional cleaning companies clean rooms, you’ll see that the cleaners start at the top to save time so they don’t do double work. For example, if you have a ceiling fan you need to dust, start there. If you have tall windows, start there. When you’re cleaning the bathroom, start with your mirror or the showerhead.
  5. Declutter and Clean — If you have little ones at home, their toys are probably all over the place. As you’re cleaning, you’ll find their stuffed animals and other random toys as you go. Declutter by picking up these toys as you clean. Keep a designated box or toy area for your child’s toys.

  1. Encourage Your Family to Help Clean — Don’t let the entire responsibility of keeping your home tidy fall on you. Delegate tasks to each member of the family. While a newborn won’t be able to help clean, your partner can certainly help with folding their clothes and sanitizing their bottles.
  2. Save Money with DIY Cleaners — According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American households spend an average of about $645 on housekeeping supplies. Save money by making your own housekeeping cleaner. There are a bunch of variations out there depending on how strong you need your cleaner to be or what kind of scent you’d like.
  3. Load and Organize the Dishwasher Before Running It — Don’t haphazardly throw dirty dishes and utensils into the dishwasher. Organize your dishwasher so that all the dishes are on one part of the dishwasher and your forks, knives and spoons are in their own part. That way, once everything is clean and dry, you’ll be able to put things away much quicker when you can find every dish, pot and pan in their place.
  4. Clean While Cooking — If you’re waiting for water to boil or something to heat up in the oven, clean while you cook. Clean up any used dishes or dirty kitchen counters. Once the meal is ready, you won’t be stuck with cleaning up an entire kitchen after eating.
  5. Your Home Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect — Get ready for the best parent cleaning hack of all: your home and deck don’t have to be perfect. The fact is that you’re a busy parent. Just like you have to make your bed every morning only to get back into it every night, you will have to clean up after your kid or have them help keep your home clean. It’ll never be 100 percent sparkly and polished like a glossy magazine photo. This is the home that you’re living in, and it’s full of love and life. Allow some patience and grace for yourself to know that you’re doing your best.

We hope these 10 cleaning tips will help inspire you to level up your cleaning routine. From your little toddlers who are learning basic cleanup skills at home to your teenager who can definitely help with taking out the trash, get everyone at home involved to help with keeping your home tidy.

Emma Chen

Emma Chen holds a degree in Public Health from the University of Washington and has dedicated 13 years to promoting healthy and sustainable cleaning practices. Since joining us as a freelancer in 2020, Emma has shared her expertise in non-toxic cleaning solutions, indoor air quality, and allergen reduction. Her experience includes working in community health programs and as a health educator, which shows in her writing. Emma is a yoga instructor in her free time and participates in community clean-up drives.

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