Thursday, April 6, 2017

Cleaning House - An Update

Back in the summer I shared a cleaning schedule I came up with for our family. My plan was to keep our house sparkling clean and instill a great work ethic in our kids and whistle while we worked.

Well... it blew up in my face.  I think I hated the cleaning schedule more than the kids.  While it all looked great on paper it was an absolute pain in the butt.  We lasted about 2 weeks before I took the papers off the bulletin board and went back to our much "looser" cleaning routine.  

Are my baseboards wiped down on a bi-weekly basis?  No.
Has my world fallen apart?  Also no.

The way we clean is MUCH less rigid and much more realistic.  Our house stays clean (not sparkly all day every day... but clean!) and I'm not frustrated with my children's ability to windex the glass back door :)  We keep the kids involved on a daily basis by asking them to help empty the dishwasher, wipe down counters, run the vacuum under the kitchen table, etc.

Here are a few other little things we've changed to make keeping up with housework a little bit easier...

- We got a Roomba -
Y'all.  Life changing.  My in-laws got me a Roomba for my birthday (my request!!!) and I ADORE it!  If we were in third grade y'all would probably be taunting me right now with, "if you love it so much, why don't you marry it!!!" and I would reply with, "gladly".  

After having the Roomba for about 2 months now I'm not sure I could go back to life pre-Roomba.  At first I was skeptical about it's vacuuming ability.  We've had a Dyson Animal for years (we got it before Mason was born) and it gets EVERYTHING up (or so I thought!) and I didn't think there was any way a robot vacuum could do the same job.  Well, I was wrong.  The first time I ran it I was completely disgusted in the apparent filth we had been living in.  I'm pretty sure I sent Dave at least half a dozen pictures of giant balls of dust and junk with the text, "we are animals!" or "how have we been living like this!!!"  And yes... Mason is holding a pile of dirt and dust and grossness by his choice.  hahaha  

But y'all... this junk was under my couch, under our beds, under the TV cabinet, etc.  And I had vacuumed the day before.  OMG.

A couple of notes about the Roomba...

- I run it while we're home mainly because I read the reviews about Roombas going over a pile of dog poop and proceeding to spread it all over people's homes and despite the fact that Jack is crated during the day I can't stop thinking about him somehow escaping the crate, pooping and then coming home to it covering the whole downstairs of our house.  Irrational?  Maybe. ;)  I typically run it when we get home from school and while it definitely makes a vacuum noise it's nothing crazy.  I also like to be home while it runs because it occasionally goes under the chairs in our living room and gets stuck.

- It does a great job on tile, wood, carpet and area rugs.  I feel like I have a wide variety of flooring and floor coverings... everything from tile to jute rugs to really shaggy area rugs in our bedroom.  The only rug I don't let it go on is the rug in our playroom because it pulls on the little fabric pieces.

- It has a little brush that sticks out and spins as it goes around the baseboards, and while it does an okay job I usually still use my stick vacuum (more on that in a minute) or bigger upright vacuum to tackle baseboards and corners.

- I was stressed about cords and curtains and such but if/when it sucks up a cord it automatically stops, goes backward and spits the cord out.

- We "reset" on Saturday mornings -
We keep the downstairs of our house pretty much toy-free and picked up during the week by asking the kids to put away their laundry and bring toys that they play with downstairs back upstairs every evening but we don't do a whole lot upstairs during the week.  They play in their rooms a lot after school and in the evenings and so I try my hardest not to stress about what their rooms look like during the week.  On Saturday mornings they have to pick everything up off their floors, put things back in their place, wipe down their furniture, help change their sheets and vacuum.  They take turns wiping down their bathroom counters, mopping the bathroom floors and helping clean the toilet.

Some weeks it takes no time at all and other weeks it takes WAY longer than it should and Dave and I want to pull our hair out.  But at the end of the day their rooms are clean, everything is in it's place and we're ready to enjoy the weekend. 

- Dyson Stick!!! -
I got a Dyson Stick for Christmas (it's  been a good year for me and cleaning products! hahaha) and use it multiple times a day.  Every single day.  It's cordless which I LOVE, has several great attachments and is simple and light enough for my kids to use it effectively. 

The kids fight over who gets to vacuum the table after dinner, who gets to vacuum under the table after breakfast and with the brush attachment they can go around and vacuum baseboards, windowsills and the crevices on the doors.  

It's great for tackling the stairs (I hate vacuuming stairs!), we use it to clean the van on a weekly basis and it's the best for spilled cereal, flour, rice, etc.  I like that it has the long stick attachment for getting under the table and around the baseboard quickly, but that the stick is removable so I can use it as an amazingly powerful dust buster. 

- A Little Goes a Long Way -
About twice a month we clean our house from top to bottom at one time.  I usually get the itch and start it on Friday night (while Dave is working) and I dust, vacuum, strip sheets off beds, vacuum blinds, etc. and then finish it up on Saturday morning by tackling the kids rooms and bathrooms, remaking everyone's beds, etc.  In between that we stay on top of tasks daily and sneak cleaning in little bits at a time.  I mentioned in my last day in the life post that while Griffin was in the bathtub I cleaned our bathroom.  We chatted and sang and I cleaned while she got clean.  When we get home from school and the kids all run upstairs to play in their rooms or head out to the backyard and I usually tackle a single room or a single task while they're busy (think cleaning the kitchen counters, dusting the downstairs, etc.) 

When cleaning the whole house at one time isn't possible a little bit goes a long way.

 So... there you have it.  I wish that I could have reported back that we stuck to the chore schedule and were loving it but at this point it was just more stress than it was helpful and in the spirit of transparency I wanted to update.  

I'm always up for cleaning tips/tricks so if you have some great ones leave them in the comments!

PS - This post contained affiliate links - thank you so much for supporting my blog!


  1. Great tips! I love reading about cleaning routines!! Xo

  2. Yes! I think resetting is so important! We do it on Sunday nights and it just keeps things running more smoothly.

  3. A clean kitchen sink and a clean kitchen and family room floor tricks me into thinking the entire house is spotless. That's my tip. :)

  4. We love our roomba too! Seriously can't live without it!

  5. I'm dying for a roomba! Great to hear your review!!!

  6. I'm obsessed with my dyson stick vac! I use it multiple times a day. Sunday nights are our reset nights and house cleaning is Mondays. Some weeks I delegate lots of cleaning jobs to the kids (i.e. dusting, baseboards, vacuuming). Other weeks if we are super busy they get a pass and are only in charge of straightening their rooms and putting away the shoes from our shoe bucket by the door. How do we wear so many shoes during a week???

  7. My kids are way older than yours and they do NOTHING except keep their rooms clean. I'm clearly failing as a mother.

    1. Preach. I have college age kids and am feeling my failings;-)

  8. I have a Dyson stick and LOVE it! My husband gave it to me for our 10 year wedding anniversary (my request) and it's been one of the best gifts ever!! I appreciate your honesty about cleaning. We have a cleaning lady every other week but we still do quite a bit of pick-up and self-cleaning in between her visits. How do things get so messy when we're not there all day?!! It's so important to teach kids to clean/pick-up, even when mine gripe up and down about it. Great post!

  9. My trick is to clean as I go, and clean something daily. When I'm waiting for dinner to cook or waiting for water to boil, I quickly clean out cabinets, and the fridge. When I'm waiting for my shower to heat up, I clean my bathroom quickly (run a lyson rag around the toilet floor and clean the toilet) things like that. Every day I do one big thing, like clean the windows, pull the fridge out and clean behind it, clean ceiling fans, whatever...then little by little, in little chunks, things get cleaned. It really works, and doesn't feel like a big project.

  10. My Dyson stick vac is my best friend BUT now you have me wanting a Roomba too. Love cleaning tips.

  11. I love a good cleaning post!! :) And I so need a roomba in my life! Great post, girl!

  12. Gosh you are a cleaning machine! I wish I was a good cleaner. I do have my kids pick up their rooms and the house but I need a better system. This post has given me a lot of ideas. I would gladly pay someone just to dust my house. I hate dusting! Unfortunately for my home, it shows. LOL

  13. Is that link the exact roomba you have? So it just vacuums right? Then do you clean your wood floors after? And can you use it on each story of your house or does that mess it up? Thanks!

  14. I love this, I'm the same way. I just clean a couple of spaces at a time. You've also convinced me I NEED a dyson stick! I have carpet under my kitchen table (seriously who does that) and I have to pull out the big vacuum every night!

  15. Great ideas! Now I can't decide what I want first, a Roomba or Dyson stick. :)

  16. I cleaned my house top to bottom yesterday .....even with just two of us in the house now, bathrooms need cleaned and house needs dusted etc. I don't have a roomba....thinking I may ask for one for christmas this year.....bday is done and I guess there is Mothers Day coming up. LOL I love my Dyson's! I also have the cordless and then a regular one. BEST VACUUMS EVER!!

  17. I try to do a little each day...always laundry at some point, and my kitchen is cleaned. I struggle with giving my kids chores to do. I need to work on this. They also have to pick their toys up nightly that they drag to the living room and on Sundays they clean their rooms. The cordless vac for under the table and stairs would be so handy. I am going to check into that. Have a great day!

  18. Baha, your comment about it being a good year for you and cleaning products made me laugh! The post you shared about cleaning your bathroom during bath time inspired me and I did it that night too.... only to quickly be reminded why I only do sink baths... I have a bathtub pooper.... ugg!! I try and have some quick cleaning tasks on the tip of my tongue because often my husband will tell me he has 15 minutes and what would I like him to do and I hate to waste that question!

  19. I love reading this post because when we move in a couple months I won't keep our housekeeper (2x a month) and I'm going to try to do it myself -- my mom always managed it on her own! So we'll see how it goes.

  20. I've been toying with the idea of getting a Roomba for months now.. I think it's time. Thanks for your review. This is very helpful!

  21. Thanks for being so honest here. :) I wanted to get a housekeeper when we moved, and it's just hard for me to justify the money. So we've been cleaning a bit as we go, and I totally "get" your comment about a house being clean, but not sparkling. We are totally there. And you also make me REALLY want a Roomba. :) :)

  22. Bless your heart (and your honesty!). As a mama of four adult "kiddos", I was wondering how long you would last when you posted your cleaning plan last year. I have had many cleaning plans and as my kids got older and more involved in activities, the "plan" became accepting a dirty house. Do what works for you, but remember, your time with your kids is SHORT. I love the Roomba idea, sneaking in cleaning while GG is in the bath, etc. You are also teaching MANY life lessons having your kids help out, and clearly providing support and inspiration to other young mamas. Love your blog!

  23. Thanks for sharing, helpful to see what practical ideas others have!

  24. I felt the same way as you about the roomba--no way can it clean as well as my "real" vacuum. It is AMAZING and I sing it's praises to almost everyone I meet. The amount of dust and dirt it captures is insane and makes me feel super gross.

  25. You should look in to the Thieves Cleaner from Young Living! It is plant based and toxin free! If your kiddos are helping you clean, it's totally safe for their little bodies! We use it to clean our wood floors, granite counter tops, stainless steel, toilets, tubs/showers, windows, and pretty much every single surface in our house!


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