Adventures of Modern Mom: A Clean House

We have been through a lot lately in the Bird household. On top of the normal craziness of holidays and then the mice incident and all three girls getting RSV, I felt the need to have the house completely cleaned and sanitized. Nathan and I had done quite a bit of cleaning and sanitizing  as the mice and RSV and holiday stuff was happening. But it was time for a deep clean.

We had never done this before, but we hired professional cleaners to come do a complete deep clean of our house. Then this past Monday we had our carpets cleaned, also by a hired professional. We have had our carpets cleaned before. But this time we waited until we were through potty training Elle. I’m sure you can understand why.

Prior to having my house professionally cleaned, I often wondered about other moms… How do they keep their house so clean and still have time to do everything else that they do? Cleaning the house seemed like an endless cycle. Doing a little at a time but by the time you finished cleaning the last room, the first room is dirty again. And with little children, they are often undoing all my cleaning as I am cleaning.

We live in a modest size home. Nothing fancy or big. A simple three bedroom house. I have friends who have much larger homes than mine and they seem to keep that clean and able to volunteer here and do this and that and have time to craft. Then a friend chimed me in on a secret. Larger homes can be easier to keep clean because there is more room for things. Everything has a place. And you can contain children and their messes in a dedicated room rather than in the family living space.

The week prior to having the cleaners come do our house, Nathan and I worked really hard to put everything back where it belonged. Found places for things that didn’t have a spot in our home. And then got rid of things that shouldn’t have a place in our home. And after the cleaners came Nathan and I found of selves with free time. This has never happened to us before, the entire house was completely cleaned. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves. For the first time ever, there was nothing to clean or put away in our home. Um, OK. That was a new feeling. We actually had time to tackle other things on our to do list. That was nice.

» Tell me… How do you keep your house clean with children dwelling in it? Have you ever hired professionals to clean your house before?

8 Responses to “Adventures of Modern Mom: A Clean House”

  • Anna

    oh I remember when my oldest two had RSV. They were sick for weeks before they were hospitalized, the baby was in the hospital first, for ten days then his sister went in for a week. I remember it was October so they would have been 7 months and 2.5. It was hard. My house is not near as clean as it was when I had little ones. Papa worked shift work so I cleaned at night when he was working and napped in the afternoon with the kiddos or cleaned. Our home was only 988sq ft! I only have two home now, the oldest a senior so either working or…….. the youngest recently adopted, so the brunt of it all fall on me. Quite overwhelming. I have considered hiring a housekeeper but Id clean it before they came so its pointless. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Savor the moments with your little ones, before you know it, it will all be memories.

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  • Lesley

    I think it’s hard to stay on top of it. I used to hire a babysitter and spend the 2 hours cleaning, which made me feel better but wasn’t a fun use of my time! I have 3 small children and am pregnant with my 4th, so now I have a cleaner who comes every 2 weeks, and honestly, I believe it’s so worth it. I hate spending the money but my mental and emotional state is so much better. Now I just spend my time picking up and organizing instead of cleaning baths and floors (which is hard when pregnant). Lately I stumbled upon a great way to get the kids to pick up – I told them if the house was tidy we could have friends over for a playdate, and I didn’t have to nag them (much) to pick up their stuff! It was a miracle!

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  • Comeca

    I sure have! We have the carpets done every two months mostly because of the dogs I mean we don’t want to be those people with the house that smells as if they have pets.

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  • Alaina

    I understand completely- I have two small boys (4 &2) and their favorite past time is destroying and scattering all their toys all over the house, and getting into my things and messing with my stuff when I’m not looking! I’ve finally put locks on almost all the doors, and have at least trained them to keep their toys in their rooms and only allow them to bring a few toys downstairs at a time, and I have them help me pick up their toys before nap time and bed time. They also love and sometimes fight over who gets to help me do housework- they love dusting, vacuuming, doing dishes, switching the laundry- and on the days when I let them help me, even though it takes quite a bit longer, we are all so much happier than when I’m stressed and trying to keep everything spotless. And what’s the point of having a spotless house if you can’t enjoy it and relax? I’m also 8.5 months pregnant with another boy, and my husband will be gone for 8 months after the baby is born (he’s in the Army), and I really don’t want to spend my time stressed out and being worried about cleaning the house- so I plan on hiring someone to come 2 times a month to help with the deep cleaning- I never have done that before, but I know that I would rather spend my energy during that time being happy and not putting extra stress on the kids.
    Also, about the bigger sized house/less mess theory- since we’ve moved so much, and lived in plenty of different sized houses- I can agree and disagree- in our largest house, which wasn’t huge, but the biggest we’d ever lived in, I did have much more storage to organize things, and it was easier to keep clean, but you know what happened? I kept acquiring MORE things because I knew I had the space! Then we had to move again, and now we have downsized into a 3 bedroom townhouse, and we just got rid of tons of STUFF, and I love it. I think most people (especially when you have little kids) just have too much stuff. So whenever I get overwhelmed by clutter and chaos, it’s time to take out the trash bags and get rid of stuff. — Sorry, that was so long! Enjoy your clean/germ free house!

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  • jesser

    We have someone in every other week to clean. We like to say it’s a cheap alternative to marriage counseling. We’ve done this since before the kids were born and since they arrived, I’d really like to have them in every week if we could afford it! They vacuum, dust, change beds, mop, clean bathrooms and kitchen surfaces, clean glass and empty the trash. It isn’t everything, but it really helps. I also love it because it means without fail, we do decluttering before they come every time!

    I’m interested in your point about having a place for everything. Our house is spacious, but not large and there are certain things I feel like I can’t quite find a home for. My normal solution is to throw things away and I do pretty well with that, but there’s only so far you can go. I do think we’ll need a bigger house one of these days which is a shame since I love our house.

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  • Emily

    Your house looks great. Hopefully the sickness and mice are behind you. I’m still trying to figure out what to do with everything. We live in a smallish townhouse and don’t have a basement/usable attic and really like keeping one of our cars in the one car garage. I do need to clean things out. I agree with the commenter above that the only way my house actually gets clean is if I have someone watch my daughter and clean, clean, clean on my own. I haven’t made time to make that happen but would like to and then stick to a cleaning schedule- ie laundry one day, vacuuming another, etc. But first, to deal with the stuff we’ve collected. . . .

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  • Lauren Nicole

    Quite frankly, I lowered my housecleaning standards gradually after my daughter was born 3.5 years ago. I would much rather be a happy, fun Mom and Wife than live in a perfectly clean house.
    What do lower standards look like? Bathrooms are fully cleaned only on the 1st and 15th of the month and I only do quick sink and toilet wipe downs in between. I dust/vacuum when necessary (playroom – often; guest room – when guests are coming; master bedroom – when I notice it could use it, etc.). I mop the kitchen floor if it gets sticky or there’s a significant spill – otherwise I just sweep it.

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  • Tracy

    I follow FLYlady.com – she is awesome. I get a daily digest and it inspires me to keep going! I love having my house under control, even when it isn’t always perfect. You should check her out!

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