You guys, a clean home is my jam. I mean before kids I had a regular cleaning day AND kept up with cleaning daily… and that was just for me. There wasn’t a spill that wasn’t met with an immediate clean or piles or toys or laundry left undone… or just any piles of any kind. After having one little one, the tide changed a bit, but mostly in the sense that there was more stuff, more to clean, to pick up, to wipe down, to vacuum up. Still, we kept up with it, But four, yes FOUR, kids later the thought of coming home to a house just as clean as I left it or the sink remaining cleared of dishes for an entire evening would never even cross my mind. I’ve learned to let go as much as I can while still maintaining a more cleaned-up house. MORE being the operative word. The cleaning itself? Well, that is never done. But, I’ve found a few ways to keep the look of a clean home even while sleep deprived and toting around four kiddos!
The Sleep Deprived Mom’s Guide to Cleaning in Her Sleep
1. Make that bed.
If you’re going to adopt one habit that will make your place look cleaned up, make it a bed-making habit. Now, I know this isn’t the main part of your home, but when it comes to bedrooms, it’s he largest item in the room and will make the biggest difference in a flash. Short on time? Just pull up the covers and fluff the pillows. Not only does it draw your eye away from other messes, making the room seem cleaner that it may be, studies have also shown that it’s one of the most largely accepted habits of successful people. Start your day off making the bed, and the rest of the day will follow suit in a more productive way (even when there was very little sleep involved in the first place).
2. Wipe down the counters.
It doesn’t take much focus to wipe down a countertop, but keeping those bad boys wiped down will make ensure LESS work for you in the long run. Washing dishes? Wipe down the sink and counter while you’re at it. Brushing teeth? Wipe down the bathroom counter. Basically you’re wiping down before things have a chance to really get stuck on the surfaces.
3. Do the dishes.
This is one of those things that’s more of a maintenance chore than anything else. When dishes pile up and pile up, eventually they become overwhelming and you’re not even sure where to start. Dishes are something that we use and dirty over and over each day… so when you’re finished with one, give it a quick wash or rinse and place right into the dishwasher. Even though it doesn’t seem like it, we all have time to wash a dish when we’re finished with it, and this maintenance step totally cuts down on the feeling of overwhelm at a full or overflowing sink.
Some other ideas for maintenance chores that is great to get the entire family on board with:
- Spraying the shower with shower spray every day (make a homemade family-safe version) when finished showering instead of scrubbing the shower every few weeks.
- Hanging towels after use instead of letting them fall into a pile or on the ground.
- Sorting through mail when you get home instead of piling it for later.
- Putting away toys or activities before moving onto another one instead of doing it at the end of the day.
- Tossing dirty clothing into a hamper or straight into the washer at the end of the day instead of having to search an entire room when it’s laundry time.
4. Set the timer.
Make this one a family affair (or not), and just have fun with it. Set a timer or turn on a favorite tune that helps you wake from that sleepy state and get as much done as you can while it plays. Run around grabbing the items that don’t belong (you can even carry a basket to throw them in) and then deliver to the room or the space they belong. For this, it can be a fun and quick way to pick up, and many hands definitely make for light work. I typically will set a timer for 10 minutes and you’d be surprised at how much gets done in that short amount of time. Plus, when I’m sleepy, I can totally rally for about that long and then wind back down again after.
5. Check the floors.
Stepping on dirt and grime all day is something that is hard for me to handle. Vacuuming is always something I’ve liked to do and if there was one cleaning job I don’t mind not handing off, it’s this one. We’ve got a fantastic vacuum cleaner so it doesn’t take me long to do. Even so, with four kids I just can’t keep up with their crumbs and debris (how do they leave so much in their wake?!). For the last year or so, I’ve loved our Roomba robot vacuum. While it’s not a deep clean, it definitely keeps the crumbs at bay and we can just let it do it’s thing. I find that by spending just a few minutes a day on the floors, whether it’s with a robot, or a quick sweep or even a simple mop (something else my kids love to do and can help with now that a couple of them are a little older, yay!), definitely keeps the overall look of the house more presentable.
According to a recent study from Merry Maids, 70% of moms surveyed say their definition of a clean home is less stringent since having kids… hello, hand raised! While being a mom definitely brings joy, it also means constant messes and less free time, which naturally causes priorities to shift. Since most moms (81%) claim responsibility for keeping the home clean, the everyday cleanliness of the home can take a back seat to our other priorities (kids!!).
Here’s the thing, you don’t have to do it all. But, do something. Choose tasks you can do without really thinking, because sleep deprivation is real y’all. I’ve lived through four newborns, and lately? My 10 month old is teething (again), just finished having an ear infection, and also now has a rash from the antibiotics… so I’m feeling all the sleep deprived feels. This means deep cleaning and thinking tasks are usually out the window because making tough decisions, like which shirts to keep and which to donate, aren’t really going to happen… at least not well. While I can’t say my home is necessarily “guest-ready” clean like it used to always be before kids, I can say that my home is filled with life, and love and yeah, it’s pretty presentable, even when I might not be.
With Mother’s Day right around the corner, maybe it’s time to drop a few hints that a clean house is the best kind of gift!! I know that it’s something I ALWAYS appreciate. So pass this post along to your husbands! Maybe they’ll have their own cleaning day while you rest and put your feet up OR the perfect gift just might be the gift of a cleaning job done professionally. A gift certificate or a scheduled cleaning day from Merry Maids will make sure that your home is clean from top to bottom, so you can spend your day enjoying yourself instead of wiping down the bathroom or cleaning the floors! Plus, it’s the perfect clean slate so that your sleep deprived maintenance routine will be so much more effective.
What’s your ultimate Mother’s Day wish? If you could have someone else clean up one room in your home, which would it be?! I think I’d rather have someone else sparkle clean the bathrooms!
This Sleep Deprived Mom’s Guide to Cleaning in Her Sleep post is in partnership with Merry Maids. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that make this blog possible.