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The Lazy Parent’s Guide to a (Mostly) Clean House: Tips and Tricks for Keeping Your Home Tidy with Minimal Effort

Maintaining a clean and organized home can be a daunting task for anyone, but it can be especially challenging for busy parents. Between work, school runs, extracurricular activities, and household chores, it can be tough to find the time and energy to keep the house clean. However, a clean and organized home can lead to a happier and healthier family, so it’s worth the effort to establish a cleaning routine that works for you.

In this article, we will explore some tips and tricks for busy parents who want to keep their homes clean and tidy without sacrificing too much time or energy. From establishing a cleaning routine to using smart cleaning tools and techniques, we will cover a variety of strategies that can help you maintain a (mostly) clean house. We will also share some advice on laundry management and handling sentimental clutter, as well as answer some frequently asked questions about keeping a clean home.

Key Takeaways

  • Establishing a cleaning routine can help busy parents maintain a (mostly) clean house without sacrificing too much time or energy.
  • Smart cleaning tools and techniques, such as using microfiber cloths and vacuuming regularly, can make cleaning more efficient and effective.
  • Laundry management and handling sentimental clutter are important aspects of maintaining a clean and organized home.

Establishing a Cleaning Routine

Keeping a house clean can be a daunting task, especially for parents who have to juggle work, kids, and other responsibilities. However, establishing a cleaning routine can help make the task more manageable. Here are some tips on how to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your family.

De-Cluttering Strategies

One of the first steps in establishing a cleaning routine is to de-clutter your home. Clutter can make a house look messy and disorganized and can also make cleaning more difficult. To de-clutter your home, start by getting rid of items that you no longer need or use. You can donate them to charity or sell them online. Once you have de-cluttered your home, it will be easier to keep it clean and tidy.

Involving Kids in Household Chores

Getting kids involved in household chores can be a great way to teach them responsibility and help them develop good habits. However, it can also be a challenge to get them to cooperate. One strategy is to make cleaning fun by turning it into a game or a competition. For example, you can set a timer and see who can clean up the most toys in five minutes. You can also assign age-appropriate tasks to your kids, such as putting away their toys or helping with the laundry.

Setting a Timer for Daily Cleaning Sprints

One effective way to keep a house clean is to set a timer for daily cleaning sprints. This involves setting aside a specific amount of time each day to clean up a specific area of the house. For example, you can set a timer for 15 minutes and focus on cleaning the kitchen. Once the timer goes off, you can move on to another area of the house. This helps break up the cleaning tasks into manageable chunks and can make the task less overwhelming.

In conclusion, establishing a cleaning routine can help keep a house clean and organized. De-cluttering your home, involving kids in household chores, and setting a timer for daily cleaning sprints are all effective strategies for creating a cleaning routine that works for you and your family.

Smart Cleaning Tools and Techniques

Maximizing the Dishwasher Use

The dishwasher is a great tool to save time and effort in cleaning dishes. By maximizing its use, parents can keep the kitchen clean and organized.


One way to do this is to load the dishwasher correctly. Plates and bowls should be loaded facing the center, with larger items like pots and pans on the bottom. Silverware should be loaded with the handles down to prevent injury and to ensure they are cleaned properly. Parents can also use the dishwasher to clean other items, such as toys, sponges, and even baseball caps, by placing them on the top rack.

If you don’t have a dishwasher yet, a quick Google search for something like dishwashers in New Zealand should show you some options.

Effective Vacuuming Tips

Vacuuming is an essential part of keeping the house clean, especially with children and pets. To make the most of vacuuming, parents should use the right attachments for different areas of the house. For example, a crevice tool can be used to clean tight spaces, while a dusting brush can be used to clean furniture and drapes. It is also important to vacuum in a systematic way, starting from the farthest corner of the room and working toward the door. This ensures that all areas are covered and no dirt is left behind.

Keeping a Clean and Organized Board

Parents can keep track of their cleaning tasks and schedules by using a clean and organized board. This can be a whiteboard or a chalkboard that is placed in a central location in the house, such as the kitchen or the hallway. The board can be divided into sections for daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, and can include reminders for things like changing air filters and cleaning gutters. By keeping a clean and organized board, parents can stay on top of their cleaning tasks and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Overall, by using smart cleaning tools and techniques, parents can keep their house clean and organized without spending too much time and effort. By maximizing the use of the dishwasher, vacuuming effectively, and keeping a clean and organized board, parents can create a clean and comfortable environment for their families.

Laundry Management for Busy Parents

Laundry can be a never-ending task for busy parents. However, with a little planning and organization, it can become a manageable chore. Here are some tips for creating a laundry schedule and organizing laundry supplies that can help make laundry management easier for busy parents.

Creating a Laundry Schedule

Creating a laundry schedule can help busy parents stay on top of the laundry pile. It is important to find a schedule that works for the family’s needs. Some families prefer to do laundry once a week, while others do a little bit every day. Whatever the schedule, it is important to stick to it to avoid falling behind.

Here is an example of a weekly laundry schedule:

Day        Laundry Type

Monday        Whites

Tuesday        Colors

Wednesday        Towels

Thursday        Sheets

Friday        Kids’ Clothes

Saturday        Adults’ Clothes

Sunday        Rest day


This schedule can be adjusted to fit the family’s needs. For example, if the family has more kids’ clothes than adults’ clothes, they may need to do a load of kids’ clothes every other day instead of once a week.

Organizing Laundry Supplies

Having laundry supplies organized and easily accessible can help make laundry management more efficient. Here are some tips for organizing laundry supplies:

  • Keep laundry supplies in one designated area, such as a laundry room or closet.
  • Use storage containers to keep supplies organized and easily accessible.
  • Label containers to make it easy to find what is needed.
  • Stock up on supplies to avoid running out when they are needed.

By following these tips for creating a laundry schedule and organizing laundry supplies, busy parents can make laundry management a little less daunting.

Handling Sentimental Clutter

Sentimental clutter can be one of the most challenging types of clutter to handle. These are items that hold emotional significance, such as old letters, photographs, and keepsakes. It can be difficult to let go of these items, but it’s important to remember that keeping too many sentimental items can contribute to clutter and make it difficult to maintain a clean and organized home.

Navigating Emotional Connection and Grief

When it comes to sentimental clutter, it’s important to navigate the emotional connection and grief that can be associated with these items. It’s natural to want to hold onto items that remind us of loved ones who have passed away or special moments in our lives. However, it’s also important to consider the practicalities of keeping these items.

One approach is to choose a few select items that hold the most meaning and create a memory box. This can be a physical box or a digital one, such as a folder on a computer or cloud storage. By limiting the number of items, it becomes easier to manage the sentimental clutter and keep the home clean and organized.

Organizing Estate Sales and Donations

Another approach to handling sentimental clutter is to organize estate sales or donations. When a loved one passes away, it can be overwhelming to deal with all of their belongings. By organizing an estate sale, family members can sell items that hold sentimental value to others who will appreciate them. This can be a way to honor the memory of the loved one while also clearing out clutter.

Donating sentimental items to charity can also be a way to give back to the community and help others who may be in need. It can be helpful to research charities that accept sentimental items, such as old photographs or vintage clothing.

In conclusion, sentimental clutter can be difficult to handle, but it’s important to find a balance between holding onto meaningful items and keeping the home clean and organized. By navigating the emotional connection and grief associated with sentimental items and organizing estate sales or donations, it becomes easier to manage sentimental clutter and maintain a clean home.

Outsourcing for a Happier Home: The Benefits of Hiring a Cleaning Service

Hiring a house cleaner can be a valuable solution for busy parents who struggle to maintain a clean and organized home. Outsourcing this task can free up valuable time and energy that can be better spent on family activities and personal well-being. Additionally, professional cleaners often have the expertise and tools to clean more efficiently and effectively than the average person, resulting in a deeper, cleaner, and healthier living environment.

While there may be initial costs associated with hiring a cleaner, the long-term benefits in terms of reduced stress, increased family time, and improved quality of life can far outweigh the financial investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an effective 30-day house cleaning schedule for busy parents?

An effective 30-day house cleaning schedule for busy parents involves breaking down the cleaning tasks into manageable chunks.


For example, Day 1 could be focused on decluttering the living room, Day 2 could be focused on deep cleaning the kitchen, and so on. By breaking down the tasks, parents can tackle one task at a time and not feel overwhelmed. Additionally, parents can use cleaning checklists to keep track of what needs to be done each day.

In what order should rooms be cleaned for maximum efficiency?

For maximum efficiency, rooms should be cleaned in a specific order. It is recommended to start with the room that is farthest from the front door and work towards the front door. This means that the bedrooms and bathrooms should be cleaned first, followed by the living room, dining room, and kitchen. This order ensures that the cleaning is done in a logical and efficient manner.

How can I motivate myself to clean when I really don’t want to?

Motivation can be a challenge when it comes to cleaning, especially when parents are already busy with other responsibilities. One way to motivate oneself is to break down the cleaning tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks. Additionally, setting a timer for 15-20 minutes and focusing on one task during that time can be helpful. Another strategy is to reward oneself after completing a task, such as taking a break or indulging in a favorite snack.

What are some strategies for keeping a house clean by only doing 15 minutes of work a day?

Keeping a house clean by only doing 15 minutes of work a day is possible with consistent effort. One strategy is to focus on one task each day, such as wiping down the counters or sweeping the floors. Another strategy is to set a timer for 15 minutes and tackle as much as possible during that time. Additionally, incorporating cleaning tasks into daily routines, such as wiping down the bathroom sink after brushing teeth, can help keep the house consistently clean.

What are the secrets to cleaning a house quickly like professional housekeepers?

Professional housekeepers have developed strategies for cleaning a house quickly and efficiently. One strategy is to use the right tools and cleaning products, such as microfiber cloths and all-purpose cleaners. Another strategy is to work in a specific order, such as cleaning from top to bottom or left to right. Additionally, professional housekeepers often use a “cleaning caddy” to keep all their supplies organized and easily accessible.

How can I assist someone in maintaining cleanliness in their home if they are not inclined to clean regularly?

Assisting someone in maintaining cleanliness in their home can be a delicate task. One strategy is to offer to help with specific tasks, such as doing the dishes or folding laundry. Additionally, setting up a cleaning schedule and breaking down tasks into manageable chunks can be helpful. It is also important to approach the situation with empathy and understanding and to avoid being judgmental or critical.