The #1 Cleaning Hack for Tired Moms

The #1 Cleaning Hack for Tired Moms

When I discovered the #1 cleaning hack for tired moms, I had to try it. A messy house raises my stress levels through the roof – especially on top of a wild toddler and breastfeeding baby. Between running a business from home and mothering my two littles, I’m left with just enough energy to get myself showered and into bed. This typically spells disaster for my house.

I first spotted this cleaning hack on Tiktok, where all great mom-ideas come from. This creator’s didn’t stress perfection, and that attracted me to her profile. While a clean house was still necessary – and required to make things liveable – toys still existed and clothes were not always put up. This led me to my first lesson: it’s okay to not be perfect.

While that’s not my cleaning hack, it is something to remember and accept while being a mama. Otherwise, no matter what cool hack or simplified schedule you find, you’ll still get stressed out and overwhelmed because things don’t end up “perfect” like you want.

But now to the good stuff, my #1 cleaning hack for tired mamas:

The #1 Cleaning Hack for Tired Moms

I call the #1 cleaning hack for tired moms interval cleaning. Interval cleaning focuses primarily on one task or one room for a set amount of time. For example, a 15 minute timer as soon as the kids go down for a nap, and you clean what you can in the den. There’s no pressure to clean it all. Just do what you can for 15 minutes, and when you’re done you can decide if you want to do more. 

Additionally, you can choose to do multiple intervals. For example, you can clean for 15 minutes, then 30 minutes watching TV or relaxing, then another 15 minute cleaning. Or, if you’re feeling in the cleaning mood, once you’re done with your 15 minutes, you can set another 15 minutes and try cleaning what you can in another room.

Personally, I like to tackle 15 minutes in the morning before my babies wake up (and after my morning coffee) and 15 minutes after bedtime, when I’m still on the lookout for my sneaky toddler creeping out his bedroom. When my littles somehow manage to nap at the same time, I try to add another 15 minutes of cleaning time in! It’s really helped me stay on top of and manage my household chores.

Pin It

How Does it Work With Toddlers?

Sounds like a cool cleaning hack for tired mamas with only one little – or even just a little that actually naps, right? At first, that’s what it was for me too. It wasn’t until I started getting my toddler involved in cleaning with me that it seemed feasible to do everyday. He could tackle the little things like picking up toys or ensuring clothes and bedding landed in the laundry basket. Eventually we were able to introduce sweeping and mopping too.

My toddler might not be a huge fan of our cleaning time, but he powers through it like a champ! Sometimes he likes to throw a little party when we’re done, and if we’ve done a really good job we celebrate with a favorite snack or sweets.

What About Cleaning With Two Kids?

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t think my little cleaning hack was going to survive after baby #2. She was (and still is) a handful to say the least. She doesn’t like to be separated from me, and she really doesn’t like it when we put her down for a nap or to clean. And it’s even rarer for both her and my toddler to be asleep at the same time before bedtime.

Luckily, I was able to get around it by distractions! Mainly, food. My little girl is a foodie through and through. So, I began taking advantage of her snack times and meal times to do our 15 minutes of cleaning. With this, I was able to still have cleaning time and not cut more into my precious after-bedtime me-time that I desperately needed after two kids.

I know that it won’t always go smoothly, and you might need to skip a day. However, the most important thing is to just do the 15 minutes and be done. You don’t need to do more. Once you’re done, you’re done. If you feel like doing more – great. If not, don’t.

How to Get Started With Interval Cleaning

I highly recommend seeing if someone can watch your kids for a day and tackle your house, especially if it’s become a bit of a mess (no shame, mine is too). This will get you started on the right foot. I know we don’t all have access to a village. Even having a friend or babysitter come entertain them while you clean helps out a lot. After a day of cleaning, it’ll be easier to focus during your 15 minutes without becoming overwhelmed with the rest of the house.

Outside of interval cleaning, there are still a few tasks that I take on everyday such as:

  • Dishes, we don’t have a dishwasher so they pile up quickly
  • Laundry, I try to do at least one load per day
  • Sweeping, I have all hardwood floors and a dog – must I say more?
  • My desk, it’s my space and it makes me feel good to clean it off in the morning

What does your cleaning routine look like? Have you tried interval cleaning before? Follow me @everydayshemoms_ for more mom tips & tricks!

Hey Mama! I’m Mckayla, the mama behind Everyday She Moms! I’m a proud mama of two littles while running my own business on the side. With the craziness of learning how to be a mom to my own, I love sharing our adventures and connecting with other mamas in the world!

Check out more tips for developing a cleaning routine!

Developing a Cleaning Routine You’ll Actually Stick To

Developing a Cleaning Routine You’ll Actually Stick To

Developing a cleaning routine is one of those things that homemakers are supposed innately know how to do. Am I right? But what if you hate cleaning? I think people either get the cleaning gene or the cooking gene, but it’s never both. One is always so much harder than the other. If you’re like me, then that’s cleaning. So, here are my best and most practical tips on developing a cleaning routine that works.

Clarify Your Expectations

First, you need to set appropriate expectations. What does a clean home mean to you? Tidiness is different from person to person and from parenting season to parenting season. I have more of an expectation of myself and my children now that everyone is out of the baby and toddler stages. However, my expectations are not equal to a family who has teenagers. My children are very much in the toy years. There are toys actively being played with all over my house at all times. There is currently a pretend golf course in our playroom.

I don’t expect my floors to be perfectly picked up every single day. If I did, then I would be correcting and scolding my children constantly. No one wants that! Instead, I have my kids do a big clean up of all their toys once a week. Otherwise, I just ask them to clean up toys in the common rooms. The toy years is a season of childhood, and that is where we are at right now. I do, however, have a schedule that focuses on deep cleaning one room per day that I try to stick to. But, I give myself grace when I inevitably don’t get to it all every day.

How Much Time Do You Want to Devote to Cleaning?

The second thing you need to consider when developing a cleaning routine is how much time you can reasonably and sanely devote to cleaning. Reasonably and sanely are key words here. Years and years ago when I was home with a new baby and a toddler, we had to have a plumber come to the house because we had a leaking pipe. I would *always* tidy up before anyone would come over. He unexpectedly had to go into my closet to access the shower. I hadn’t tidied my room, much less my closet. I was mortified, and I apologized several times. He turned to me and said, “It’s okay. I use my house too.” Friend! Let me tell you. That plumber set me free.

I love the idea of a perfectly clean home, but that is not practical when I am home all day with my children. We use our home. And what a blessing that is! What works for us is doing a pick up after breakfast before starting school. We do another pick up before rest time, as the school day is coming to a close. Lastly, I do a pick up of the living room (usually it’s just the kid’s cups and maybe a random dinosaur or two) at the end of the day after the children have gone to bed. Additionally, as I mentioned above, I try to do a deeper clean of one room each day. This works for us in the season we are in.

Get the Kids Involved

Finally, developing a cleaning routine became a lot easier when my kids were able to effectively participate. My seven and nine year olds have chores they must complete before we start school. These include things like unloading the dishwasher, giving food and water to the pets, getting themselves ready for the day, clearing breakfast dishes, and so on. Check out my chore chart I use! My kids love checking off their chores each day.

Because my four year old falls under the neurodivergent umbrella, he is working on other skills during morning chore time. However, when it is appropriate, he will have his own checklist each day as well. He is my little laundry helper, though. Here is a good post sharing ideas for kid chores based on ages. You can find chore ideas for kids all over the internet. Don’t feel overwhelmed by these (beware the comparison game!). These are all just ideas. Pick and choose what works for you and your family.

I want to know! Do you have a cleaning routine? Share in the comments below to give others ideas and inspiration. If you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends and sign up for my email list on the side bar so you don’t miss anything going on with Intentionally Well.