A lot of new parents are looking for the secret on how to organize their life with kids and keep a clean house. This sounds great, but I’ll be honest, I’m still learning how to do this. I have picked up a few hacks since George came into my life, though. Hopefully, with a little bit of patience and these four tips, you’ll be on your way to not only a clean house but peace of mind.
Accept that you can’t do it all
Becoming a mother gave me so much more insight into how the majority of households function. Instead of just assuming I knew how it felt to be extra busy because of children, now I actually know. And with that knowledge came the realization that I cannot do everything all the time. It’s kind of like that saying in the business world — you can have two out of three: good, fast and cheap, but you can’t have them all. The sooner you accept this as a mom, the better off you’ll be.
Put thought into how you’ll manage your house before giving birth
Whenever I think about organization tips or tips for new parents, developing some kind of plan always comes to mind. I know with kids things can get off track quickly, but just like you have a birth plan (which can also get off track quickly), it’s good to have a post-birth plan, too.
To keep clothes, toys and everything else that comes with kids organized and in their place, put some thought into it before giving birth. Even if things don’t always work out according to plan, it’s good to have a general outline of how you want your house to be managed once baby comes home. This could mean hiring someone to come every two weeks to do things like clean bathrooms, scrub floors, dust, vacuum, etc. Having these things off your plate, especially for the first six months or so, will be a gift, trust me!
I would also recommend doing a massive purge of your house before going into labor. Purging will eliminate anything laying around that really doesn’t need to be there. It also presents an opportunity to put some organizational systems in place, like closet systems and kitchen cupboard/drawer organizers.
Bottom line, even though your plan will probably go up in smoke, make one anyway. Spend time beforehand thinking about how you’re going to manage and clean your home so you don’t feel immediately overwhelmed once baby arrives.
Do what matters most to you, then delegate
Because we’ve already established that as a mom, we can’t do absolutely everything, decide what matters most to you. Write out a list of all the household chores and then decide which ones take top priority. Assign yourself maybe two chores a week and when you come home and are adjusting to motherhood, start with just those two chores and delegate everything else. If you’re giving birth in the summer, pay the neighbor kid to mow the lawn. Ask your partner to take on two other chores every week as well, and, if possible, hire a house cleaner for the first six months.
Be on the same page with your partner
Just like anything else in life, a lot of what will help keep your home clean and organized is communicating with your partner. When you’re both on the same page about what the expectation is regarding your home, it’ll make things feel a lot more manageable. It should also help eliminate nagging because if, for example, having the dishes put away has been communicated as the number one house cleaning priority, then both of you should know to just do it if you have a few minutes to spare.
Everyone has a different standard for their home and a different experience coming home from the hospital. Don’t compare your journey (or your home) to other moms because chances are they’re going to be very different. And when it comes to keeping your house clean and organized, start small. Don’t be too hard on yourself either. Being a mom is hard, but you’ll pick up your own set of tips and tricks as you go and will be a pro before you know it.