Before kids came into the picture, cleaning your home wasn’t necessarily easy, but you still had time to do it. But if you have a little one underfoot these days, even small tasks can get put off again, and again, and again…
It doesn’t have to be that way! Get more things done around the house by cleaning during naptime. A lot can be accomplished in one hour or less. The next time sleepytime rolls around, use the break to check one or more of these tasks off of your to-do list.
1. Wrangle the junk drawer (10 minutes). If you have a drawer full of odds, ends and who-knows-what, take ten minutes and organize it. Not only will you clear out some space, you may even find some new treasures.
2. Pretreat laundry stains (10 minutes). You probably won’t have time to do the entire wash, dry and fold dance, but you can get a jump-start on the process. Pretreat stains while your kid naps and then toss the laundry in the wash. Tip: Lemon juice or white vinegar work well as stain removers, and you won’t have to worry about unhealthy fumes from chlorine.
3. Remove pet hair (15 minutes). A couch without pet hair can be the difference between feeling like you have a clean room versus feeling like you live in a zoo. And all you need to remove pet hair is a rubber glove! Dampen the glove and then rub it over the hair-covered furniture. The hair will stick to the glove.
4. Clean your sink (20 minutes). Make your porcelain or stainless steel sink shine in 20 minutes. To do this, first wet your entire sink. Grab some baking soda and sprinkle it onto the sink (just enough to lightly coat the surface). Then grab a wet sponge or rag and rub the baking soda on your sink’s surface until it forms a paste. As you scrub, the alkali nature of baking soda will remove stains, soap scum and bits of food. Rinse the baking soda paste away with warm water and pat the sink dry with a towel. That’s it!
5. Organize your refrigerator (30 minutes). What’s in your fridge? If you haven’t checked expiration dates in a while, it’s time to do a little refrigerator cleaning. Make the most of your space by giving each type of food a specific place. You’ll prolong your food’s freshness and make it easier (and quicker) to find things when it’s snacktime.
6. Clean your brushes (30 minutes). When it comes to cleaning priorities, brushes can get the short stick. Change that by cleaning your brushes regularly. Dirty brushes are more than just gross – they’ve been linked to health problems including heart disease, stroke and arthritis. Start by cleaning your most frequently-used brushes and then make a game of it. How many brushes can you clean while your kid is asleep?
7. Organize your closet (60 minutes). If your kid is prone to long naps, you may have time to give your long-lost wardrobe some attention. The trick is to take a hard look at each item in your closet and ask yourself five key questions.