House Cleaning With Two Toddlers: A How-To

Disclaimer: Its not actually possible to deep clean your home with two toddlers in tow. Therefore it is wise to do small things every day as part of a cleaning routine. However, if you are forced to clean up the whole house in one day here’s how I do it. (My kids make big messes every day so I’m always cleaning.)

  • First, I recommend taking a thirty minute break or so, just to mentally prepare yourself for task(s) ahead.
  • Set the kids up with some screen time if you allow it. I am trying to keep screen time to a minimum so I let them play in their mountain of toys until I’m ready to tackle that room, which is the living room and the main part of my house. It never looks like I’ve done anything until the absolute end. Ugh.
  • Change diapers and give snacks (no chips!! Those end up smashed into the carpet) right before beginning.
  • Turn on some music or use your headphones. Try listening to an ASMR video while cleaning. It might change your world.
  • Walk around a bit or stand amidst the mess and just marvel at it for a moment. The popcorn on the floor, the window that’s smeared with something, the sticky habdprints on the fridge door. Resist the urge to quit before you even start – sometimes the hardest part.
  • Follow this order to a degree: kitchen first (I usually wipe the kitchen down before bed so that its easier to clean up after breakfast. It doesn’t always get done though. Pick up all garbage and take it out. Wash dishes and put away. Start a load of laundry. Fold those clothes on your “clothing chair” (I know you have one). Put folded clothes away and dust. Change sheets after spraying shower and toilets with cleaner. Wash glass surfaces, wipe down and clean toilets/bathroom(s), and sweep. I also have to vacuum. Then, mop or swiffer.

Some Tips

  • Check on the kiddos often! While you scrub the toilet they could be coloring on your couch or something.
  • Keep them in the room with you if you can and encourage them to help with picking up their toys or dusting the coffee table.
  • Accomplish one task (or room) and give yourself a pat on the back. Take a cofee, tea, or Red Bull break and get back to work before you decide to give up.
  • Pro tip: always multi-task and never leave a room empty-handed!

Good luck! I’m off to vacuum up some of those chips I was talking about.

Wash That Baby’s Toys

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Flu season is coming, whether we like it or not. This means that it will soon be time for flu shots, more consistent hand washing, and a scrub down of all the toys in the house. I like to wash toys twice a year, before flu season and after. There’s never a wrong time to do it, though. Especially if you have little boys or girls that like to leave food on the play table or dump milk into inconspicuous containers. Round up the toys, turn on the hot water, and grab some bleach or dish soap.

I clean up my kitchen, counters, and island before beginning. It’s a clean-up day, so expect to clean. If you don’t have as much counter space as I do, clear off a table and whatever counter you have. I lay out several linen dishcloths on the clean surfaces, and fill a plastic tub with hot water in the sink. I like to add about two capfuls of bleach, but I think dish soap works fine, too.

Throw some toys in. Make sure they are all at least covered with the water. Leave the toys in the hot water and soap/bleach for some time. I like to work on laundry or dust while Sergio’s toys are being cleaned. When I return to the toys, I pull them out and rinse them, finally laying them on the dishcloths to dry. This way takes some time because it usually must be done in several batches.

Make sure you are not adding battery-operated toys into the water without removing the batteries. Books and iPads should also be wiped off, and play-doh (one of my favorite toys but probably a trap for bacteria) should be tossed. Put some more play-doh on the Christmas list if it’s a bit hit with your family.

When the toys are dry, toss them into their designated baskets. At this point you can organize the toys, put some aside for future rotation, and toss out broken toys or sets that are missing crucial pieces. I love these baskets for toy storage because they are made from natural resources, are easy to wash and dry (I like to dry baskets in the sun), and are perfect for easy clean-up (just scoop everything into one basket if you want the floor picked up in a hurry).

No matter the kind of toys your child likes, they should be cleaned in some fashion a few times a year. Remember to use HOT water, and rinse well, especially if you are using bleach. Good luck this flu season!