In today’s post, I want to share a review of the Clean Mama house cleaning routine and my home cleaning must-haves. My Clean Mama review is not sponsored, nor are any of my home cleaning must-haves, but all of it is too good not to share, so let’s jump in!
I have two kiddos in diapers and to be perfectly honest, I had not done an excellent job of keeping the house clean since having kids. I did alright with just one kid (most of the time), but when the second one came along, my lack of organization in the cleaning department became painfully obvious.
I felt like I hardly had time or energy for cleaning, and when I did clean, I procrastinated on the stuff I didn’t want to do (I would’ve been mortified to let you see the state of our bathtub. Yes. It was bad.).
To add to this time and energy problem, I was dealing with major decision fatigue. With little babes demanding of me all day and plenty of decisions to be made from sunup to sundown, I did not have the motivation to get a cleaning schedule going. Basically, I just wanted somebody to tell me what to do and when to do it (and I didn’t want it to take hours of my time).
I found Clean Mama online and became casually interested. Then I read her book Simply Clean: The Proven Method for Keeping Your Home Organized, Clean, and Beautiful in Just 10 Minutes a Day. It immediately resonated, and I decided to dip my toe in and give her cleaning routine a try. Now, after completing a solid month of using her method, I’m sold. SOLD, I tell you!
Becky (Clean Mama) is a mom of three and understands the need for simple, fast routines to keep your house in order. The fact that she’d successfully maintained this cleaning routine through varied seasons of her life (including having littles in diapers like me) helped me feel like she understood where I was coming from.
Basic Overview of The Clean Mama Routine
I don’t like to call it a system because I just don’t think it’s complicated enough to warrant that title. Her tagline is “Every Day A Little Something” and that’s exactly what the routine feels like: bite-sized tasks you can easily knock out each day.
Here is the basic structure of the Clean Mama routine:
The Five Daily Tasks
All the wise people say it’s important, and they’re right! It makes such a difference climbing into a made bed at night, and everytime I walk into our bedroom during the day, I feel like our room looks tidy and put-together.
I do this after dinner. With two littles, we always have crumbs and cheerios (and worse) on the floor, and I often need to use the hand vacuum or spot clean with a rag, but it only takes 2-3 minutes max. Easy.
I spray and wipe down the counters after I finish the dinner dishes. This simple act closes out my kitchen cleanup for the night, and I love waking up to clean kitchen counters in the morning.
This is not as dreadful as it sounds. Just a quick sweep through the house, throwing away any trash or taking anything that needs to be returned to people or donated out to the car.
One Load of Laundry
Clean Mama recommends doing one load every day from washing all the way to folding and putting away. True confessions here: I’m great about putting a load in and getting it through the dryer, but my bottleneck is always at the folding. Even with that, however, my family has not been without clean laundry since I started this routine (even if my husband has had to dig through a laundry basket to get his clean socks. Sorry, honey.)
The Weekly Tasks
These simple tasks below have been a game-changer for me. I can complete them quickly and if I get behind, I have the “catch-all day” to get back on track.
Sheets + Towels
Additional Elements of the Clean Mama Routine
Clean Mama emphasizes the below elements are not essential to keeping your home in order, but if you’re having success with the daily and weekly cleaning tasks, it doesn’t hurt to begin incorporating these as you’re able. I’ve found that almost without effort, I’ve begun including some of these rotating tasks into my routine because something about the easy efficiency of the daily and weekly tasks just puts me in the mindframe to knock out a little more while I’m at it.
Monthly/Quarterly Rotating Tasks
This includes anything from vacuuming baseboards (a monthly task) to washing windows (a semiannual task). The beauty of this is Clean Mama has all of these tasks mapped out for you through the year by month, so you don’t have to stop and think about when you last defrosted the freezer or when you should vacuum your lampshades. Just follow the checklist.
Monthly Focus Areas
I have not begun using the monthly focus areas list yet, but some people really appreciate having a complete roadmap for total home cleaning and maintenance. Different focuses include things like Whole House Declutter (Month 1) or Office/Paperwork (Month 12). I think I will begin incorporating this at some point, but right now, I’m just thrilled to have my bathtub shiny and clean! 🙂
If you’re interested in looking at the schedules and checklists from Clean Mama, just head to her website. She has tons of printable schedules and checklists available for FREE. I would also highly recommend her Simply Clean book (which also includes all the schedules and checklists).
For the first time, I’ve been getting stuff done around the house I haven’t been able (or have avoided doing) for quite awhile. It takes so little time (most weekly tasks I can knock out after dinner while my husband is getting the kids ready for bed. Thanks dear!) I will admit I’m also the type of person who loves checking things off a list, so completing this type of routine is immensely satisfying to me.
My Home Cleaning Must-Haves
Clean Mama has recipes for natural cleaners in her book, and she also sells cleaning products and tools on her website. I haven’t invested in any of those yet, but I thought I’d share what I’m loving for my own cleaning must-haves these days as I’ve begun following the Clean Mama routine.
Mrs. Meyer’s All Purpose Cleaner
Mrs. Meyer’s is more expensive than your average cleaner, but it’s more natural and smells delightful. I find the All Purpose Cleaner lasts me quite awhile since it gets diluted in water.
Shark Cordless Vacuum
I LOVE this thing. I looked at cordless vacuums for a long time before springing for this one (I used the combination of a Black Friday sale and a gift card and ended up paying less than $100). The suction is not quite as powerful as a standard corded upright vacuum, but I use it all the time because it’s so easy to just whip it out fast. The top also detaches to become a handheld vacuum and I use this feature ALL the time for kid messes, so this thing has been well worth it. I still use my corded upright vacuum for a thorough vacuum job once per week, but I use this one at all other times.
Bergamot Toilet Bowl Cleaner
I cleaned our toilet for a while with baking soda and vinegar after getting rid of the bleach stuff, but now I’ve been using this more natural toilet bowl cleaner and I really love it. It smells nice, and it’s also not too expensive.
These things are the best! No chemicals required. Just wet them with water and they’re good to go. I use the window washing cloths regularly to quickly wipe kiddo handprints off windows and mirrors, and the general purpose cloths work great in the kitchen and bathroom. Definite must-haves for natural cleaning in my book!
O Cedar Mop
So honestly, I love the spinning feature of this mop. It’s so fun! The mop handle did break after a while, but we were able to fix it and I love the set enough to keep using it.
Dusting Glove and Homemade Dusting Spray
This glove was originally for car detailing, I think, and I found it at Dollar Tree. Works perfect for dusting! The homemade dusting spray recipe is just 1 part water, 1 part vinegar and a couple tablespoons of olive oil (you could add a few drops of essential oil if you like, as well).
FAQ’s When You’re Trying to Clean House as a Mom of Littles
When Should I Clean?
In general, I’ve found for me the best time to do it is while they’re down for a nap or down for bed. If your kids are a little older, you may find a great window of time while they’re awake and occupied with something else (or super young babies and not mobile yet).
How Much Should I Include The Kids?
As much as you’re able! I’ve sometimes been able to do some cleaning chores with my older child (two-year-old) while my baby takes a morning nap. This doesn’t always work, but if he’s in the mood, he loves working beside me with a little cleaning rag and “helping.”
I’m So Tired! How Can I Possibly Find Energy to Clean?
I completely get it. Believe me, I do. Our children are 18 months apart and those first few months I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to get a shower again on a regular basis, let alone get our bed made or our toilet cleaned. I didn’t clean during their naps in that season. I slept.
If it’s too overwhelming to think about doing everything but you want to try for something, just start with the 5 daily tasks. That’s it. If you master those and feel like you can add on something else, then incorporate some of the weekly tasks. Take it slow and don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t get everything done all the time. You’re keeping humans alive! That is no small feat.