Credit: jade @ morgueFileAs a single parent, you are always short on one thing - time. Even though it needs to be done, housework may be the last thing you have time to do. The trick is to keep your housework up to date so you don't need to spend an entire weekend getting your home in order. While it gets used every day, it doesn't usually get as much use as your kitchen - unless you have a teenage daughter in the house. If you do, you need to rope her in to clean her bathroom.
If you have a guest bathroom that only gets used when company arrives, you don't need to worry about it more than once a week. Make the every other day chores into weekly chores. Weekly chores can be done monthly. And monthly tasks can be looked at maybe once a year or so.
Things to Do Every Other Day
Keep a bathroom spray, a sponge and a roll of paper towels under the sink in each bathroom. If you don't have storage under the sink in your bathrooms, keep these items in a nearby linen closet or another convenient area.
Wipe down the sink. It doesn't need to be perfect, just spray and wipe down the basin. Don't forget to wipe down the taps as well. They won't have the shine that they would with a window and glass cleaner, but you can always do this step once a week when cleaning mirrors and windows.
Clean the toilet. Just a quick spray on all surfaces, followed by a wipe with a paper towel will save you time in the long run. Make sure you toss the used paper towels in the garbage bin and not in the toilet, as this can clog the plumbing. Once you have cleaned all outside surfaces, spray a bit of cleaner inside the toilet and run the toilet brush around the bowl.
Spray the shower with bathroom spray, including doors if your shower has them. You won't need to spend a lot of time wiping the shower walls, just turn on the water for a minute or so. If you have a tub and shower combination, and the tub gets used regularly, then pull out your sponge and quickly scrub down any water rings. By doing this often, you will never need to spend hours doing this on a valuable Sunday afternoon.
Things to Do Every Weekend
Dust your light fittings before doing anything else on your weekend clean. Take the time to clean them next time you need to replace a light bulb. A feather duster works best for most light fittings.
Clean your mirrors. If your mirror disguises a medicine cabinet, you should dust or wipe down the top of it before spraying a window cleaner on your glass. Don't forget to wipe down the edges of your mirrors and any sides it may have. If you bathroom has windows, do this at the same time.
Clean your counters one side at a time. Bathroom counters tend to collect a lot of stuff. Put things away that are supposed to stay in drawers or under the sink. Don't just put it back on the counter. Eventually you may train yourself or your kids to put it away every time you use it. Other things that clutter bathroom counters are old products that are not likely to use again. Money might be tight, but if you have already replaced that bottle of body lotion, then throw the old one away.
Replace all bathroom weekly at the latest. Toss each towel in the hamper and replace them. Even if you have teenager who are capable of restocking their own towels, plan on them forgetting and they won't drip water all over the hallway floor trying to get one. This also goes for bath rugs.
Empty your garbage bin. It may never be full, but empty it every week all the same. It is simply unhygienic to leave it any longer than that. By keeping a couple of replacement bags at the bottom of your bin, you won't have to make too many trips during your clean.
Clean the floors. Finish by moving anything that stays on the floor into the hallway. Wipe along all baseboards, then give the bathroom a good sweep and mop. Leave the door open and the fan on if you have one. Don't wait too long to replace everything into the bathroom as you may lose steam quickly.
Clean out bathroom drawers and cabinets, including any medicine cabinets and under the sink. Empty everything out and wipe down the drawers with a damp cloth. Allow everything to air dry or wipe down with a paper towel before replacing everything. Don't forget to throw away any old products and take stock of toilet paper and other consumables.
Clean your toothbrush holder as well as any other baskets or holders you keep on your counter. Just wash these in the sink as if you are doing the dishes. Allow them to dry before replacing these items.
Wash your shower curtains. It is easy to wash both plastic liners and fabric curtains in the washing machine. When your plastic curtains come out of the machine, just re-hang them as these are unsuitable for the tumble dryer. If the bathroom is in high demand, it is worth having a couple of shower curtains so you can replace them while the others wash and dry.
By keeping to this routine and assigning the right chores to your children, you should always have a home that is tidy and welcoming to yourself and your family, not to mention when others visit.
If you stick to this frequency, you should be spending less than ten minutes every other day, around thirty minutes a weekend and an extra half hour or so once a month. You can start regardless of the state of your kitchen, just add a couple extra minutes on to each day until you get it down. As a single mom, you always need more time to spend on yourself and your kids, have a look for some ideas for other rooms:
And if you are looking for tips on cleaning a messy child's bedroom, try How To Clean A Child's Bedroom.