When you are a busy mom with children, keeping your home nice and tidy can be a difficult and stressful job. You have the weight of cleaning up after yourself, your kids, and sometimes your partner. We are busy enough so the last thing we need to do is spend all day cleaning up after everyone. So here are some housecleaning tips for busy moms to help make the job go smoother and in some cases faster.

1) Make a Routine

Having a cleaning routine is a great way to help make your household cleaning flow easier. When you have a routine it is easier to stick to it because you can get the most important things done and out of your way. Sticking with this routine will become easier with practice making the job go faster because you will get used to a schedule

You can either write up or type up a routine and place it where everyone can see it. For example:

  • Dishes need to be washed daily.
  • Floors need to be mopped weekly.
  • Wipe down bathroom sink weekly.

By creating a schedule you can better utilize your time which saves you stress and allows you time for the other things you need to take care of.

Click Here to Print a Cleaning Schedule and List Template

2) Do Prep Cleaning

Large tasks can take a lot of time and make it harder to get all the cleaning done. Well, maybe there is a solution. Try tackling smaller jobs every day. Doing this can make it to where you may not have to do certain jobs on your cleaning day and also make other jobs go faster.

  • Every evening spray some degreaser on your stove after dinner. This will keep grease as well as dust from building up.
  • Put up clean dishes every night.
  • Put some vinegar and baking soda on the bottom of those greasy pots and pans to make cleaning them easier so you don’t have to soak them overnight.

Tired of wiping down your fridge every time there is a spill? Cover your shelves with cloth or plastic placemats. Then you can throw them in the dishwasher or washing machine when they get dirty.

3) Pick Up As You Clean

A cluttered room can make the task of cleaning much harder. So instead of trying to clean up around the mess, pick up items as you clean. This will save you time to move on to another task.

4) Use All-Purpose

Why would you spend money on multiple cleaning products when you can buy a product for cleaning it all? I don’t know why either. An all-purpose cleaner can save you time and money by allowing you to clean any surface in the home. So you can move from job to job without reaching for another cleaner. Some other benefits include:

  • They do not contain bleach
  • They come in wipes

5) Use a Cleaning Caddy

full box of cleaning supplies and gloves isolated

There is nothing worse when cleaning if you find out you are missing a tool you need. Are you all the way upstairs and you forgot your cleaner or paper towels? Did you forget where you last put the furniture polish? Running around the home unorganized looking for your cleaning tools in the middle of cleaning will cost you time. Being able to clean fast and efficient means having a box full of the right tools. A cleaning caddy will make it easy to keep your supplies with you and save you time.

Be sure to keep the following with you for easy access:

  • cleaning rags
  • appropriate cleaners
  • scrub brushes
  • disposal bags

Purchase Cleaning Caddies Here

6) Cut Your Laundry Time in Half

Folding the laundry is a pain in the you know what. I have a large family so washing and folding is a long task. But after a while, I said why should I fold everything. I started hanging the items up right out the dryer. We just iron the kid’s outfits at night for the day so they aren’t wrinkly.

  • Take the clothes out the dryer
  • Have a pile of hangers ready
  • Place each item on a hanger
  • Then take them to each designated room

It is much easier and you won’t believe how much time it saves you.

7) Wash Toys in a Pillow Case

This is a trick my mother taught me so credit goes to her. Children’s toys especially stuffed animals can get dirty fast. But cleaning them in the washer can sometimes wear them out. The secret was to put them in a pillowcase (you can use a laundry bag too). They come out so clean. Only clean non-battery operated toys though.

Tip: Use a fragrance-free detergent if your child has allergies.

8) Ditch the Paper Towels

Ditch Your Paper Towels: Make Unpaper Towels for Free and $ave $100 -- Joybilee Farm
Image courtesy of

Paper towels are sadly bad for the environment coming second to the most used paper product after toilet paper. Yet they are still used. They are expensive and a waste because you use one or more and throw them away. Instead, Make your own unpaper towels. You can use old towels to sew these puppies together and wash them when you are done with them.

Click Here For The Tutorial To Make UnPaper Towels Yourself

9) Keep Up With Clutter

As I have mentioned in many posts before, clutter can cause added stress to your life, so ending clutter is important. But a better way to control your clutter is to get on top of it. So purging on a regular basis helps keep things from getting out of control.

  • Don’t hang on to magazines. Once you have read them throw them out! This one was big for me. I thought I needed them for my children’s school projects but they wound up piling up. Now I read and toss.
  • Shred that mail! If you can go paperless than you can shred. It is better to go through the mail once you get it in the door and throw out that junk immediately, you don’t need it. I knew a neighbor who had a trash at his door and he would go through his mail at that trash and throw stuff out before he brought it in. But remember to shred mail with any of your information on it.
  • Go through your kid’s toys to look for any items that are broken and throw them away. If your children are old enough have them do it or at least let them help.

Regular purging will keep things from building up which makes it much harder and stressful to get rid of all at once. So keep up with unwanted items.

10) Use a Diffuser

bottle of aroma essential oil or spa and natural fragrance oil with dry flower

From the kids and pets to the garbage disposal, your house may stink. But it so hard to keep up with all the odors in your home. So if you want a great way to help make your home smell great think about investing in an essential oil diffuser.

Diffusers not only help remove pet odor but there are many different smells you can make your home smell like from lemon to cinnamon. Not only will your home smell better but certain essential oils can help you relieve stress or sleep better. Plus it is much healthier for your lungs than air fresheners.

Some antibacterial oils include:
  • Eucalyptus.
  • Peppermint.
  • Lavender.
  • Tea Tree Oil.
  • Bergamot.
  • Lemongrass.
  • Oregano.
  • Thyme.

Click Here to Read My Review On Essential Oil Diffusers

11) Spray After Use

If you were like me then you may hate cleaning the shower after you put it off all week. Well, that was my fault because I let it go that long. An easier tip is to spray the shower stall and doors down after it has been used to keep soap scum from forming. You can make your own homemade soap scum remover.

Hate scrubbing the bathroom tile? Click Here to Learn How to Make a Homemade Power Scrubber

12) Use Laundry Pods

Laundry pods are a life saver. They are easy to use because they help you cut down time measure, mixing, or pre-treating clothes. All you have to do is toss a pod in the washer and go.

Tip: Make sure you keep your pods stored in a safe place away from your children. Pods are colorful and would definitely be something smaller children would want to play with or put in their mouths.

13) Vacuum to the Rescue

My home has no carpet so my best friend was my broom. I swept everywhere and didn’t even buy a vacuum when mine went out at first. But then I realized that vacuuming my floors was just as effective(or more) and saved me time. They even make vacuums specifically for floors. Boy did I waste a lot of time!

14) Don’t Throw Out That Toothbrush

Okay, this is not some gross suggestion to use your old brush on your teeth to save money. Gross! However, the garbage disposal can get pretty nasty and a great way to clean it is with an old toothbrush. Who would have thought?

You can also use your old toothbrush to:

  • Clean mold and mildew in your shower
  • Remove crayon marks on your walls
  • Remove marks from floors
  • Clean grout grime on tile floors
  • Clean appliances like toasters, coffee machines, and microwaves

15) Homemade Oven Cleaner

Instead of wasting money on oven cleaners there is a simple natural solution you can make at home to save you from breathing in those harsh fumes. Put a layer of baking soda in your oven while it is empty and then spray it with vinegar and let it soak. You can perform another task while you let it soak and then when you return it should wipe off easily.

Click Here To Learn 9 Homemade Cleaning Product Recipes

16) Organize the Toys

Looking for a Toy

I don’t know about your kids but my kids have a lot of toys. At one point they were coming out of the toy chest and you couldn’t close them anymore. Then they would have them all over my home. There is nothing worse than stepping on a lego with bare feet, am I right? But how do you keep your kids toys under control? Organization of course!

  • Make an area that is designated for your kid’s toys and make sure they understand this is where they belong.
  • Invest in bins, containers, and what have you to help hide the toys away.
  • Make sure the children know it is their responsibility to clean up their toys. Teach your children to put the toys back when finished.
  • Allow only a certain amount of toys out at a time. If your son is playing with his cars then tell him not to play with his Legos until he is done.

17) Utilize Quick Wipe Downs

You can keep your family safer from germs by taking time each day to do a quick wipe down. You can use disinfectant wipes:

  • On all surfaces
  • To kill germs
  • To wipe up messes
  • Dust windowsills
  • Clean smudges from doors and windows
  • Get rid of sticky messes on furniture and countertops

18) Multi-task

On the phone? Watching Netflix? Why let anything slow you down from doing your need chores? You can still perform mindless-task like load and unload the dishwasher, fold clothes, put clothes on hangers, sweep, and in some cases cook. Besides watching television can make some tasks go by faster and make them more enjoyable.

19) Prioritize

Don’t worry if your home is perfect. Do as much as you can as you go. If you put too much weight on yourself you also cause stress and you already have enough of that.

20) Remove the Superwoman Mindset

You are a mom but you don’t have to be a supermom. Share the chores with your kids and your partner so you are not left with everything. Children of almost all ages can do chores just makes sure you delegate ones that are age appropriate.



Cleaning is a necessary evil. It can be stressful when you hold so many responsibilities already and then you have to keep up after your children. But it doesn’t have to be that stressful. Taking time each week to plan a cleaning routine will make it easier to keep up with your task. Take the time to find out what works best for you and your families schedule and take it one day at a time.

Do you find cleaning time difficult to keep up with? Do you use a routine or do you clean as you go? Are there any cleaning tips I may have missed?

I would love for you to share your stories with me in the comment section below.


22 thoughts on “House Cleaning Tips for Busy Moms – 20 Tips for Moms Who Don’t Have Time”

  1. Awesome post and very informative! I definitely know how it feels to pick up behind everyone. I have 10 people to pick up after. I found your suggestions to be very helpful. And I will try and utilize some of them and see how they work out for me.

    I like the suggestion you said about the toys. Unfortunately, I tried all of those, bins, toy chest, boxes placed under the bed, and I let them have a certain amount of toys out at one time and it did not work for me. I had to get rid of a lot of toys. Maybe they had too many toys. I don’t know. With the little toys, they still have now. I can try your suggestions again. Let’s see how it goes. Thanks for sharing…

    1. Hi Lakisha,
      My children had a lot, I mean a lot of toys too, and it didn’t help that my parents kept getting them more. Like I said the toy chests were overflowing. But I think the biggest thing for me is I was an enabler. I pick up behind everyone and like doing for people to the point I didn’t let them do for themselves.

      You have to resist the temptation to do for your kids and teach them to do for themselves. Make them pick up their own toys and put them away or tell them they can’t play with certain toys until they learn to do this. You are a mom but everything is not your responsibility. It is okay to let them do it. You are teaching them to be responsible and independent adults. I hope you find a routine that works and I wish you and your family all the best. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Hi Melissa, being parents to our newborn recently, I find your tips very helpful for the near future. Between me and my wife, we are kept busy with the daily diaper change and basic cleanup. I am quite sure when the baby starts to crawl and walk later, it will be more work. Well, we just have to go with it. Thanks for the share. 🙂

    1. Hi Jude,
      Having a newborn is a fun adventure, raising kids is one of the best responsibilities. Everything we do they see so we have set an example. If we teach them healthy cleaning habits when they are young it will benefit them in the future so learning tips like this now will put you ahead of the game. I am glad you found the article useful and thanks for the comment!

  3. Thanks for all this info. Everyone needs help here I think. love all the links – opens the research you have done to so much more.

  4. I am not a mom yet but even then I find it difficult to schedule a time for cleaning And it usually takes a lot of time. Now after reading your article I identified the areas where I am lacking. To start I don’t have a cleaning caddy which could make my life so much easier and I don’t keep up with the clutter. Rather than garbage what I have is books lying around, or DVDs or shoes. After reading this article I have a pretty good idea what I need to do (which means a short trip to the store). Thanks a lot for sharing this valuable information!

    1. Hi Dira,
      I am glad that you found this post useful. You are right cleaning is difficult on its own without being a parent. I think we always have room for improvements and I thank you for sharing your shortcomings with us today. We all can learn from each other. Thanks for the comment!

  5. Wow, a great article with lots and lots of useful tips for busy mums. I am sure every mum will benefit from it. House cleaning is something that every mother struggles with, as kids make a lot of mess. All the super mums should read this article and I will forward it to others, super work from you Melissa, as always…..

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for your kind words they are always appreciated. I appreciate your comments and your shares!

  6. Great information you have here Melissa. I know I struggled when I had two children and worked full time. Love the tip about the pillowcase in the washing machine, I will certainly share that one with my children, who now both have little ones.

    1. Hi KerryAnn,
      Love your name, by the way, my middle name is Ann. Yea the pillowcase really works. I am glad you found the information useful and thanks so much for your comment!

  7. This is an awesome article. Even though I am not a mom with kids. I find cleaning necessary and try not to be evil about it haha. I have had OVER twenty roommates throughout my life. Since I have spare rooms, I rent one or two out at a time to friends.

    I’m not OCD, but I consider myself the cleanest roommate out of all of them. However, I’m pretty sure some don’t agree. One roommate has called me an “Evil Clean Freak”… can u believe that guy…he never did anything!

    The only one to match me up with cleaning tricks is my brother. We hang this mantra in all the bathrooms and in the kitchen

    “Cleanliness is Godliness.”

    It pretty much states to do daily or weekly cleaning sessions like you say. As a healthy morning or weekly ritual.

    When everything is neat and organized, intelligence, peace of mind, and happiness all increase one hundred fold.

    Again, awesome post, Imma show this to my bro =)


    1. Hi Drake,
      Truthfully, some of us are cleaner than others, that doesn’t mean a cleaner person is a freak. I think it starts with our childhood. If our parents did too much for us we may be less likely to take responsibility for ourselves when we are adults. That is what I want to teach my kids because what happens when they move in with others and they don’t keep up with their mess or help clean. It would be my fault if I enable them. My mom used to use that one on me “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” so funny to hear it again. I hope everything works out for you and you find a roommate that is as clean or willing to be as clean as you and your brother. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Melissa this is a godsend. I have just woken up early to get some cleaning done before I head to work. I decided to check my mail and saw your post here. I love the DIY oven cleaner recipe and I have never considered using a caddy before. It will save me a lot of trips up and down the stairs. Your tips are so helpful!

    1. Hi Ash,
      Yea, the DIY cleaners are great because you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals. I am so happy you found this article in a time of need. I so glad the information is useful to you and will help you with your cleaning. Thanks so much for commenting!

  9. This is a really good article. I have to admit – I hate this part of domestic chores. I mean it. I love when the house is clean and tidy… but to make it done… Usually, what I do, I am trying to keep all the areas in “separated sections” to clean. If I vacuum clean – it’s the whole house but all the other areas are kept clean in some order. If I wipe the coffee table in the living room, I do the TV stand and as well + I clean the sofa with antibacterial wipes. When I put the dishes back to drawers I clean the countertops too, and so on. I love cooking and baking but I always make a mess in the kitchen. After few years with my hubby, I have learned to “multitask” and I am trying to do the dishes in between the preparations of the meal, which I have never done before. I’d just keep adding more and more utensils to the kitchen sink till there would be no more space there.
    Thanks for your article!

    1. Hi Gosia,
      I never use to have a routine when cleaning I just did room by room. I love to cook and bake too and I have to admit I am a messy cook, I always thought it was because I was good, lol, Not! Watching the Food Network chefs are supposed to keep their station clean, haha, I fail. So I too had to learn that you clean as you go. It is best to keep your dishes down and wipe counters and the stove as you cook. I am glad you found this article useful and thanks so much for sharing!

  10. Great tips and ideas! I’m all for organization, so I LOVE your little caddy trick. I also am an essential oil educator, so I liked seeing the diffuser idea. I hadn’t heard of putting plastic placemats in the fridge to ease cleaning, that’s a great one! Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together and share it with all of us!

    1. Hi Shelli,
      I love essential oils so I am so glad you educate people about something as great as that. The plastic placemats are great, my kids spill stuff a lot so that was one of my favorite items on the list too. I am glad you found this post useful. Thanks for your comment!

  11. Hanging up clothes JUST as they are dried, by the dryer, is absolutely genius. And I didn’t learn about cleaning caddies until long after I should have, but now I can’t live without mine. Thanks for all these ingenious tips for cutting corners while keeping our homes clean.

    1. I save a lot of time hanging up clothes but I can’t hang them up next to the dryer because mine is in the cold garage lol. Yeah, Caddies are a life saver but don’t worry we learn about a lot of things not as soon as we should but better late than never. I am glad you found the article useful. Thanks for the comment!

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