I don’t usually follow the click-bait links on Facebook; I stay far away from ones that say things like, “You won’t BELIEVE what happened next…” Chances are that if they are so sure I won’t believe it, they’re probably right.
But I have to admit, I did click on this link – 11 Things People With Spotless Houses Do Every Day. Not because I believed it, more likely because I was thinking, “Oh really? Convince me…”
The verdict? Either this was not intended for Real People With Real Kids or just as I expected, they missed out the real truth.
The real truth is that there are only Three Things People (who have kids) With Spotless Houses Do Every Day:
- They send their kids to boarding school, hence the ability to keep a house spotless
- They send their kids to live at their neighbor’s house, hence the ability to keep their own house spotless
- Their kids live in their backyard, hence the ability to keep their own house spotless.
Other than those three, there is no trick in the world that’ll keep a house with kids spotless. (Actually, there is one other option: You can keep your kids in a cage. But I wouldn’t recommend that.)
Just a few examples of how they had it all wrong:
Tip #2: They squeegee the shower.
“We squeegee the shower door after every shower to prevent water spots and grime,” says Deanne Goodman, 33, from Oceanside, CA. “It only takes about 20 seconds, and it keeps the glass looking clear and bright.”
Squeegee after EVERY shower? I barely even get to keep the water on long enough to take a shower for 20 seconds, and you’re suggesting what? An extra 20 seconds to squeegee the shower? To the sound of bangs, shouts and stampedes from all corners of the house? No, that’s not so feasible.
Tip #4: They clean the bathroom sink.
Blogger Traci Hutcherson keeps a container of wipes (baby wipes work just fine) under her sink. “Just pull out a wipe and give the sink a quick cleaning.” Try it and you’ll never have to look at toothpaste dribbles again!
For starters, keep a package of baby wipes under the sink…and in 4-7 minutes it shall be empty. And not because I was busy wiping sinks.
And when I do have the luxury of using the bathroom, I don’t even notice toothpaste dribble as I rush to get out before the kids discover my getaway.
Tip #5 They wipe down the kitchen counters.
“I wipe down our kitchen counters nightly with a homemade solution—one part vinegar, three parts water and a squirt of almond oil dish soap—that I store in a spray bottle,” says blogger Camilla Fabbri. “The vinegar cuts through grease and also does a great job clearing up the smudges on our stainless appliances.”
Sheer brilliance. Wipe down the counter. Whether it’s with Fantastik or vinegar, it’s not the point. I don’t avoid wiping down the counter because I can’t find my vinegar concoction; I don’t wipe down the counter because amidst cutting, peeling, serving, attentively listening to 5 year old epiphanies, wiping spills and stopping food fights, there is no time to even think of wiping down counters.
Tip 6: They Clean As They Go
Blogger Chelsea Morhman never likes to go to bed with a dirty kitchen. The trick is cleaning up while she cooks. “If I have something in the oven, I wipe down counter tops and wash dishes while I wait for it to finish,” she says. “I try to have almost everything cleaned up by the time dinner is ready, so that all we have to do after dinner is stick our dirty dishes in the dishwasher.”
And while I have stuff in the oven, I twiddle my thumbs and check Facebook.
Actually, while I have stuff in the oven, I change the baby’s diaper, wipe up yet another 3 spills, switch a load of laundry, referee a battle, help a kid or two with a band aid, refill a sippy cup and try to get the stuff out of the oven before it burns.
I also don’t like to go to bed with a dirty kitchen. But sometimes I don’t have a choice.
And I’m ok with it.
Tip #7. They Swiffer before bed.
Mary Beth Cooper, 42, from Peoria, IL, spends seven minutes (give or take) every night Swiffering her way through the downstairs rooms. A quick pass prevents dust bunnies from taking over the house.
Dust Bunnies. The last time I thought about dust bunnies was probably before I had kids. Why, if I saw dust bunnies, I’d invite them to join the party. It’ll make things all the more exciting. And I’m not so worried about them taking over the house. My kids have already taken over the house, and they are way more mighty than dust bunnies; they won’t ever let those wimpy bunnies take over. My house is in good hands.
Tip #8. They do a five-minute clean up.
Before bed, Fabbri gets everyone to pitch in for a quick tidying up session. The family of four picks up the dog toys, puts away the mail, hangs up jackets and puts items back in their place. “With everyone helping, it usually takes less than five minutes, and I feel so much better when I come downstairs in the morning and the house is organized.”
Yes, I also like to come downstairs in the morning to an organized house. And having everyone pitch in at the same time to get it that way is sometimes (usually) not worth it. At the end of the day, I do a quick assessment; what will be more helpful, to have the kids “pitch in for a quick tidying” or tuck them in and let these tired kids go to sleep. And more often than not I opt for bedtime, even if it means a disorganized house. Because cranky kids are far more difficult to deal with than having an untidy house.
So, from one real mom to another, it’s time to face the truth; as long as the kids are living at home, the house will not be spotless. Period.
And that’s how it’s supposed to be.