Accomplishing Household Chores like a Champ after Baby Arrives
Reviewed by James Brann, MDThe day you bring home your new bundle of joy, it is both exciting and overwhelming. Your life totally transforms, and things will never be the same. Your house might go from looking clean, pristine and having everything in its place, to looking like a tornado just came through your living room.
There are those mothers who make it all look so easy. You go to their house and it still looks neat and tidy, despite just having a baby. Do you ever wonder how they do it? Here are some tips you can learn from mothers who have been there, done that and who have mastered the art of keeping up with the housework, despite having a baby to care for.
11 Tips to Tame Housework after Baby Arrives
- 1. Clean-As-You-Go.
If you have a habit of setting things down with the intention of getting to them later, you can change this habit. Instead, put them where they go now to avoid the massive task of cleaning a bigger, more unmanageable pile. This is especially true in the kitchen. For example, while cooking, put the dirty utensils immediately in the dishwasher after cutting, and put the dishes away after eating, rather than letting them pile up in the sink for an insurmountable chore.
- 2. Put 2 laundry baskets next to each other wherever you undress.
Separate the whites and darks as you and your family take them off. You may need to train your spouse to participate. Explain the need for help in managing some of the “dirty” tasks. This will save you time in sorting laundry, while avoiding having to pick up dirty clothes off the floor.
- 3. Get a separate basket for baby clothes.
Keep the laundry basket for the baby next to the changing table, which makes it easier to throw in and wash the baby’s clothes in one load, rather than having to separate them from the adult clothes after they are washed and dried.
- 4. Fold clothes out of the dryer immediately.
It only takes five minutes to fold the clothes when they are freshly dried, rather than throwing several loads into a big, huge mountain of clothes to fold later on. You can also do this task while the baby is napping or while doing some other mundane thing, such as watching TV.
- 5. Sweep and vacuum right after dinner.
One thing new moms never seem to have time for is sweeping and vacuuming. Either the baby is sleeping and you don’t want your little one to wake up to the loud noise, or by the end of the day you are too exhausted. By making this a normal “habit” every night, you can sleep easy knowing that your day will begin tomorrow with a clean floor.
- 6. Put toys away after use.
One of the biggest hassles of parents is constantly tripping over toys. Toys have a tendency to get strewn all over the place, and before you know it, your home will look like a daycare center with toys everywhere. Instead, try taking out only one small box of toys at a time and put them away after the baby is done playing with them.
- 7. Rotate boxes of toys in the closet.
Babies get bored with playing with the same batch of toys every day, so one way to make it more fun (and easier to keep your house clean) is to divide a few of the favorite toys into two or three separate toy boxes. Leave two of them in a closet, hidden away and then the next week you can take them out and put last week’s box in its place. To a baby, it is like having brand new toys all over again since they do not remember the toys as much within the first year. This also keeps the toys more manageable for cleanup.
- 8. Get a diaper genie.
These great inventions are wonderful. They hold in odor, so your house won’t smell like baby diapers. Some parents throw diapers in the closest garbage can, like in the kitchen or bathroom, but the smell can really stink up your entire house. Plus, it is more work to go around and collect all of these smelly diapers and wipes from multiple rooms, whereas by throwing the diaper in a Diaper Genie next to the baby changing table, it only requires changing when the thing gets full. Make sure to keep extra “rings” handy to make changing the bags more convenient. One ring holds approximately a week’s worth of diapers with three bag changes.
- 9. Set aside a special cabinet or storage area for baby supplies.
Containment is key if you want to keep a clean house, so instead of putting baby supplies anywhere you can find a space, set aside one big cabinet or storage unit for the diapers, wipes, extra bottles, etc.
- 10. Mark dresser drawers with sizes for baby clothes.
A piece of masking tape or label works well to keep track of the sizes of clothes, as well as shirts and shorts or pants being separate from sleepwear. It is much easier to find sizes, especially when your baby is growing so much in the first year. When the baby is crying or needs a change of clothes, it will be ready to grab at a moment’s notice, rather than rummaging through a big pile to look for the right size or type of garment you need.
- 11. Organize efficiently.
Shopping is a never-ending battle, especially after having a baby. Through better organization and by putting things away after you come home from the store, you will be able to find them without struggling so much.
When all else fails, ask for help. If you are finding motherhood and cleaning unmanageable, don’t be afraid to ask a friend or family member to pitch in and lend a hand. Many moms do not realize all of the tasks that go along with the job of motherhood and it can be really frustrating to keep up with it all! By changing a few, simple habits and getting organized, you can turn chaos into comfort.
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