How to Clean your House with a Toddler in Tow

I love the meme that says “My house is cleaned better in the twenty minutes before someone arrives for a visit than at any other time”. It probably says a lot about my personality. And my housewife skills. Oops. But then anyone that’s tried to clean their house with a toddler in tow will know that it’s really only those times when people come for a visit that it’s worth trying to keep on top of things properly. Or is that just me?! 

Toys get tidied away daily, the kitchen and bathrooms are kept clean, and we pravtically have to follow Baby Lighty around with the Hoover, he’s such a little crumb monster, but it’s the bitty bits of cleaning that get left until someone is coming for a visit. Which is why, when Mr and Mrs Lighty decided to host an Easter Egg hunt for Baby Lighty and his little friends over the bank holiday weekend, the Thursday before Good Friday meant business for Mrs Lighty. Business, of course, means trying to clean the house, and keep it resembling some kind of clean until your guests arrive, with a toddler in tow. No mean feat, I’m sure most mums of toddlers will agree.

If you’re not quite at toddler stage yet – and I don’t mean to scare you, Mum of the newborn, but enjoy your non-moving child now – here’s what you can expect when you try to clean your house with a miniature whirlwind toddler in tow:

1. Decide that today you will be productive. You have people coming tomorrow. Your house must be spotless*!

(*Or at least, all the plastic crap must be shoved into the toy box and / or various cupboards)

2. Load the dishwasher.

3. Toddler is bloody annoying very kind and tries to help. Loading the dishwasher now takes at least half an hour as you attempt to stop the toddler from picking up the sharpest knives and retrieve cutlery that they helpfully think lives in the lounge.

4. Wipe the kitchen sides down.

5. Toddler pulls all of the Tupperware out of one of the kitchen cupboards.

6. Tidy the Tupperware away.

7. Sort out all of the paperwork pilling up on the kitchen windowsill.

8. Toddler smooshes an orange into the carpet.

9. Clean orange from carpet – and toddler – with a baby wipe.

10. Toddler pulls all of his books from his bookshelf.

11. Put books away.

12. Get out hoover.

13. Toddler decides that he would much rather turn the switches on your Henry Hoover on and off than on his own miniature version that you bought at Christmas thinking he would love to “help” you as you clean.

How to clean your house with a toddler in tow.

My little helper. I have no idea what that piece of paper is by his feet. Such is the state of my home.

14. What feels like four hours later, after many “Baby Lighty, stop turning the hoover off!” comments, finish the hovering.

15. Realise that you forgot to use the shake and vac that you specifically bought for this occasion’s worth of cleaning. Face the possibility of putting some down now, and the reality of having to hoover furiously while Baby Lighty tries to create footprints in it, and decide that it will have to languish in the cupboard until next time instead.

16. Spend half an hour looking for the polish. Realise that you must’ve used it up the last time you had people round. Wonder how long it’s been since you dusted properly?!

17. Decide that antibacterial wipes will do the trick just as well. Antibacterial wipes are your friend.

18. Put toddler down for a nap. Now it’s time to get serious with the cleaning.

19. Put kettle on.

20. Sit down.

21. Procrastinate.

22. Faff around on social media. Maybe do a little blogging.

23. Think that you should probably use this valuable time to clean the bathroom properly.

24. Phone dies. This is probably fate’s way of telling you that you do actually need to clean before your guests arrive tomorrow.

25. Crack on properly. Get both bathrooms clean, finish the dusting, tidy all of the plastic crap away, actually move the clean clothes mountain from the dining room chair upstairs into your bedroom.

26. Feel quite proud of your efforts, and what you’ve achieved. Doesn’t your house look lovely when there are no toys strewn everywhere?!

The next day:

27. Guests arrive.

28. Fun is had.

29. Realise that after all of that cleaning, after all of that damage control of the toddler’s best efforts to sabotage your tidy up, that actually, once you’ve had six toddlers rampaging through your home and garden, there was really no need to tidy up at all.

…A months’ time:

29. Realise that you have guests coming round tomorrow. Repeat steps 1 – 30.

Will my house ever be devoid of plastic crap again? Will books stay on the shelves where I’ve put them, and muddy feet stay in the garden? Maybe. When Baby Lighty turns 18 perhaps, and all is quiet. But I bet when that happens, this house will feel less of a home. For now, I’ll take the mess.

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Proud to be linking up with:

3 Little Buttons

25 thoughts on “How to Clean your House with a Toddler in Tow”

  1. Absolutely spot on – you just described my life! I have to admit I am a bit of a clean freak so I try to ‘keep on top of it’ every day, but it is futile. I’m not really sure why I bother!
    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub

    1. I do admire you clean freak types. I wish I could be more like that, then maybe I wouldn’t end up in this sort of situation!! Thanks for hosting #coolmumclub! xxx

    1. You’ll have to get her one of her own! Although as my post has proved, that probably won’t stop her!! Thanks for stopping by from #coolmumclub!

    1. Oh I don’t envy you having to do the selling of the house tidying with a baby in tow, although just to warn you, it gets worse with a toddler!! Thanks so much for stopping by from #coolmumclub!

  2. Hah! So true. I’m a rubbish housewife, I do the essentials but like you, can’t remember the last time I did a proper bit of dusting or polishing. Life’s too short right? And you’re right, I seem to do a proper bit of cleaning when we know we have people coming over only to have to do double the efforts when they all leave? Bah! I always remember when I was little, my mum had a cross stitched sign up in our old house which read “A perfect house is the sign of a wasted life.” And I’m inclined to agree with it! #CoolMumClub xx

    1. I’m also inclined to agree with your Mum’s cross stitch!! Life is definitely too short! Thanks so much for stopping by from #coolmumclub 🙂

  3. It is a futile exercise! The Boy went through a phase of climbing onto the dishwasher door every time we opened it and just sitting there. He would then screech when you tried to move him off. I’ve now learned how to load the dishwasher having opened it only a fraction and I just post the items in through the top haha. Popping by today via #coolmumclub xx

    1. Haha! Mine sometimes wants to do that but mostly wants to “help”. Of course his help, as lovely as it is, means that this task takes twice as long…thanks for stopping by! #coolmumclub

    1. Yep, us too! If they’re good enough to clean your baby, then they’re good enough to clean your house, right?! Thanks so much for stopping by! #DreamTeam

    1. Yep Baby Lighty has one of those too. He also has a fascination with the feather duster?! #DreamTeam

    1. Especially when they open the filter of their Hoover and dump the dust everywhere!! Thanks so much for stopping by! #DreamTeam

  4. Haha this is priceless. You are not alone! I do the same thing… wet wipes are our friends. Except, little button will now pick up wet wipes and randomly start cleaning things when people are coming over. I learnt never to ask ‘what you are you doing’ in front of anyone or I get ‘errr cleaning mummy. That’s how YOU clean. With wet wipes’. Great. Thanks so much for sharing with the #DreamTeam xxx

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