11 Brilliant Busy Mom Cleaning Hacks (Keep a Clean House With Messy Kids!)

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Need some mom cleaning hacks to cut down on the mess?

Busy moms know that keeping a clean house with kids or pets in tow can feel like an impossible task.

You pick up and put away but at the end of the day, you still feel overwhelmed by the mess. Not to mention, cleaning the house all day can be time-consuming.

Seeing how other moms are able to keep their homes looking perfect on social media can just make you feel worse about your own messy house. And you might be so overwhelmed by the mess that you don’t even know where to start.

But there’s a better way to keep a clean home without all the headaches. Today’s blog post is packed with the best busy mom cleaning hacks to help you get your home clean and organized, with less stress.

These easy cleaning hacks are perfect for new moms, working moms and busy stay at home moms who don’t have time for the mess!

woman stressing over a dirty house


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How Do Moms Keep a Clean House?

The average woman spends 2.7 hours every day on housework and household tasks, including cooking and cleaning. That’s 985 hours every year spent keeping house!

If you’re like me, you probably don’t have a lot of time to spend on cleaning. You could hire a cleaning service but if you’re a family on a budget, that might not be realistic.

So here’s the secret to keeping a clean house when you have messy kids: you need a system.

Having a system can make it easier to keep the whole house clean, even when you don’t have much time. That’s huge if you’re a busy stay-at-home mom or you’re trying to get into a working mom cleaning routine.

And you can make tackling a messy house even easier by using a few smart mom cleaning hacks!

Whether you have young kids or messy tweens and teens, you can have a clean home and still have lots of time to spend with your kids or do all the other things on your busy mom to-do list. The easy hacks I’m about to share can help you keep your entire house clean while cutting down on your cleaning time.

Best Mom Cleaning Hacks to Keep a Clean House

1. Declutter first

If you want to spend less time cleaning, the first thing you need to do is declutter your home.

When you have kids, it’s easy for things to pile up around the house. Books, toys, games, clothes–it all has to go somewhere and if it’s not organized or you just have too much stuff, trying to clean up the mess can seem hopeless.

Going through your home room by room is a simple way to clear out some of the clutter. As you declutter, remember to sort things into piles:

  • Things to keep
  • Things to throw away
  • Things to recycle
  • Things to donate
  • Things to sell

The goal is to make the “keep” pile as small as possible and get rid of all the extra stuff you don’t need. What you can’t throw away, recycle or donate you can sell for extra cash on Facebook Marketplace or through the Decluttr app. That’s an easy way to get a clean home and some extra cash!

Spring can be a perfect time to do some decluttering if you’re already doing your spring cleaning, but you can get started any time. And decluttering on a regular basis, say once each quarter, can help you stay on top of things so they don’t pile up again.

mom holding cleaning supplies
Busy Mom Cleaning Hacks

2. Use baskets for storage

The list of mom cleaning hacks wouldn’t be complete without recommendations for storage. Baskets can help organize things throughout your house and they can add a little style to your home as well.

For example, you can use storage baskets in the living room to hold books, magazines, games or blankets. These baskets from Amazon are the perfect size for catching clutter!

You can also use baskets in the kitchen or pantry to organize snacks or collect the mail. And baskets work great in the bathroom for rounding up plastic toys from the tub. Just be sure they have holes to allow excess water to drain out.

3. Get kids on a toy rotation

Toys can take up a lot of space and if you have small children, you probably have your fair share of them.

Creating a toy rotation is one of my favorite cleaning hacks for busy moms because it’s so easy to implement and it’s a genius way to save time while cleaning!

When you set up a toy rotation, you leave some of your kids’ toys out and store the rest away. Then each month, you can bring out a new group of toys and rotate the ones they’ve been playing with into storage.

Rotating toys is a simple hack that can keep your kids’ rooms from getting messy. And it can go a long way toward helping your kids appreciate the toys they have.

4. Set a timer

Deep cleaning can take all day but as busy moms, we don’t have time for that. But you probably have room in your day for a quick 15-minute pickup.

Here’s how this mom cleaning hack works:

  • Pick a room
  • Set a timer for 15 minutes
  • Clean as much as you can in that time

When the timer goes off, you’re done.

Will your home be completely spotless? Probably not. But this is one of the mom cleaning hacks that can help you tidy up fast and make your home feel a little neater.

5. Clean as you go

Here’s another one of my favorite mom cleaning hacks: never leave a room empty-handed.

For example, if you’re going from the living room to the kitchen, be sure to grab the cup one of your kids left on the coffee table so you can toss it in the sink. Or before you leave the bedroom look around or any trash you can toss.

And you can encourage each family member to do the same thing. Even small kids can learn how to pick up and put away from an early age.

This is one of those simple cleaning tips that can go a long way toward helping you keep a clean house with messy kids.

busy mom cleaning planner


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6. Skip pricey cleaning products

This next tip is perfect if you’re living on a tight budget or you want to clean the house in a non-toxic way. Instead of spending money on cleaning supplies that include harsh chemicals, you can make cleaning products with things you already have around the house.

And you don’t need to spend a lot of money on cleaning gadgets either. You might be surprised at how much you can do with a wet cloth and a clean broom or vacuum cleaner.

These mom cleaning hacks are tried-and-true ones that no busy mom should be without!

  • Use toothpaste and an old toothbrush to remove soap scum in the bathroom
  • Mix up a solution that’s part water, part lemon oil to clean, disinfect and deodorize kitchen surfaces (5 to 6 drops of lemon oil to 1 ounce of water works great!)
  • Add white vinegar to your washing machine and run it on the hot cycle to clean and sanitize it (vinegar makes a great all purpose cleaner!)
  • Fill a spray bottle with a 1:1 solution of warm water and white vinegar to clean mirrors and windows
  • Use a butter knife covered with a damp cloth to clean dust from vents
  • Use old newspapers to clean windows in place of a dry paper towel which can leave streaks
  • Mix hydrogen peroxide with warm water and dish soap to clean up carpet stains
  • If you use dryer sheets, switch to dryer balls to speed up drying time and skip the fabric softener
  • Slip an old pillow case over ceiling fan blades to pick up dust (one of my favorite dusting hacks!)
  • Use a vacuum cleaner on hardwood floors so you can skip sweeping
  • Use a damp cloth to dust and skip feather dusters, since they only move the dust around instead of picking it up
  • Soak your shower head in vinegar to get rid of hard water stains (use a Ziploc bag and a rubber band if your shower head isn’t detachable)
  • Run baking soda and hot water through drains to get rid of clogs

These are all great tips to help you keep a clean house with messy kids and save money on the additional cost of cleaning supplies. You might need to apply a little elbow grease to get these methods to work but they can be the best way to clean without all the chemicals.

7. Do laundry daily

Laundry can really pile up when you have kids and if you’re like me, it might be one of the household chores you dread most.

If you don’t want to spend your Saturday doing load after load of laundry, doing one load each day is another simple mom cleaning hack you can try.

Folding one load of clean clothes each day can be a lot less overwhelming than trying to fold several laundry baskets’ worth at once. And bonus points if you can assign folding and putting away duties to the family member the laundry belongs to.

Related post: 11 Time-Saving Laundry Hacks for Moms Who Hate Doing Laundry

8. Use a laundry basket for clean up

When you have small children, it’s so easy for their stuff to get scattered from one end of the house to the other. And picking all that stuff up might be the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day.

So here’s what you do instead. You assign each child a laundry basket, then as part of their bedtime routine you have them pick up their things around the house and toss them in the basket.

Plastic toys, books, art supplies–it all goes in the laundry basket. This can even turn into a fun game to see who can pick up the fastest!

They can put the basket in their rooms, then as one of their household chores they can sort through and put things away. This is another one of my favorite mom cleaning hacks because it encourages kids to be responsible for their things.

woman mopping the floor

9. Keep a cleaning kit in the car

The house isn’t the only place where messes can pile up if you’re a busy mom with kids.

The car can get downright grimy too if kids are leaving stuff everywhere or eating while you’re on the road. Any mom who’s ever struggled to get cracker crumbs out of the car seat knows what I’m talking about.

Keeping a cleaning kit in the car means you have easy access to cleaning supplies on the go.

Here’s what to include in your car cleaning kit:

  • Baby wipes (these things are genius for spot cleaning upholstery stains or wiping dirty hands and faces)
  • Lint roller (keeps clothes pet-hair free and you can also use it to pick up crumbs)
  • Small trash bags for collecting waste
  • Ziploc bags or a plastic bag (in case you need to stash dirty diapers or clothes)
  • Paper towels for cleaning up spills

Having a few simple cleaning supplies on hand is a great idea if you spend a lot of time in the car running errands or taking kids to activities.

10. Designate drop zones

When your kids come home from school, do they toss their backpacks, shoes and coats just anywhere? If so, setting up a drop zone can be a huge help for keeping the house clean.

For example, you can set up a station by the front door where kids can hang up their bookbags and coats and stash their shoes. A simple bench with a few baskets and a couple of Command hooks can do the trick.

You can also set up a homework zone complete with all the necessary school supplies so kids have a comfortable place to get their work done. They can keep folders or assignments there for you to check before putting them in their backpack.

And a family command center in the kitchen can help cut down on clutter. A command center is a great drop zone for mail, grocery lists, phone chargers, keys and stray pens.

11. Try some mom cleaning hacks in the kitchen

We busy moms spend a lot of time in the kitchen but there are a few simple cleaning hacks you can use here to save time.

  • Cover cookie sheets with aluminum foil for quick and easy cleanup after baking
  • Clean stainless steel with damp Magic Erasers
  • Make a paste of baking soda and white vinegar to scrub down the sink (also gets rid of yucky germs in the garbage disposal)
  • Keep your countertops clean and stash appliances in the pantry or your cabinets
  • Use simple containers to organize the pantry
  • Wash dishes and wipe down counters while dinner is cooking
  • Run the dishwasher with full loads to save time and conserve water

Spending less time in the kitchen means you have more time for other things. And when the kitchen is always clean that can make the whole house feel cleaner too.

And you can save even more time by cooking up some quick and easy meals!

mom cleaning hacks pinterest image

Final thoughts on the best busy mom cleaning hacks

Being a busy mom means you get pulled in a lot of different directions on a regular basis. But keeping a clean house doesn’t have to slip through the cracks!

Putting these mom cleaning hacks to work can make a huge difference in how clean your home feels every day. Not only can you save time but you can also save yourself stress!

For more ways to make mom life easier, check out my favorite Busy Mom Resources.

And before you go, be sure to grab your free cleaning checklist from the Busy Mom Vault!

Genius Busy Mom Cleaning Hacks