A complete guide to housework for busy mums

As a busy mum, it can be incredibly difficult to juggle everything that needs to be juggled. Whether you have one child or four children, whether they are at school and at home, or at home all of the time; tending to their needs and keeping the house in order can be a daily battle. I don’t know about you, but I find as soon as I start tidying one area, the boys are busy creating mayhem in another. It often feels like no matter how hard we try, we never manage to keep on top of everything. Housework for busy mums quite often becomes a lesser priority.

If certain things are left though, it can start to feel a bit overwhelming. When you get to dinner time and realise that in order to prepare the meal you need to unload the dishwasher, or wash up the pans before you can even start. Or when you look at the area that you want to tidy but just can’t figure out where it can all go, so don’t know where to start.

I get it.

I often look around and feel totally overwhelmed by the things that need doing.



I know though, that when the house is clean and tidy, I feel like life is easier. I mean with two kids in the house, it is never going to be up to the standards of Mrs Hinch (I can’t wait to see her Instagram if she ever has kids!), but it doesn’t always need to be as chaotic as it often looks. I often refer to it as looking like Toys R Us vommed all over it.

On top of having the kids though, I also work from home. For me, Oscar’s nap time is work time. Every now and then, when I have had enough of something needing a desperate clean, I give up and give it a good scrub whilst he sleeps. But we live in a smallish house and I am always fearful of waking him up – work is far quieter, can be done upstairs, and so the cleaning and tidying often just gets ignored.

But it shouldn’t. I hate the fact that I really have to think about whether the house is in a fit enough state to invite people round off the cuff. Do the floors need sweeping and mopping? Is the kitchen in a clean enough state to entertain?

I mean likely, they wouldn’t care – but still, I care and I don’t want to have to feel that way. And so I have been thinking about the small things that I can do on a daily basis that means that we are living in a house that I can be proud of. I need to create a system that works for me, and whilst I am at it, hopefully I am giving you some ideas at how to feel a little less overwhelmed when you don’t know where to start!


Guide To Housework For Busy Mums

Unload the dishwasher

This is something that should be done first thing in the morning. If the dishwasher is unloaded then there is no excuse for the kitchen to get messy throughout the day. When it comes to lunch time, the breakfast stuff shouldn’t be in the sink and when it comes to making dinner, everything from the day should already be loaded so that there is room to cook immediately. We all know how much kids hate waiting for food so there should be no delay!

Wash up

Ok, so we have a dishwasher, but there are a few items that don’t go in it. Stuff that would lose its quality or aren’t made for dishwashers. In an ideal world, this would be done in the evening so that it’s all clear and ready for the morning – but in most cases, if it’s quickly done first thing then it isn’t the end of the world. I don’t know about you but I love having a clear next to the sink workspace.

Wipe over the hob and surfaces

Something that is the easiest to do straight after dinner (the food residue comes off far easier when it’s only just landed), but something that often gets forgotten if it’s not done immediately. Wiping over the hob and kitchen counters make the whole kitchen look clean and so is a must do on a daily basis, ideally in the evening so that when you go down first thing, you have a lovely clean area to do the kids’ breakfast on.


Guide To Housework For Busy Mums


Oh the dust – it just gets everywhere doesn’t it? But really, there isn’t even that much to dust in our house and quite often, it’s just a matter of grabbing the feather duster out and quickly whizzing over everything.

There are always certain things that gather more dust than others, so if you have a quick dust of those, then you can still pretend the bits you can’t see aren’t really there until you have time for a deeper clean.

Tidy the paperwork as it arrives

Are you like me? The post comes through the letterbox and it goes straight on the dining table, the computer desk, the kitchen worktops? And then the next day. And the next. Until it’s everywhere and you don’t know where to start with it? Yep, that was me. And then? My other half bought me a gorgeous wall rack, and instead of the post being everywhere else, it’s cluttered up in there instead!

Don’t be like me. Open the post – throw the junk away, and file it. Paperwork free dining table!

Sweep/hoover the floors

If you have really small ones, I would imagine you are in a pretty good routine with keeping the floors clean, I know I was when Oscar was crawling about the place. Now though – well he’s fully on his feet and I tend to find myself not getting round to it as regularly as I did. If you have laminate flooring, you will know that every bit of dirt, or every leaf or twig that has made it into the house, is noticeable. And if you have carpets (especially cream like ours), well that’s another story.

A quick sweep or hoover round the main visible bits will make your house feel far more presentable. It doesn’t have to be a major cleaning operation. Just a quick swizz round to make you feel better.

Wipe over the bathroom

Cleaning the bathroom is probably one of the more epic tasks in the house right? If left, it can become a mammoth task so it’s a good idea to wipe it over regularly. It doesn’t have to be every day – every other or even just a few times a week, will help to stop that limescale from building and when you do decide to do the whole room, it will be a much easier job.


Guide To Housework For Busy Mums

Make the beds

There are always discussions on social media about how regular us mums change the beds. It turns out that most people do it as and when they remember/can be bothered/notice they are smelly! Just making the beds can make a room look so much tidier but quite often, I forget to check the boys room and they are always in a crumpled mess.

Wipe over the floors

OK, so when the kids are around, mopping the floors can be a nightmare. They are wet, the kids never sit down, and so every time they get up they go flying. My answer? Flash Wipes (other brands are available!). You will often find me on my hands and knees rubbing a good old Flash Wipe over the floor. And sometimes I just use baby wipes! It saves a whole lot of having to wait for the floor to dry!

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I hope that this has given you a little guidance on how to keep on top of the housework when you have so much other stuff going on. And if you really like it, I would love it if you would give it a little Pin over on Pinterest 🙂


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Guide To Housework For Busy Mums

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  1. January 9, 2018 / 8:48 am

    This sound so much like me – even down to the cream carpets. I let things build up too much and then by the weekend it’s awful and my partner and I go on a massive cleaning frenzy. I’m trying to change that though and am trying to do a little at a time during the week. #TwinklyTuesday

    • January 12, 2018 / 8:55 pm

      It’s definitely the way to go to stop it becoming a mahoosive task. It’s so easy to just leave it though isn’t it? Especially when the kids make a continuous mess anyway!

  2. January 9, 2018 / 8:48 pm

    My heart sinks just reading this, keeping up with housework with 8 in the house, 6 of them boys, is a nightmare. Housework is the most thankless task I do so I’m inclined to leave it longer than I should and focus on the guest properties where it is appreciated! #TwinklyTuesday

    • January 12, 2018 / 8:54 pm

      Gosh, I can’t even imagine how much cleaning there is to do in your house – I do hope those strapping men help you out sometimes though – you work so hard, you definitely need a break in the cleaning area!

  3. January 9, 2018 / 9:03 pm

    You know I absolutely hate that I do housework nearly every single day and yet it still gets so on top of me. I have already decided to get more systematic about it and your post is motivating – thank you.

    • January 12, 2018 / 8:53 pm

      It’s a constant isn’t it? As I was sweeping the floors the other day, Oscar was busy throwing food on it whilst eating in his highchair! It’s just a never ending task! Hope you manage to get a system in place that works for you 🙂

  4. January 9, 2018 / 9:49 pm

    Definitely printing this off! I was in a good routine before Christmas but then the kids were off and I slacked off the housework – some weeks it feels like its never ending. Thanks so much for linking up!

    • January 12, 2018 / 8:50 pm

      Yep – it really doesn’t take long for these things to suddenly becoming a massive task! Really trying to keep on top of it all here 🙂 Good luck!

  5. January 15, 2018 / 10:18 pm

    When I went back to work after baby number three we got a cleaner and she is an absolute god send – I honestly couldn’t function without her! It’s just so hard keeping on top of it all when we both work full time plus the kids as well – our cleaner is one of my superheroes! #twinklytuesday

    • January 18, 2018 / 12:04 pm

      Oh that’s brilliant – I would love a cleaner but not sure we can justify it. I always begged for one when I worked full time!!

  6. November 19, 2018 / 9:20 am

    I really need to have a daily chores list. I’m rubbish at keeping up with housework. Really useful post thanks 🙂

  7. November 19, 2018 / 5:15 pm

    I loved this post! Lots of great advice! Junk mail is my Kryptonite! My go to move is shove it in the spare room so I’ve now made a resolution to open and sort! When we have a general room full of mess I tend to feel a bit overwhelmed. I usually solve this by putting everything into one pile on a sofa. It gives me the headspace and physical space to sort through everything. I think this is a great strategy but my wife is fairly unsure!

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