Posted: Aug 31, 2012 10:00 AM
I don’t know how she does it! Your friend with kids works full-time, volunteers at three charities and spends every morning at the gym -- but she always seems to have a house that’s sparkling clean. And no, she doesn’t have a housekeeper. It’s because she knows these little tricks that all busy moms use to keep their house clean!

Stop trying to do it all at once

Trying to get your entire house clean in one fell swoop is impossible and will only leave you feeling frustrated and defeated. Busy moms know that it's best to break down the housework day by day, tackling specific chores on specific days on a rotating schedule to keep your house as clean as possible. Batch similar chores together to make things even easier: bathrooms on Mondays, floors on Tuesdays, and so on. Make a chart and stick to it. Your house will never look better!

Make a monthly cleaning schedule

Keeping up on the daily housecleaning chores is one thing, but what about all the bigger cleaning projects? The blinds that need to be dusted and the baseboards that need scrubbing? Busy moms fit these things in by planning time to conquer them. Just like you need to schedule maintenance appointments for your car, schedule maintenance appointments for your house! Pick one thing to get done each week (or weekend) and make it happen. Slowly but surely, you'll make progress and then it will be easy to keep up these new clean areas.

Have a spot for clutterbasket for clutter

Every house needs a spot for clutter. Whether that's a spare bedroom where you can stash stuff when guests are coming over (obviously, not overnight guests!) or a basket that you can easily slide under your bed when there isn't time to put things away properly, a clutter solution goes a long way toward making your house feel clean and tidy. Just don't forget to come back to that clutter spot later and put things away where they actually go!

Use the don't leave the room rule

A great rule for yourself and a great rule to teach your kids is this: Every time you leave a room, make sure you take something with you to put away. Grab the towels that you just folded in the living room to put in the linen closet or pick up that empty water glass from your nightstand to take to the kitchen. Every little thing helps!

Accept that you can't do it all

Although that do it all mom you know may have a super-clean house, realize that even she has help with one thing or another -- and you should do the same for yourself. Hire your teenage neighbor to mow your lawn, or take your basket full of clothes to be ironed to the dry cleaners and pay them to do the work. Even ordering take-out for dinner once a week can go a long way to giving you some extra time for keeping your house clean.

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