This topic contains 23 replies, has 21 voices, and was last updated by  Jess Smith 1 week ago.

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  • #27808

    Krista Cowan
    Participant

    I have never had a working bathroom cleaning routine. I would love to hear everyone’s ideas and what has worked for them? How have you worked your kids into the cleaning routine as well?

  • #27813

    Karly Chittenden
    Participant

    Hi! Well SO FAR, I like what I’m doing with my new routines…it’s helping in the bathrooms SO MUCH! I used to assign bathrooms to a certain day – and I was notorious for getting busy and skipping it, only to let the next assigned day roll around and skip it again! Yikes…so when I finally got around to doing bathrooms, it was even more dreaded because it was even more yucky. And that was usually when company was coming, so it would become a “have-to.” I should want to keep it clean for my family!
    Something I added to my small list of evening duties, is to give the bathrooms a refreshing wipe-down (alternating our two bathrooms every other day) before I go to bed. All I do is spray and wipe the toilet, sink(s), and mirror. This is SO easy and only takes 10 minutes, if not less! It’s been great breezing through the days with clean bathrooms, and not having that once-hated chore hanging over my head. (My 2-year-old self hated it. My adult self can handle it lol!) Now with that being done, when it comes time to clean bathrooms, all that really needs attention is the tub/shower and floors. And THAT makes the bathroom chore feel so much more doable! I actually enjoyed cleaning my bathroom because of this! I know, weird. But I had company come and thought, “Yay! My bathrooms look great!” Haha! Doing it in pieces works better for me, than waiting for a bigger chunk of time to do the whole thing in one go.
    I even missed a couple nights where my evening routine got thrown off, and it’s still been easy to jump right back in and keep going with it. I hope everyone is having a great week getting (and keeping) their bathrooms sparkly!

  • #27814

    Karly Chittenden
    Participant

    Oh, and Krista, I didn’t answer your question about kids! My oldest 3, ages 8, 6, and 5, have chores they rotate weekly. But their chores are dishes, laundry, and trash/sweep, so I don’t expect their help with bathrooms right now (although my 6 year old has offered and has helped on some occasions). As my younger 3 grow up, we’ll add more chores into the rotation. So someday bathrooms will be a joint effort, but we aren’t there currently.

  • #27815

    Elizabeth Riester
    Participant

    I have four kids 5 and under and I have found that the past year or so the thing that is working for me is cleaning the bathroom when I give the older three a bath. They love bath time, so I clean them and then clean the bathroom while they stay in the bathtub and play. I can wipe down the mirror, sinks, counter, toilet and floors pretty quick while they finish their bath. This is the bath we use the most often and we all brush our teeth in. My problem is our master bathroom which is basically just used for my husband and me to shower and get ready in. I rarely even go in there during the day. So this weekend I cleaned the shower, which was pretty bad. My new goal is to wipe it down real quick every day while I’m showering. And then either clean the toilet or wipe down the floor or counter right before or after. We’ll see how it goes this week!

  • #27818

    Karly Chittenden
    Participant

    Elizabeth, I love the idea of cleaning the bathroom while the kids are in the bath! Might steal that one :)

  • #27843

    Julia Hedrick
    Participant

    Taking five minutes a day to swipe the toilet and counters sounds very doable to me. But I can NOT get a handle on the showers/tub and floors! It’s not something that can be broken down or done in five minutes, and I have a hard time dedicating the longer period of time on a regular basis. Having a specific day to accomplish a task just hasn’t ever worked for me, partly because we have a very fluid schedule during the week. Maybe when we start homeschooling in the fall I can get into a more regular weekly routine.

  • #27851

    Karly Chittenden
    Participant

    Julia, I’m the same way!! Here is something I’m going to try (the idea was sparked by Pam Barnhill’s talk on Block and Loop Scheduling)…
    Normally, the kids have a set time between breakfast and homeschool in which they do chores. So I’m going to make my 2-year-old self do chores during this time, too. Instead of assigning a chore to a day, I have this same window of time each day we’re home, that I dedicate to “blessing my home” and I will “loop” through my list of other chores during that time. Right now, this block of time is 8-8:30am. If one chore fills up that time, that’s all I’ll do. If I get done before time’s up, I can start the next. The chores I plan to rotate through this time are:
    -Bathrooms (tub and floor)
    -Vacuum (living room and hallway, but sometimes the kids do this if needed more often)
    -Dust (low things I can reach from standing)
    -Vacuum (bedrooms)
    -Dust (high things I need a step-stool to reach)
    -Detail kitchen (some kind of deeper cleaning than dishes and counters)
    -Sheets and Towels (as needed)
    -Porch and Patio (quick sweep/tidy)

    So, the chores on this list will get done whenever it’s their turn in the loop! They may get done every week-and-a-half to two instead of the same day each week, which is fine by me. My daily chores are in my morning and evening routines, so these are just items that I would like to have done every couple weeks if I haven’t gotten to it sooner! I’ve got to be realistic in this season of life. And honestly, it will happen more often this way, than it did when I just waited to “feel like” doing it! The main thing to start with is a right attitude! If we make it a choice and not a feeling, we can stop anything with the resolve to get it done. :)
    One thing I wonder is whether the kids will stay on top of their chores as well, since they’ll be unsupervised if I’m off doing mine at the same time. But at the end of school time, when they would have free time, is when they have to catch up on work they didn’t finish earlier. So I think that’s something we can work through. We’ll see!

    • #27875

      Kathryn Duvall
      Participant

      I LOVE the idea of “Loop Scheduling” my chores!!! I might actually do them then. Now i just need to make a list of my chores. Most of the house chores are divided up between the kids.

  • #27854

    Lori
    Participant

    Elizabeth, I also do a lot of my bathroom cleaning while the kids are taking a bath. That’s usually when I mop the floors (which, I admit, at times simply involves using the tons of soapy water the kids splashed out of the tub to wipe the whole bathroom floor) and clear the counters. I’ll also usually quickly clean out the tub when they are all finished bathing (which, if I’m consistent spraying in there daily, is usually sufficient to keep the tub in good shape).

    I try to wipe the sink and spray the shower every day.

    I think my main discouragement is just that our upstairs bathroom is kind of ugly and gross. We just bought our house (although we’ve rented it for a few years, so it’s not a new house to us!) and the full bath is just kind of a disaster. It has no ventilation at all, so it gets mildew super-easily, which is then really hard to get rid of. And I don’t like the wall color and the medicine cabinet is ancient and there’s like four billion little things in there on our future to-do list, so it’s hard for me to get super-motivated to clean it when I know that, even after a really thorough cleaning, it still won’t look great.

  • #27874

    Katrina Fisher
    Participant

    Love the idea of cleaning the bathroom while kids are in the bath! Mine are bigger now and take showers, but that would have saved so much time.

    Mondays are my clean the bathrooms day. We have a guest bath downstairs that just needs a quick check, wipe, sweep, so it takes maybe 5 minutes. I try to wipe down/swish the toilet brush/wipe the toothpaste off the faucet every couple of days but that doesn’t always happen. Showers and tubs are harder for me to get to.

  • #27878

    Venessa Scher
    Participant

    Bathrooms have always been a problem area for me. Before last week, I would be ashamed for anyone stopping by to need to use my bathroom. This is a horrible place to be. So why should I not also be ashamed for my family to see them gross. Mystie opened my eyes to this “why” for consistently keeping my bathrooms in a state of cleanliness. So, I now swish and swipe the toilets and sinks everyday. For the showers I just scrub 1 side of each shower every day. I have them in a “loop” like someone else mentioned. This makes it feel manageable whereas before it did not. I also have my floors throughout the house on a loop. Each bathroom floor is included in that loop. One room’s floor gets swept and mopped each day. On to the next one the next day. Again, manageable. All I can say now is : PEACE OF MIND AND SOUL.

  • #27879

    Ann Hershey
    Participant

    I also just had the a-ha moment that I could break up the bathroom cleaning! Funny how I can get set in my ways. It also makes it more doable to give the kids as a chore. I only have two kids, so I do not need to clean the bathrooms everyday. However, when we do them, I thought I would rotate in so I can periodically do each bathroom. That way I know it is really clean. Maybe when I do the bathroom, I will do everything … floors, shower, etc. Although I am considering looping the chores too. Many great options out there to ponder!

  • #27892

    Molly Ellison
    Participant

    Bathrooms at this point are my 13 year old’s domain. He has been in charge of bathrooms for about six months. He is responsible for a daily wipe down in both bathrooms as well as taking out and replacing trash bags as needed. Fridays are our big cleaning day and his job is to clean each bathroom thoroughly. If he is consistent with the daily wipe down then he spends about an hour on Friday to complete both bathrooms. If he is not consistent (partly my fault if I don’t hold him accountable) then it takes him almost two hours. He is getting better at it as time goes on. I think a good decluttering of both bathrooms will make it easier for him to be efficient and effective. Right now things like bathing suits and stray goggles end up cluttering up the kids’ bath so it may help to initiate an evening clear-out around bathtime. I’m really hoping to work on my own consistency both in encouraging his efforts and also in holding him accountable to fulfilling his daily duty. I think we’ll both end up happier with the results!

    • #28149

      atctmom
      Participant

      I love this, Betsy! I decided to do this too. Thanks for the idea. Since I have 4 kiddos, I created 4 what I call building jobs because they build on doing a bit each day. My older 2 kids each are now responsible for one bathroom. My middle is responsible for our front entry, aka the shoe drop. :) And my youngest is responsible for sweeping & mopping the kitchen. If they do a quick tidy, swipe, etc. daily, the big clean on Wednesday will be a breeze. I’m so excited by this idea!

  • #27956

    Lauren Scott
    Participant

    We keep our bathrooms fairly clean with a once a week cleaning day, but I’ve definitely added the “Spit and Shine” thing to our kids’ evening routine!!! It’s definitely helping. :-)

    I’m also trying to remind myself to “do one thing” to improve my bathroom every time I’m in it. Trying to make this a habit again.

  • #27963

    Barbara Clearfield
    Participant

    In my house, the most essential, must-get-done bathroom task is swiping the toilet. I started by using Flylady’s advice–use a drop or two of cheap shampoo on a daily basis, so you don’t have to use chemical bowl cleaner so often. But last week, I discovered Lavender Scent Fabuloso, and I think it’s a much better bet. Almost as cheap as store-brand shampoo, does a better job of cleaning, and a wonderful, clean scent. Then I use a cleaning wipe for the seat and exterior, and I’m done.

  • #28007

    Stacey
    Participant

    I have found that a Magic Eraser works great for regular upkeep in the tub. They even make ones specifically for the bathroom – you can buy a pack of 4 bathroom Magic Erasers at Wal-Mart and they last forever. I just use it in specific areas of the tub a few times a week, takes maybe a minute, and then I still do a deeper cleaning but less frequently.

  • #28063

    Betsy Farquhar
    Participant

    We have an okay bathroom routine as far as sinks/toilets go. But the tub and floors are much harder and something I’ve been troubleshooting this week. As far as the toilets go, the boys (age 10) alternate cleaning theirs (so it gets thoroughly cleaned twice a week) while my daughter (age 11) handles the sink and mirror (once a week). This makes logical sense since she’s more likely to mess up the sink/mirror and they are DEFINITELY the culprits in the toilet area ;-). But we’re adding in the shower to my daughter’s routine, and she’s cleaning it while she’s IN the shower since she loves long showers. We just use vinegar/Dawn or some other non-toxic stuff. Now, if there were only similar bathroom fairies for MY bathroom… :-)

  • #28151

    Kirsten DiPuma
    Participant

    My favorite bathroom hack (shared in the chat Friday, for those who were already there) is a dish scrubber that holds soap in the handle, filled with half Dawn dish soap, half vinegar. (Slightly warm the vinegar and mix before putting in the scrubber.) Once the scrubber pad has a good bit of soap lathering through it, just wipe down the shower walls and tub, let sit for a few minutes, and follow up with a wet rag to clean off the soap. No scrubbing necessary, and works on soap scum and orange spots better than anything else I’ve tried.

    Now, to make it a habit while I’m *in* the shower…maybe a suction cup hook, and some way to hang the brush in the shower? :)

  • #28515

    Lois Kendall
    Participant

    What we do is once a week cleaning the two bathrooms all together. My two year-old is taking out the trash and spraying pretty much everything with a soap and water solution, my five year old is putting new liners in the trashcans, cleaning the doorknobs, I’m wiping the mirrors and lightswitches. My eight year-old is wiping down one sink, scrubbing one toilet bowl, the ten year old is doing the other one, I’m scrubbing and wiping the outside and seat of the toilets. Then I sweep both bathrooms, inspecting and reminding and (I hope encouraging)and they each mop one. It takes less than 15 minutes, start to finish. I try to clean the tub right after they get out of it, and the shower is the bane of my existence. I’m totally trying the scrub one wall each day, starting tonight. And the scrubber with soap in the handle the next time I get to town. Because of this study and seeing how many of you swish and wipe your bathrooms every day (I’m so impressed) I have added a toilet bowl cleaning on Mondays, (we do the big thing on Thursdays), and it makes a noticeable difference.

  • #30480

    Jose McKenzie
    Participant

    I’m terrible at leaving the bathroom until it’s so much more difficult than it would be if I kept on top of it! I’m going to try wiping the sink and toilet each evening and then giving the tub and floor a clean once a week. I’m not sure when to pin that to though. I was going to do it when the kids were having a bath, but that doesn’t really work! I can’t really do it one morning after my shower as mornings are crazy enough, without adding another chore! Unless I did on a Saturday morning…

  • #30536

    Courtney Timmins
    Participant

    I really like Lois’s family team approach to cleaning bathrooms! I’m just not there yet. I try to get to the bathrooms for a full cleaning (tub, sinks, counters, toilet – but not floors…) once a week. When it starts getting to even day 7 I start to get antsy, feeling behind, and very anxious every time I go in the bathroom. :( I need to get back to a daily chore time with a good loop of household tasks, so I know there’s a guaranteed time that it *will* happen.

    I added a “swish and wipe” for the downstairs bathroom to my morning routine, last week. I’ve never done that before, and it’s great! It keeps the toilet from becoming gross too quickly, keeps the counter from being grimy, and gives me that nice peace of mind feeling.

  • #30587

    Carrie14
    Participant

    I like the idea of wiping down your most-used bathroom once a day! For me, I’m cleaning

    3 days a week:
    1 toilets and surfaces,
    1 wipe down and
    1 showers and bathtub.

    Wondering if anyone has advice about a regular-cleaning (non-deep cleaning) routine for tubs and showers.

  • #30742

    Jess Smith
    Participant

    I’m working on loop scheduling my non-daily tasks. Each night, I’m wiping down the bathroom that all 4 of us share and use ALL DAY LONG. I bought some E-Cloth high quality microfiber (like Norwex cloths) so that I can easily wipe the sink, tub surround, and toilet each day. It makes such a HUGE difference!

    Otherwise, I am adding tasks that need to be done weekly, a few times a month, monthly, or occasionally to a looping list. I’ve decided to do a “cleaning block” each day, which means about 30 minutes when my kids are occupied. The night before, I look at my loop task list and pick what goes in the cleaning block for the next day. Sometimes my cleaning block is right after breakfast, and sometimes it is right after nap time, it depends on the weather and schedule needs for the day. Since it is summer we try to get outside right after breakfast. I only have littles right now, and I find that they are less focused on me when I’m busy and somewhat out of the way (but not accomplishing things on a screen). Cleaning happens when they are awake, and computer based planning, research, projects etc. happens when they are napping.

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