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How to Clean Your House With Kids in 40 Easy Steps

Today is a special guest post by the hilarious Joanna of Ramblin’ Mama. If you ever wonder why your house is dirty despite your best efforts–this is why.

photo credit: Artful Laundry. via photopin (license)
photo credit: Artful Laundry. via photopin (license)

How to Clean Your House With Kids in 40 Easy Steps

1. Start by sorting one of your many baskets of clothes.

2. Make a pile of clothing for each member of your household.

3. Watch as toddler puts the empty basket over their head, running around the living room pretending to be a ghost.

4. Attempt to retrieve clothes basket from toddler without causing a meltdown.

5. Wait for toddler to stop crying.

6. Bribe toddler.

7. Collect all dirty clothes and put them into the basket.

8. Marvel at all the random places you find pairs of children’s underwear.

9. Come back to find the baby has knocked all clothes piles onto the floor.

10. Watch as your toddler puts underwear on as a hat.

11. Grimace as your toddler finds another “hat” for the baby.

12. Say a silent prayer that both pairs are clean.

13. Resolve to “accidentally” throw dirty clothes away.

14. Move on to cleaning the floor.

15. Clear an area of your carpet to vacuum.

16. Struggle to keep your patience as your toddler expresses their need to play with each and every toy you try to put away.

17. Bribe toddler.

18. Turn vacuum on.

19. Wait for toddler to stop screaming.

20. Yell at dogs for barking.

21. Console baby.

22. Abandon vacuuming.

23. Move on to the kitchen.

24. Begin loading dirty dishes into the dishwasher.

25. Notice baby climbing into the dishwasher.

26. Move baby.

27. Explain to toddler that the dishwasher is not a toy.

28. Watch as baby picks up mystery item off the kitchen floor.

29. Explain to toddler that the dishwasher is not a ride either.

30. Intercept mystery item from baby before they put it in their mouth.

31. Resolve to clean the kitchen floor instead.

32. Explain to toddler that you’d love for them to help but it will take much less time if you do it yourself.

33. Wait for toddler’s tantrum to subside.

34. Spend 30 minutes teaching your toddler how to hold the broom correctly.

35. Take an additional 30 minutes teaching them to use the broom and dustpan.

36. Sweep entire kitchen with toddler at a snail’s pace.

37. Praise toddler for being such a great helper.

38. Watch as toddler waves dustpan excitedly, dumping all contents back onto the floor.

39. Throw a towel over remaining pile and call it a day.

40. Move on to opening the wine.

Joanna McClanahan resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, toddler, baby and two dogs. She mostly took up writing as an excuse to make her husband watch the kids. Her likes include sleep, fantasizing about sleep, and binge eating cookies. Dislikes include weird smells and talking about herself in third person. Sometimes she vents in an attempt to retain her sanity at You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter @ramblinma.

3 thoughts on “How to Clean Your House With Kids in 40 Easy Steps

  1. Allison

    Hilarious, this is like reading a play by play of my day! Lol

  2. Grace Higgins

    Your guide for cleaning is one of the best I’ve seen and I will definitely print it and put it on the wall. Thanks for sharing and Cheers! I’m a wine lover too and I <3 your sense of humour!

    ~ Ruislip Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

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