I ask this because a couple of days ago my husband came home and told me that one his soldiers sends her husband and children out for a couple of hours every Saturday morning and cleans the house. Since then I have been thinking on the house cleaning arrangements for our own home; and how time efficient such a method would be with young children around.
When I was working I was an intermittent cleaner - an all or nothing kind of girl. Every couple of weeks DH (provided he was at home) and I would blitz the house and then, pretty much, do nothing but the kitchen and bathroom between times.
Now that I am home with Ginger all the time I seem to sort of chip away at home-keeping jobs - a la Fly Lady. For instance, today I tackled a deep clean of the bathroom while yesterday I did our bedroom. But in all honesty, that is about all I achieve in a day (on the domestic front) apart from day to day duties of dish washing and laundry.
It sometimes feels very time inefficient and I never have the satisfaction of having a completely clean house. Also, jobs like mopping the floor just seem to get shoved from one day's to-do list to another. And, a toddler home seven days a week creates a lot more mess and, for that matter, dirt than two adults only home evenings and weekends.
The thing is, with Ginger underfoot or 'helping' I can't get more than 15 minutes or so of cleaning done before she wants me to play with her, or at least pick her up (I am a softy when it comes to grizzles). Helping often includes walking off with the duster, Windex and newspaper or vacuum cleaner head to do her own cleaning or, indeed, emptying the entire basket of clean washing onto the floor or grass one item at a time. Retrieving said cleaning objects usually results in a full toddler meltdown which then delays us another 15 or so minutes while we either try the distraction method (rarely successful - my daughter has a memory like an elephant) or the Mummy is ignoring your screaming and kicking and is going to pretend like nothing has happened method (which leaves Mummy partially deaf, Ginger unhappy and the whole household - I include the dogs here - perturbed).
So, to counterbalance this, shame on me I know, while I might make progress in one room I sort of allow her to go into full destruction (aka exploring) mode in another, or indeed sometimes even in the room I am working on. Dusting her room and stripping the bed can involve a full 10-15 minutes extra time of picking up all the nappies she takes off the change-table shelves, picking the books and toys from her bookcase off the floor, oh, and resorting the contents of the wardrobe shelves she has decided to empty.
Which is all a very long winded way of coming round to the question - how do you maintain (as Auntie Leila would call it) a reasonably clean home? I'd personally particularly love any tips on doing so with a toddler around but cleaning experiences under all familial circumstances are welcome :)