For a long time, I dealt with guilt over feeling torn between playing with my children and tackling my household chores. If I played with my kiddos, the house would be ignored. If I cleaned my house, my kids would be ignored. No matter which I chose, I felt guilty. I finally came to a place where I realized that I needed to come up with a creative way to be able to accomplish both! I wanted to spend undistracted time with my kids, but I also wanted to have a clean house – not a perfect home by any means, but one that was semi-clean and fairly organized – in order for life to run smoothly around here! My creative idea? A Cleaning Swap! I had heard of babysitting swaps, but I had never thought about doing a Cleaning Swap…well, until I got desperate enough to come up with such an idea!
How did I do it? Well, I thought of a friend who I thought would be a good candidate, I asked her if she would like to bring her kids to my house and oversee a play date for all the kiddos while I cleaned, and then the following week, I would return the favor for her!
She jumped at the idea, and our weekly Cleaning Swap began! We gave each other two full hours – During those two hours, there was no chit-chat! We cleaned, cleaned, cleaned, cleaned, cleaned until time was up, and then if we wanted to talk, we would gab AFTER the cleaning was done!
After the first time, my friend and I were both hooked! We were amazed at how much we were able to get done during an uninterrupted two-hour time slot! It was just what we needed to be able to tackle our pressing chores…and then be able to enjoy our children without being distracted by our mess!
How to Set Up Your Own Cleaning Swap
Step #1: Brainstorm about a reliable mommy friend.
Step #2: Reach out to her and let her in on your idea!
Step #3: If she’s interested, discuss a schedule, set some ground rules for each of your specific situations, and get started!
What type of friend should you choose?
Choose a friend who is reliable (This is huge!) and one who you think might just be as equally desperate for something like this in her life! Does their hubby work long hours? Do their relatives live out of town? Do they really, really, really want to get some housework done but feel overwhelmed with trying to do it all while caring for little ones? Who are you thinking of right now?
What type of ground rules should you set?
In choosing your friend, make sure it’s someone with whom you can be open and honest! Clear communication is going to be the key to this whole thing flowing smoothly for everyone. With that being said, discuss what’s important to each of you…chat about what each of you would like to accomplish during your cleaning time(s)…Be understanding, respectful, and considerate of each other from the start, and if both of you are on the same page, I promise this will work out beautifully.
Maybe you want your ground rules to look something like this:
NO cancelling at the list minute – unless the excuse includes blood, vomit, death, or legit car problems.
NO running late – unless the excuse includes blood, vomit, death, or legit car problems.
Or are those too open and honest..and maybe a tad intense? ha! You get the idea, right? 🙂 No one wants to be all geared up to clean only to have the whole thing blow up in smoke because their friend couldn’t get their act together…again.
Quick Thought: Depending on your group of friends, this could potentially work with more than one other friend. Maybe you are in a small mommy group that you know would be capable of pulling something like this together and supporting each other in this way! Just an idea…
Check out My Laundry Routine!
Organizing, decluttering, sorting, purging…yes, these are all things you could work on during your cleaning swap! Maybe you want to take your two hours to purge your closet or work on some freezer meals! Honestly, the rules are up to you!
Would a cleaning swap work for you? Do you have a reliable friend that would be the perfect cleaning swap partner?