I hate cleaning. Cleaning is a waste of time when you have children. Unfortunately, I hate living in squalor even more than I hate cleaning, so I have do a few things to make sure our house is livable. Having a clean home makes my day a lot less stressful and I tend to be at least a little less bossy and cranky when my feet are not sticking to the floor. Still, some cleaning tasks are an utter waste of your limited hours. Here are a few chores you can totally skip out on (without feeling guilty):
Chores to ignore
Ironing: We own an iron. I have used it twice and one of those times, I was using it to clean candle wax out of the carpet (warm iron, paper bag—presto). My husband is a postal carrier and I wear Yoga pants most of the time and blue jeans the rest of the time, so ironing is not even close to essential for us. When I do need an item un-wrinkled I hang it in the bathroom while I shower. The steam does the dirty work for me. (You can also toss a wrinkled item into the dryer with a slightly damp towel for the same effect.) As for ironing bed sheets and baby clothes: no. Just no.
Organizing the toy box: My kids have a giant bucket for all of their toys. Not only does this save space, it makes it easier for them to clean (the toys on the floor go in the big blue bucket). Keep the mess managed by donating or selling toys your kids do not use or storing some toys away to swap out later on. Stuffed animals are the bane of my existence, so we use an old-school stuffed animal net. The kids can have a few down at a time; otherwise, they are off the floor and out of my hair. Make this a kids-only chore and completely wipe the toy room off your to-do list.
Folding socks: Is it really worth 15 minutes to fold socks? No. Instead, buy your kids all white socks or all black socks and toss them in a small plastic storage container you keep in their top drawer. The kids can reach in and grab two socks without thinking about it and you can just scoop them out of the basket into the drawer when they are clean and dry. Bam! 15 minutes saved. Go read a magazine!
Mopping: This may not be so much a skip as a make-it-less miserable. Mopping can be a drag, so instead of whipping out the mop and bucket every time the floor gets a smudge: spot wash. Clean only where the dirt is, and really wash your floors once a month. If you clean up spills right away, they will not even stick to the floor! When it comes time for your monthly mop session, pull a Pippy Longstockings and use your feet to scrub the floor (or better yet, strap some sponges to the feet or your kids and let them go to town.)
Save yourself a little time, cut yourself some slack and enjoy a glass of your favorite wine, soda or bottled water and skip the non-essential chores. Your home is not am museum, live in it and you will be much less stressed.