What are your must have cleaning items/products?
Baking soda and vinegar. End of story.
If you only had 10 minutes to clean, and every house in your home needed attention, which room would you clean?
I would probably decide it's not worth it and sit in front of the computer instead, haha. But if I had to, I'd probably do the downstairs bathroom (if I'm frantically cleaning because someone is coming over for a visit), or tidy the living room (if someone is just stopping by briefly), whichever was worse.
What chore do you either hate, or procrastinate the most on?
All of them? Besides laundry, laundry is the bomb. I don't list that as a chore. Ok, I'd have to say dishes are the worst, and I hate doing them, and I totally let them pile up. But I also proctastinate on the floors too. Everything gets so messy so fast, and it annoys me to always have to pick everything up first in order to sweep/vaccum, because very little, if any, of the mess is actually mine.
At what age did you have your children start helping clean?
I don't know, I just let Judith help when she wants to help, which is actually quite often. She likes to vacuum (although I have to go over it after, which is fine). And usually she helps me with laundry (sorting, moving it from washer to dryer/hanging, folding, putting away). She helps me put away the clean dishes from the dishwasher. She also helps with the other kids, she sounds the alarm when Gideon decides to take off his (usually poopy) diaper, and will get him and herself snacks or drinks when they want one. She will also clean up spills, but I think that's mostly because she doesn't want to get in trouble, haha. She will also try and entertain Ruthie when I can't get to her right away and she's fussy. The only chore I "force" her to do is tidying up the basement with me. It gets so messy with toys, even though she's only allowed 1 crate at a time. But I make her pick them up before we vacuum there. I used to make her tidy up the living room with me before bed too, but I've been slacking there lately. I need to start that again, it made everything so much nicer in the morning. The only things I DON'T let her help with are sweeping (because she just makes it worse and for some reason I can't deal with it, although sometimes I let her use the brush and dust pan to sweep up and put the dirt in the garbage when I'm done sweeping), and washing pots & pans (because she just wants to play with the water and gets me and everything soaked and it makes me so mad, since I hate doing dishes in the first place), although she can help me put the clean ones away.
So far, all Gideon does is put away the cutlery from the dishwasher. He decided all on his own that cutlery was his job (and he only does the cutlery, haha!), and it's so cute! I leave the drawer open and he throws everything in. I have to sort it, but it's so sweet that he wants to help! Any time he sees me taking dishes out of the dishwasher, he drops what he's doing and RUNS to help me.
To what extent does your husband help with the housework?
He doesn't at all. But he mows the lawn, shovels the snow, makes sure that we have Culligan water (and puts the bottles in because I can't lift them well, even though I managed for a few weeks after he had his surgery), takes the garbage and recycling out to the back alley (as long as I have it ready by the back door the night before), does odd jobs around the house if needed, and is good at fixing things. He also cooks every so often when he feels inspired (but doesn't clean up after himself). Most of all, he makes coffee and brings it to me in bed every weekday morning. Also, he never complains that the house is basically always a mess. He knows that if he complains, then he will be asked to help. And he can't even be bothered to pick up his own socks, I find them abandoned all over the house. He often helps with bed time too, but I usually have to ask. I'm sure it would be different if he wasn't so tired from work all the time.
Do you have an area that is always cluttered?
The house, the van, the yard... I seem to manifest clutter wherever I go. I think our tables are the worst though. They are always covered in junk, and get covered quickly, basically as soon as they get cleared off.
Is there a room in your house that you usually neglect, whether you mean to or not?
I believe in neglecting all rooms equally. Although the kitchen probably looks the worst because so much goes on in there...
Is there a chore that you feel like is never done?
Dishes! And floors. I feel like I can never get those 100% clean, or by the time I do, it's undone again.
Lastly, do you have any time saving cleaning tips?
I guess deep down I find cleaning in general a waste of time, at least with little kids underfoot. I do it when I have to, but I basically do the minimum required. So, my tip would be to not worry about it and use your time to go and do fun things! Preferrably OUTSIDE of the home, where you don't have to look at it, haha.
Yeah, I totally suck at housework. But you knew that already.