Permanent housing is typically the largest expense you will acquire in your lifetime. As such, there are many subjective areas of importance when deciding on a long term living area, such as having a large back yard or a crawl space.

Unsurprisingly, cleaning is not typically on the forefront of your mind when walking into an opulent manor.  As a mom and primary cleaner of the home, the irony lies in the distinction of household task allocation.  Whereas my husband would be like “Wow! This place has four bathrooms!” I would be cringing at the thought of cleaning four toilets.  As such, here are some things to consider as a mom when selecting a home for you and your family.

Large 2-Story House:

  • As a stay-at-home mom with a growing brood, this house has it all;  Spacious living area, dining room, two bathrooms, four bedrooms, attic, stairs with a bannister, and large windows for natural light.  Having separate rooms with doors is great because when you clean one, you can shut the door and move on to the next giving a great feeling of accomplishment.
  • As a working mom, there are only so many hours in the day for cleaning.  A classic farm house typically has 12-16 cleaning areas/rooms (kitchen, dining room, laundry room, living room, den, bathrooms, hallways, stairwell, master bedroom, children’s bedrooms, linen closets, attic, basement).  Most experts state to just spend 15 minutes in each room daily to maintain order and cleanliness.  For me, that would be the equivalent of over 3 hours of cleaning when I get home at 5pm from work.  Also, don’t forget the non-essentials like laundry, dinner, and family time.

Single Level Ranch Style:

  • As a stay-at-home mom, the open floor plan is great for entertaining and family time, but can be a nightmare to clean as all the main areas blend and flow into each other.  As such, one often feels trapped in a despair-inducing never ending cleaning loop as it is difficult to get all the areas perfectly clean at the same time.
  • However, for the task oriented working mom, this style is much more manageable because of the scaled down size.  With proper organization, the 15 minutes per room cuts your cleaning time to about an hour and a half of maintenance cleaning a day.  More time to relax and spend precious time with the family.

Tiny House:

  • For the stay at home mom, this style of house is an inconceivable nightmare.  No storage, no escape, just no.
  • For the working mom, this house tidies up quick, but relaxation is non-existent as there is nowhere to decompress.  After working with people all day, being in close quarters with others, even the ones you love, can be trying.

Although there are an unlimited number of housing options out there, each one has pros and cons.  While cleaning time is just another subjective qualifier when selecting a house, I would say it is one of the most important ones.