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Whether you work outside the home or not, cleaning can easily consume all of your free time. As a work-from-home mom, I recently realized I was spending every extra moment of my day trying to keep up with the constant mess from two kids, two dogs, and a busy husband.

Needless to say, cleaning is not why I've worked so hard to stay home with my kids. When I realized I was spending more time picking up than doing anything else, I knew I needed to get smarter about how I cleaned so I could be more present with my family and myself. After all, moms deserve that downtime the rest of the family gets to enjoy, too.

Accordingly, I reached out to a wonderful group of moms and received a ton of useful tips on how to clean more efficiently so I wouldn't waste my entire life working from one end of the house to the other. While setting timers and limiting myself has made the biggest difference, all of the following tips have contributed to a more joyful home life in the past few weeks.

With any luck, maybe these ideas will help you, too!