Keeping Your Home Clean and Tidy With Kids

Keeping a house clean and tidy with young children around can seem like an impossibility. You may dread the days when visitors turn up unannounced because you haven’t had the time to tidy up after your children and you worry people think you’re incapable. You’ve probably visited other parents’ homes and wondered how everything looks so neat. Well, you aren’t alone, and you shouldn’t feel defeated. Here’s how to get your home organized, even with kids around.

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Storage

You can’t tidy up all of the kid’s toys if you haven’t got anywhere to put them. You should be able to say, ‘pick that up and put it away please’ to your kids and your kids should know exactly where to put it. It could mean having a storage or toy box under the stairs or giving each child individual storage in their bedrooms. It doesn’t have to be a toy box dedicated to toys; a simple cupboard that’s fit for storing anything will do, and it will last as the kids grow up.

 

Don’t Put Chores Off

A cup of tea and a magazine is so much more tempting than vacuuming or doing dishes. When you’ve just put the toddler down for a nap, the easiest thing to do would be take a break for yourself too. After all, you deserve it. However, when you skip the chores in favor of your favorite TV program, it will just make you feel worse in the long run. Getting some of those nagging chores done while you have the time will mean you aren’t so overwhelmed by the growing to-do list later on. Spread the chores out throughout the day so you still get a little time for yourself.

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School Work

Kids bring home more school work than ever these days and it often just ends up in piles on the dining room table or the kitchen counters. This causes clutter that is unbearable to most parents, but it’s difficult to tackle. Firstly, go through your children’s bags and take out any work, drawings etc. they may have brought home. Then you need to figure out whether they’re worth keeping. Some school work may need to be saved so the kids can study at a later date, and some work may be so adorable you can’t bear to get rid of it. If you’re dealing with sky high piles of creations that are just too cute to throw away, take pictures of some of them and keep the rest. Once you have the pictures you can throw away the originals.

 

Get the Right Tools

Kids are masters at creating mess. I’ve watched mothers vacuum their homes only to be closely followed by their toddlers carrying snacks. Needless to say, the snacks left a trail. As a parent with young children, you’ll probably need to clean twice as much as anyone else and you’ll need tools for easy cleaning. If you can help it, don’t opt for cheap vacuums and carpet cleaners. Find the tools that work for you and keep them in good condition, so you can get the everyday jobs done quickly and easily.

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Clean is More Likely to Stay Clean

If you have a dirty dish in your hand, you’re more likely to leave it on the kitchen counter if there are other dirty dishes around. If the counter top is clean and the dirty dishes are in the sink or the dishwasher, you’re more likely to keep the kitchen clean. It doesn’t matter what room you’re in, if there’s already clutter there, more clutter will accumulate. If you and your family get into the habit of putting things away, it will be much easier to manage your home. Even a toddler can learn how to put a bowl in the sink.

 

Keep the Floor Clear

This is one of the worst problems for many parents. You’re probably used to seeing toys spread across the living room floor, dirty clothes left on the floors of bathrooms and bedrooms, shoes at the front door and coats and bags left haphazardly wherever the owner pleases. The list could go on. It’s one of the biggest culprits for making a family home look unorganized. It’s also one of the hardest habits to break. Keep laundry baskets in the bathrooms and bedrooms. Put coat hangers and shoe racks at the front door. Lastly, you must lead by example and remind everyone else to pick up their belongings.

 

Make the Beds

Okay, any unannounced visitors are hardly going to be wandering through your bedrooms to check everything is in place. But, this isn’t for them; it’s for you. Most parents will walk in and out of bedrooms more times than they can count during a day. The last thing you want to see when you walk into your bedroom to pick up another pile of washing is an unmade bed. There’s something about having the beds made that gives the whole house a sense of organization. Start here every day and you’ll set yourself on the right path.

 

Do the Dishes Before Bed

The last thing you want to be doing first thing in the morning is struggling to make breakfast amongst the mess left from last night’s dinner. Similarly, if visitors are going to stop off unannounced, you can bet they’ll do it first thing in the morning when you’re least prepared. An evening meal is usually the meal that produces the most dirty dishes too. Do your best to clear the kitchen before you go to bed and set up your pot of coffee ready for the morning so you have what you need to tackle the day.

 

The most important thing to remember is to keep on top of things. Mess and clutter can build up quickly, so evaluate your home periodically and make a point of tackling anything that’s annoying you before it gets worse.

 

And, there’s really no such thing as a clean house with young children, so don’t be too hard on yourself.

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