Keeping your house clean when you have children might seem like a nearly impossible task. Most kids are messy — they leave sticky handprints, toys, clothes, and dirt throughout your house. And when you have more than one child, there’s even more of a mess! It can be hard to find the time and energy to devote to cleaning up.
If you’re struggling to find ways to keep your house tidy, please know that you’re not alone. A house with kids might not always be perfect, but there are a few tips and tricks that can help tidy up your home.
Establish a Routine
When you’re trying to juggle the workload that comes with parenting, cleaning might sometimes slip your mind. And the longer you skip out on cleaning, the more overwhelming it gets. To help with this, make a cleaning routine that is spread throughout the week. Think about those large tasks, such as cleaning your carpet or scrubbing the bathroom, and assign them a specific day of the week. It can take a while to get into the groove of a new routine, but soon you’ll tackle cleaning throughout the week instead of letting it build up. If you need help establishing a routine, get a calendar and write down which cleaning tasks need to happen each day. Make sure to keep the calendar in a spot where you can see it to help remind you of your new routine.
Have a toy-free zone
If it feels like kids are taking over your house, create a zone that is only for you. Establish boundaries that prevent children from leaving their toys or other personal belongings in this zone. Keeping this zone free from kid-related clutter can provide you with your own little sanctuary for when the rest of the house is in chaos. A good room to declare a toy-free zone is your master bedroom because the master bedroom is typically already viewed as a private space for parents. Plus, declaring your room toy-free means you won’t step on tiny toys when you get up in the middle of the night!
Teach the kids to help
There’s nothing wrong with expecting your children to help complete household cleaning. Not only does this take some of the pressure off of you, but it also helps teach your child responsibility. Find cleaning tasks around the house that your children can help with. Dusting, wiping down counters, sorting laundry, and picking up their own toys are all tasks that even young children are capable of handling on their own. While they may need reminders on how and when to complete tasks, involving them with the cleaning teaches them important life skills.
Have designated spots for items
Of course, having your children pick up after themselves will only work if children know where the item should go. Mess and clutter generally exist because the clutter doesn’t have anywhere to go. Establish locations throughout the house where toys and personal items should go. For example, some families prefer to have each child have their own basket. Any toys that the child has should be kept within the basket.
Get rid of unnecessary toys
If your child is struggling to keep their toys in their designated area, you might need to get rid of some toys. Fewer toys means there is less of a chance of toys taking over your home. Get rid of any broken toys, toys that aren’t of good quality, or toys that your child has outgrown. Figure out which toys your child genuinely enjoys playing with and keep those. If your child hasn’t touched it in months, chances are it is ready to be donated.
Pick up during the day
Beyond creating a routine for large tasks and having your children help you, make sure to pick up throughout the day. Taking even just a few minutes to pick up a few toys or to wipe a counter can help keep tasks from getting overwhelming. For example, if you have a toddler that likes to throw their cereal on the floor, it can be overwhelming to wait several days before vacuuming. Taking a few minutes to run over your dining room floor with a floor sweeper can help keep your floors from getting disgusting. Click here for a comparison of different types of floor sweepers.
Parenting is a hard job. Some dirt and clutter come with the territory of raising children, but if your home is in a constant state of disarray, it is time to start making changes. The tips above are a few of the ways you can make cleaning more manageable within your household.