Cleaning your home used to be an easy task during those simple ol’ days when you lived alone or with just your spouse, but the house-cleaning-game changes the moment you welcome new additions to your family. Regardless if you only have one child or five, and whether your house is big or small, sharing a home with kids poses a ton of challenges. You would need to worry about more things like laundry, organizing and obtaining more home essentials, or keeping everything ship-shape… including the occasional (or usual) crayon drawings on the wall or splattered oats on your kitchen floor.
Not to mention–before everything shifted online, you had the luxury of having the house to yourself to do thorough house cleaning. Now that everyone in your family doesn’t ever leave the house, it can be a nightmare to juggle all cleaning tasks, or it can seem a bit overwhelming. That’s why we’ve listed five effective ways that you can do to keep your house clean when you have kids. Let’s dive right in!
1. Get storage containers for their toys
Let’s start with your kids’ toys. During their toddler and pre-teen years, toys will be one of the many things that will keep them busy during their spare time. That also means the more kids you have, the greater the chances that your home will be filled with toys, and perhaps in every place imaginable.
Don’t be surprised if one day you are about to take a shower and you step on a few legos on the way to the bathroom or find some dolls left swimming in the bathtub. This is when toy storage ideas will come in real handy. Thankfully, you can be creative with this one because there is a rich array of toy storage options to choose from. Obtaining storage for your kids’ toys is a smart choice to tidy things up, as it would spare you the trouble of finding the toys lying on every corner of the house.
2. Start them young
This does not apply to infants and preschoolers, but training your grade-schoolers (7 years and older) to be independent at doing little tasks will save you a lot of time and energy in the future. You may train them to be independent at doing the following simple tasks:
- Putting away their toys, placing them in their respective storage bins/containers
- Placing their laundry in their designated hampers
- Throwing their garbage in the trash can
- Bringing their plates and utensils to the sink after meals
- Setting a “clean your mess” policy
This is not to say that you should pawn off all your cleaning responsibilities to your kids, or demand tasks that are too complicated for them to handle. That’s not the point. For now, you can teach them the simpler cleaning habits mentioned above. It would require a little patience and gentle instruction.
You would simply want them to see how it’s done and to be as involved as possible. This is an excellent way of teaching them to be accountable and to take ownership of their home. They do not even have to do it perfectly, but it’s teaching them the concept that their involvement counts at making their home a neater and more comfortable place.
It might seem tiring or hopeless at first, but once you’ve demonstrated these tasks and helped them form such habits, you’ll see that it will eventually reward you, your partner, and your kids with a much cleaner home.
In case this doesn’t work, perhaps try using a psychology trick called positive reinforcement. Give them a reward like ice cream or an extra hour of screen time when they’ve done all their cleaning tasks. With these little incentives, they can be motivated to do their assigned tasks more enthusiastically. As they grow older, you would find it easier to gradually give them bigger responsibilities. In the long run, this can also help you raise more reliable and responsible teens.
3. Dedicate a playroom
If you happen to have a growing family or decide on moving to a bigger house someday, one thing that you can plan on ahead is to have a playroom or recreation room. This is another sure way to keep a tidy house. While also training your kids to put away their toys after use, you can set a rule where your kids are only allowed to play with their toys in the playroom. That way, no matter how messy it gets there, you can always expect things to be much cleaner and more organized everywhere else.
4. Keep cleaning tools within reach
Some might think that it’s a bit impractical to have multiple cleaning tools lying around the house. The thing is though, cleaning tools such as mops, disinfectant spray, cleaning cloths, and other surface cleaners will come in handy if you have them readily available in most rooms of the house.
This is crucial if you have a big house and you have infants or toddlers you wouldn’t want to leave unattended even for a minute. Whatever the case, it would be easier to clean messes without leaving sight of your little ones.
Don’t you just find it hard to believe that your kids grow up faster than you’d like them to? Part of this dilemma is the clothes, shoes, and toys that they are bound to outgrow. There’s no doubt that you will miss seeing them wear those little holiday sweaters or bring around their favorite plush toys but keeping these old items in your house will not be space-efficient especially if you live in a small apartment or condo. To optimize the space in your home or to make room for new clothing, declutter as many items as you can. By all means, keep the sentimental pieces in storage containers, but at least twice a year, try to declutter clothing and other items that you and your kids would no longer need.
You can give them away to family or friends who’d appreciate these items better. It can also be a nice opportunity to involve your kids to donate their old toys and clothing to charity as a way of giving back to the community. You get to have more storage space at home while teaching your children the value of charity.
Enjoy the Mess
Telling you to enjoy the mess may sound ironic for a post that gives tips on keeping your house tidy. You can only try so hard but having kids won’t guarantee your home will be spick and span 100% of the time. Accepting that your home can get a little messy is a healthy way of reducing your stress.
Try to also loosen up a bit and enjoy every fun and messy moment with your children since it won’t stay that way forever. We hope that you learned a thing or two from this post. For more practical and easy storage ideas, visit Storables.com today!