A clean home is a happy home, right? Well it ought to be because clutter and dirt can do your head in. But when you are a busy parent trying to keep a happy clean home, can your kids be sabotaging you?
Many parents think that they have to give up a clean home as soon as they welcome their first child. After all, babies and young children are known for being exceptionally messy, and they don’t exactly go hand-in-hand with neat and tidy interiors.
You will find that their sticky hands get everywhere and, as soon as they are old enough, they will love leaving toys and their belongings all over the floor!
However, you don’t have to despair just yet. There are, in fact, plenty of ways children and a clean home can live harmoniously together. And, don’t worry; most of them shouldn’t involve any tears or tantrums from your kids!
Here are a few tips that you can pull out of your sleeve next time things at home get a bit too messy and untidy.
Clean During Their Naps
If you struggle to find the time to clean when you have kids, there is one simple solution – you just need to clean up while they are having their daily naps.
Even if your children don’t nap for too long, it will still give you the chance to have a quick whip around the house. You can quickly clear away some clutter or quickly spritz a few worktops in your kitchen to wipe them down.
No matter how short your children’s naps are, you may find enough time for cleaning and other small household chores, even if it is just filling the washing machine up with dirty clothes!
Hire A Cleaner To Help You Out
Don’t think that you have to deal with your house and the mess on your own. If you feel really overwhelmed by it all, hire a cleaner to help you out for a couple of days a week.
They don’t even have to come and help you that often – you might just want a hand around the house one afternoon. If you can’t really afford a cleaner on a regular basis, you can still hire professionals to come and help you every now and then when you have big jobs that need doing.
For instance, Chem-Dry carpet cleaning can help you make your carpets look as good as new whenever they have been through a lot from your kids.
You might also want to get a professional upholstery cleaning firm to take care of your fabric sofas whenever they end up getting slightly scuffed. This will help give your home a little lift whenever it gets a bit grimey around the edges!
Give Everything Its Own Place
Each item in your home needs to have its own place where it belongs. This will make the whole tidying up process a lot easier, and you will find that it also encourages the kids to start cleaning up after themselves as well.
That’s because they will know where things are meant to go, and there won’t be any heated discussions or arguments about where things need to go. They will have their own place and that is final!
Cut Down On Toys
Do your children really need so many toys? They won’t when they are young. In fact, you might find that your children – especially young ones – get attached to a favourite toy very early on and completely disregard all the rest.
So, you might want to think about cutting down on all the toys in your home. After all, they will just be taking up a lot of space in your storage cupboards and will quickly turn into clutter.
You don’t have to be completely ruthless when you are getting rid of your children’s toys. Just consider how much they play with them. If they haven’t played with a certain toy in over six months, then they probably aren’t interested in it anymore and it can be disposed of. Alternatively, why not take it to your local charity shop?
Be Careful With Pets
Your children will probably ask for a pet at one point – most of them do! Even if they are only interested in something small, like a guinea pig or a hamster, give it consideration. On the positive side, having pets does give children the opportunity to be responsible.
However, some caged pets can bring odours into your home, even if you do make sure that the kids keep the cage clean. Cats and dogs are great companiosn for children but do require extra work.
They may shed fur over your carpets and any soft upholstery and furnishings. Dogs are slightly worse than cats as they tend to get a lot dirtier when they are outside.
If you don’t fancy having to clean and bathe your dog regularly, then don’t even consider getting one – there is no way your home will be able to stay in pristine condition! However… in my opinion, dogs are well worth the effort as they are WONDERFUL.
Turn Cleaning Into Games For Older Children
Once your kids are at a certain age, you can motivate them to help you with the cleaning by turning it all into a game. Not only will they find this fun, but it is also an enjoyable way to start teaching them about the importance of taking on responsibilities around the household.
One idea of a game you might want to use is to race against the clock and see how fast you can tidy up and clean a room together. To make sure that they do a good job, you might want to create a point system – any mark or dust left behind results in a point being deducted off their score!
This is a great way to teach them how to clean efficiently.
Improve Your Storage Options
One of the main reasons many families end up with a cluttered home not a clean home is that their storage options aren’t quite as good as they should be.
If your storage doesn’t meet your needs, then it won’t be doing its job. If you are constantly cleaning up clutter, especially that which is left behind from your children playing, you might want to review your options.
If there is any extra space in any of your rooms, could squeeze in an extra cupboard or set of drawers? How about double-duty seating with storage underneath?
Believe me, it will make a huge difference to your home as a result, and you will find that there is a lot less clutter once you have more space for everything!
Clean Up As You Go
Whenever you are doing something particularly messy with the kids, such as baking cupcakes in the kitchen or playing with finger paints, it really is a good idea to clean up as you go along.
So, for instance, if you are baking, you need to make sure that you wipe down all of your surfaces as you spill anything. This way, you can cut down on all the mess as you go, and you aren’t left with a huge cleanup at the end of your activity.
It’s also a good idea to do any messy activities, such as baking or painting, on durable surfaces. That way, you don’t have to be worried about any permanent stains or scuffs on them.
But bear in mind that no matter how durable a work surface is, it is always a good idea to cover it whenever you are doing something that could be excessively dirty, like painting!
Once you use all of the tips above, you will see that children and a clean home can go together!