Every mother can probably attest to the fact that the dirt and chaos in your home increases exponentially once you have a baby. How did such little people come with so much stuff?The only way to save your sanity through these little kid years is to embrace the dirt and chaos (somewhat) and realize that it won't always be this crazy and cluttered and busy.
Despite learning how to embrace the dirt and chaos, no one wants their home looking like a barn, so there are a few things anyone can put into place to help keep on track with the cleaning.
10 Do One Chore Every Day
Some people tend to treat cleaning the bathroom like an Olympic event, save it for absolute last, delay as long as possible, take a deep breath, and plunge in to clean. There's no need, however, to treat cleaning like such an ordeal. Completing one job each day can help cut down on the seemingly monumental cleaning later on.
Cleaning the toilets, for instance, or vacuuming one level of the house could be something that you could do quickly each day and it wouldn't take up too much time. Complete the daily chore, in order to make the weekly clean a little bit lighter and your house looking tidier between cleans.
9 Organize And Declutter
Some people are inherently great at this concept, others not so much. Thanks to shows like Marie Kondo's smash hit on Netflix, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, people are learning how to better organize and declutter their homes and their lives. Finding small ways to make your home more organized can do wonders in helping things to look cleaner and neater, not to mention the positive effect on your mental state.
Choose some small areas in your home where you could improve organization. Your cutlery drawer in the kitchen - is it a mess and full of unnecessary odds and ends? Get a cutlery organizer and tidy up that drawer. Does your mail end up in messy piles on the counter? Designate a proper spot for it, and set up a tray or shelf to hold the mail.
It is amazing the stuff you accumulate when you have children. Going through your home and doing a thorough purge one a year or every couple of years is a fantastic way to cut down on the clutter.
When life is busy and you're in the midst of raising kids and dealing with the day-to-day, things build up and clutter ends up everywhere. Choose a room or a level and start a little bit at a time, getting rid of anything you don't use regularly.
7 Clear Out Old Clothing
With children, it's fairly easy (and necessary!) to get rid of clothes that they've outgrown, in order to make room for the clothes they are currently wearing. Usually, at the end of each season, it is a good idea to go through their clothes and set aside clothes to donate and clothes that are too worn and need to be thrown out or reused as rags.
It is our own closets that we tend to neglect and allow to build up. Because we're not growing anymore, we tend to leave our clothes and not really go through them very often. But taking a good look at our own closets regularly can help to declutter your living space as well.
6 Put The Kids To Work
You'll never survive these years of dirt and chaos if you don't enlist the help of your family. Kids can learn quickly, and they often keen to help, especially when they're younger. Take the time to show them how to properly do a task, and let them give it a try. Will it be perfect the way you want it? No. Will they be feeling proud that they're helping, and learning how to contribute to the running of the house? YES.
Try to choose tasks that your kids enjoy, as that will make them more motivated to help out. If you have a kid who loves using the vacuum - they are Chief Vacuum Operator. Another kid who loves to use the spray bottle and cloth? They become Head Counter Wiper. Put them to work, make it fun, and show them that in your home, everyone contributes and helps out.
5 Set Up A Schedule
Many parents crave order, since so much of our lives are chaotic most days. Having someone, or in this case something, tell you what you need to accomplish that day is extremely helpful. Keep a cleaning schedule on your fridge to refer to each day, so you know what chores you're getting done.
To make it even more organized, and continuing to involve the whole family, you could create a schedule that has everyone names on it and what job they're responsible for that day. Add in little jobs like emptying the dishwasher and setting the dinner table, and enlist the help of your kids.
4 Have Cleaning Supplies Easily Accessible
It's easy to procrastinate and not want to do a chore upstairs because the cleaning supplies were all the way downstairs (kind of embarrassing to admit that). Once you set up cleaning buckets on each level, there are no more excuses, and you are able to easily accomplish that daily chore.
Grab a plastic tote or bucket, fill it with whatever cleaning supplies you prefer to use, some extra rags, paper towels, toilet brush, and anything else you need. Keep one bucket on each level, so that it is handy for when you're wanting to do your cleaning.
3 Teach Routines
Kids learn by what they're shown, so teach them early. Teach clean up routines that you want to establish in your home, like what they are expected to do with their toys when it's time to clean up. If there is a toy box that their toys should go in, show them early on how to pick up their toys and put them away.
Do you have pets? Show your children how to care for the pets, help with feeding them each day, freshening their water, etc. Teach the routines that you do before, during, and after family meals, and enlist their help with the jobs. Again, you are teaching your children that they are contributing members of the family, and that everyone pitches in and helps out.
2 Use Bins & Containers To Store Odds & Ends
Bins, baskets, and buckets, oh my! These are wonderful to use to help cut down on clutter and to help keep things in their designated space. Do you end up with a mail pile on the kitchen counter each week? Buy a cute little basket to put your mail in instead, that way it looks neater and you don't misplace important letters.
Kids can ever have their own little "junk box" to put all their stuff in when they're tidying up. It looks cute on the table shelf, and you don't see clutter everywhere. If their box gets too full and the lid doesn't fit, then it's time for them to take it upstairs and clean it out.
1 Tidy Common Areas At The End Of Each Day
Usually, the kitchen and living room are the busiest, and thus messiest, rooms in our house. It's where we congregate together as a family, share our meals, play with toys, sit and relax, etc. At the end of each day, try to make sure these two rooms get a quick tidy up before you head to bed. The kids are in charge of bringing up or putting away their toys from the day, and you tidy up the room, put the couch pillows back from the pillow fight earlier, etc.
Same goes for the kitchen. Get the dishwasher loaded, turn it on overnight, and wipe the counters down. It makes a difference when you come down in the morning, and your two main rooms are relatively decent. Not every single thing will be in place, but if you do a quick tidy before heading up to bed, it does cut down on the level of mess.
All in all, it's not going to be completed mess-free during these years of raising little ones, and that's fine. But, these tips do help to keep the dirt and chaos to a relative minimum!