Before I had children I always dreamed of having a family that lived in a beautiful, clean, tidy home. Then, once I actually had a child, my world was turned upside down. My house was always messy and I felt like I could never keep on top of it. I absolutely hated it. I felt like my life was in complete disarray. I started researching different ways to keep my house clean, even with kids. I have found a few routines that I have gotten in the habit of doing that have really helped me stay on top of my house and I would like to share them with you. If it will help even one fellow mother feel like she’s more in control of her home, it will be worth it. Here are 6 routines you can do that will help you keep a neat home even with those crazy kiddos running around.
1. Make Beds In The Morning
One of the best ways to make sure your home always looks neat and tidy is for all the beds to be made in the morning. It will automatically make the bedrooms look clean, even if other things are out of place. Once the kids get up in the morning teach them that the beds have to immediately be made. It only takes a minute or two to make the beds, but it will make a lasting impression all day long on how clean your home looks. If you have to tell them that they can’t come out of their room until their bed is made, do whatever you need to to make sure they understand that their bed must be made. Also, be realistic when it comes to your expectations of how they make their bed. Obviously a toddler will not be able to make a bed perfectly, but as long as they can pull the covers up and put the pillows in place, at least they’re trying.
2. Clean Up One Activity Before Moving To The Next
This one routine will make all the difference between a crazy, messy home, and a clean, tidy home. Once you or your kids are done with one activity, clean it up before moving onto the next. So, once they are done eating breakfast, make sure they clean up their dishes before they go play with their toys. Once they are done in the bath, clean up the bathtub before getting them dressed. If they want to play with a new toy, have them put away the toys they were just playing with. Doing these little items will only take a few extra minutes and will stop one mess from escalating into another mess.
3. Limit The Amount Of Toys To Be Played With
How many times have we let our kids play with almost every single toy in the house when all of the sudden we notice that it looks like a tornado has ripped through the home? If your child does this, try limiting what toys they can play with. Limit it to only 5 (or however many you feel is reasonable) at a time. If they are done with those toys, have them put them away before they can play with more. Doing this will ensure that the house doesn’t become a wreck during playtime.
4. Have Them Help Clean Up
Look, I know that having your child help you clean up can be a little unrealistic at times, but even if they only help you put away one or two toys, it will get them in the habit and routine of putting their own toys away. Obviously their ability to do this will depend on their age, but even the smallest amount of help will make a difference. Don’t do all the clean up for them, otherwise they will always expect you to clean up everything after them.
5. Tidy Up Before Bed
One of the routines that works best for me to keep my house clean is to always do a quick tidy up before I go to bed. I know it seems like this is the last thing you will want to do before hitting the hay, but it really helps and doesn’t take that long. I don’t really do this right before I go to bed, I usually do it immediately after I put my son to bed. All you have to do is a quick run through the house and put away anything that’s out of place. It will only take a few minutes and will make sure that you wake up to a nice, clean home in the morning.
6. Regularly Clean Out Your Toys
Before I had kids I completely underestimated how many toys one child can have. It’s insane the amount of toys that accumulate over the months and years. If you don’t regularly clean out your toys, you’ll have toys coming out of your ears and you won’t have anywhere to put them. Set a reminder in your calendar for every few months to clean the toys out. Go through all your children’s toys and throw away or donate anything they don’t play with, that’s broken, etc. No child needs that crazy amount of toys, and other children will benefit from the ones that are donated.