Having young children and maintaining a clean, tidy home are two aspects of life that don’t always go hand in hand with one another. Little children often create little handprints, little footprints and little trails of destruction wherever they go.
Many parents struggle to keep things clean and organised when toddlers are about, but creating routines and maintaining an organised approach to household chores can make your life a lot easier.
There are a few tricks that you can implement into your daily life to keep the mess down to a minimum – and ensure that your home is always as clean as it possibly can be.
1. Enlist the help of your children
Who says cleaning can’t be fun? How many times have you seen smaller children play with toy vacuum cleaners, kitchens and various household appliances? Give your children little cleaning jobs of their own – sweeping, polishing and tidying are ideal. This will keep on top of the basic cleaning jobs on a daily basis, and give your child the opportunity to have some fun while helping you a little.
2. Be prepared at all times
If you’re a parent, you will know that the next spillage, mishap or stain is never far away. Particularly with spillages and crumbs, fast action can save your carpets and upholstery from permanent stains and damage. Instead of doing what most people do and keeping some basic cleaning utensils under the sink in your kitchen, make sure you have a small stash in every room your children have access to.
Gather together some dusting cloths, micro-fibre cloths, sanitiser spray, paper towels and stain removal agents, and lock them away safely in every room of your home. So, if your child spills a drink on your living room carpet, you’ll be able to start cleaning straight away.
A decent vacuum cleaner and steam mop can also be ideal for reacting quickly to dirty mishaps! Store them in an easily accessible location to grab and go when needed.
3. Clean the dirtiest areas of your home daily
A ‘little and often’ approach to cleaning might sound like a lot of hard work, but it could make you life a great deal easier in the long run. A daily clean of your floors, kitchens and bathrooms may take only a matter of minutes if you find the time to do it every day. Little things like wiping fridge doors, light switches, door handles and work surfaces regularly will keep things clean and sanitary. These are jobs you can do whilst multi-tasking. And let’s face it; any home with children in it will require these jobs to be completed on a daily basis.
4. Choose a ‘big clean’ day
Cleaning the various rooms in your home can get very complex – and sometimes dangerous – when there are little ones under your feet. So to avoid poorly completed cleaning jobs and little accidents, choose one day every week, fortnight or month that will be devoted to doing the big cleaning jobs in your home. These jobs will include complex tasks such as cleaning appliances, deep cleaning your bathroom and steam cleaning your furniture. Choose a day when the kids will either be at school or being looked after for you.
Not being able to see the wood for the trees in your home will make cleaning it effectively very difficult indeed. In order to streamline your daily cleaning processes, get rid of old toys, magazines, newspapers, ornaments and the day-to-day ‘stuff’ that most people have lying around their homes. Look upon this as recycling – your chance to keep a tidier home, make cleaning easier and do your bit for charity or the environment.
6. Keep things contained
Whether it’s your children, your laundry or your ironing, restricting life’s daily occurrences to just one or two rooms during the day will minimise the amount of cleaning you need to do. Make one room a playroom, and try to keep toys out of the other rooms in your home. Invest in a toy chest to keep things tidy, and put gates up to stop your child from exploring. Create a home for everything, including your CDs, magazines, laundry, ironing and cleaning materials.
Raising children can create a hectic living space. But if you can get organised and stick to certain routines, you should be able to maintain a clean and tidy home for your family to enjoy.