One thing that a lot of parents struggle with is having a home that’s always in chaos. If there’s toys everywhere and things are untidy, you’re not alone. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It is possible to raise kids and still maintain a tidy home, although it does take work and dedication. When I was growing up our house was clean, and I know others are doing it too. And, no, I’m not talking about your house being spotless top to bottom. An overall clean instead is what I’m talking about is a messy house could be making you and your kids sick. Let’s take a look at how to tidy up.
Having Kids: It’s a Roller Coaster
Having children is like embarking on a big adventure. You’ve got to balance normal life while caring for the needs of the little ones, all the while attempting to be an effective parent.
Then there’s the roller coaster ups and downs — especially during the terrible twos, threes, and fours. In fact, most parents are amazed when all of a sudden the kids are teenagers and living relatively independently! It’s a whirlwind trip of highs and lows, and lows, and then they’re all grown up. It’s easy to see how a messy house can happen.
Clean Floors, Calm Mind
Did you know that mess can have a subtle impact on your subconscious levels of well-being? Yes, research shows that a messy home can leave you feeling stress and anxiety.
A tidy room, on the other hand, can give you peace of mind. Clean floors are a great places to start. Check out these steam mops for inspiration on how to keep your tiles sparkling clean. But make sure to vacuum or sweep before you get mopping — otherwise you’re just pushing dirt around the floor.
If your kids are old enough, make tidying the floor into a game for them. For example, reward them with a sticker or other fun stuff for every five toys they pick up and put in the right place.
As for the time they’re spending with their toys, it’s not really “making a mess” as they’re using their imaginations and that’s awesome. Only through imagination do inventions happen! That’s the way to the future. So don’t jump on them to clean up too soon as they’re using their minds, exploring their surroundings, and having fun, which is all part of a healthy childhood.
Give the Kids Chores
Once your kids are old enough to do some basic chores, gently encourage them to help out around your messy house. Focus on basic chores rather than expecting them to be able to scrub the oven or toilets, or make everything pristine and clean.
Earlier I mentioned picking up toys, for instance. Another idea is to get them to wipe down surfaces with a cloth, tidy their bedrooms, or even rake up some leaves in the yard.
If your family does pocket money or allowances, teach your kids’ the value of work from an early age by paying them for their “work.” Helping them learn early on about finances will set them up for future success in life.
Set up a Cleaning Schedule for the Adults
There are many kinds of families: single parents, extended family, grandparent family… And having family is a beautiful thing!
So, if you’re a household with a mix of young kids and older adults, create a rotating cleaning chart for the adults to help keep a messy house at bay. Put a mix of chores for each day so that every day or every other day of the week there is a cleaning task. For example, Monday is vacuum and mop day and Wednesday is bathroom day. Then Friday is the day to dust, and so on. Make sure to include a break day on the weekend so you get some downtime too.
Messy House? Ask for Help
This next tip is for parents of young children under six or so who can still be a handful. The house can quickly descend into chaos with young kids. That’s especially if parents are busy with work, studying for school, or other commitments.
While it can be difficult to swallow your pride and ask for help, if you have friends or family nearby then pick up the phone and ask them to take the kids’ out for a few hours while you get the house under control. Usually grandparents dote on their grandchildren and love to take them out for a day trip.
Final Words about a Messy House
Having kids can mean that life gets chaotic at times, true. Keeping a tidy home, including the floors, giving the kids simple chores, and having a schedule for adults is a great starting point for maintaining a tidy house.
And it’s ok if sometimes a messy house happens! There’s going to be extra busy weeks and chores can fall behind. But if everyone makes an effort, then at least some clutter is removable.
What are some other ways to keep your house clean with kids?