Having children can make keeping a tidy home feel like an uphill battle. Between toys strewn about, dirty fingerprints on walls, and messes made at mealtimes, it’s easy for clutter and grime to get out of control. However, with some effort and smart strategies, you can maintain a clean and organized home even with little ones running around. Here are nine great tips for keeping tidy with kids.
1. Set Up Designated Toy Areas
Give your kids specific places to keep their toys and make sure they know these toy zones are the only spots toys should be found. This could be toy boxes, shelves or baskets in their bedrooms or a playroom. Rotating toys helps keep things fresh and uncluttered too, especially for younger children who get bored easily.
2. Schedule Daily Tidying
It’s a lot easier to stay on top of messes if you don’t let them pile up. Schedule 15 minutes in the evening when everyone in the family tidies the house together. Put on fun music to make cleaning more enjoyable. Once it becomes routine, nobody will bat an eye when you remind them it’s time to start cleaning.
3. Create Quick Clean Up Stations
Place baskets or bins around the house labeled with room locations. When you notice toys, books or other items left out in the wrong spot, put them in the correct basket to be returned later. This is a job smaller kids can do. Make it fun, to see who is faster at placing items in their correct locations.
4. Make Chores Age Appropriate
Giving children regular chores teaches responsibility and helps lighten your load. Preschoolers can pick up toys or put away their laundry. Older kids can take out the trash, sweep, or clean counters.
5. Limit Clutter
The less stuff in your home, the less there is to clean and organize. Go through toys yearly and donate or toss anything unused. Avoid keeping too many knick-knacks or non-essentials. Don’t buy things you don’t need.
6. Turn Cleaning into a Game
Make a chore chart with fun magnet rewards for completed tasks. See who can tidy their room the fastest. Race to put items in correct bins. Adding play makes cleaning entertaining, which will appeal to children of all ages.
7. Designate Messy Zones
Let kids get messy worry-free in acceptable areas. Cover tabletops in washable paper for arts and crafts projects. Use a plastic tablecloth for sensory play stations with rice, sand or shaving cream. Let your children have a playroom where they are allowed to set up games or craft projects and not have to tidy them away at the end of the day.
8. Simplify Storage
Use organizational tools like clear labeled bins, baskets and shelving to make putting items away easy. Store toys near where they are used.
9. Clean as You Go
Address messes right away before they grow. Wipe up spills promptly after meals. Do a quick straighten session during natural transition times. If you are struggling to keep on top of the chores, hire a punctual cleaning service to come in once or twice a week to tackle the main areas like kitchens and bathrooms. It takes a load off your to-do list.
Managing a clean home with children takes effort but establishing solid organizational habits makes it more manageable. Set realistic standards, allow kids to help at their ability levels, and incorporate tidying into regular routines. With consistency over time, you’ll raise children who are capable of keeping their own tidy homes.