Best Habits To Keep Your Home Clean Around Kids
Do you miss having a clean and organized home like before you had kids? I know that you love them more than anything but also that you curse in your mind every time you step on a building block (ouch!).
Well, don't worry. I have a secret for you that will allow you to keep your home clean without stressing over it.
The secret is to adopt the right habits. And the best part is, you won't have to get up at 4 AM to do it.
Clean As You Go
The first and most important habit that you need to adopt is to clean as you go. You're passing by a glass while going to the kitchen. Grab it, wash it, and continue what you were doing. See something out of its place? Put it away and go on.
Anything that will take you less than a minute, should be done as soon as you notice it.
How will this help you?
Cleaning in small chunks is easier and a lot less overwhelming than deep cleaning. You won't have to worry about where to start from or get frustrated because it will take your whole afternoon.
Try to clean as you go for just one day and I promise you you'll see immediate results.
Declutter Your Home
We all have piles of clutter in our homes. Even if you cannot see them, they are right there. In the boxes under the bed, in the back of the wardrobe, in the attic, and in the garage.
And now is just as good a time as any to get rid of all the things you're keeping for someday. Don't worry, it won't take that long if you're following a system that can fit your busy schedule.
Clean When The Kids Are Awake
The mess doesn't just magically disappear. You know this. And your kids should know it too.
If your kids are at least 1 year old, I strongly recommend that you start cleaning in front of them instead of waiting until they are in bed. Talk to them about what you're doing, how are you doing it, and why.
Bonus: You'll then have naptime all to yourself so you can rest or watch a favorite TV show.
Involve Your Kids In The Cleaning
Once your kids start seeing you getting busy around the house, they will inevitably want to join you. Let them.
Furthermore, ask them if they want to help you, give them simple tasks and show them how to do it. They may not do a great job at first, but they'll get into the habit of helping you out.
Here are some tasks you can safely assign to your toddler or preschooler:
Pick up toys
Put away books
Collect dirty clothes from their room
Put the laundry in the washer
Toss their trash
Clear the table (after you have removed the glasses and knives)
Dust with a feather duster or microfiber cloth
Make their bed
Water the plants
Encourage Independent Play
The main benefit of independent play is pretty obvious - you'll have more time for yourself to spend as you wish.
The question is how to achieve this.
Well, one way to do it is by adopting the Montessori principles in your kids' daily routine. The main goal of this pedagogical method is to raise your kids into confident and autonomous grown-ups.
And the best part is that it's actually really easy to practice at home.
Plan For Everything
My life started changing after I bought my first bullet journal. That was 4 years ago. Now, I cannot live without it.
I plan everything and my life has gotten so much easier and more stress-free.
Tempted to grab a journal? Here are a few ways it can help you keep your home clean or make time for cleaning (and yourself):
Cleaning schedule. When was the last time you cleaned the fridge, the oven, the mattress, the curtains? You don't have to remember, it's all in there.
Track new habits. Like clean as you go or taking time for some self-care.
Meal plan. Save some money and time and ever again worry about what are you going to make for dinner.
Shopping list. When you have a list going through the store takes 15 minutes instead of 45+.
Packing lists. I have a packing list for going away for the weekend, to the beach for a week, for kids overnight at their grandparents. Packing now takes me no time at all and I'm always sure I didn't miss anything.
Daily, weekly and monthly spreadsheets. I have all my personal and business appointments there, friends' birthdays, mark down milestones my kids have met, funny things they've said, etc.
Plan activities. I love browsing on Pinterest for baby and toddler activities to keep them busy when I have work to do. So when I find something interesting I note it down and add the items we don't have to a shopping list. I also rate the activity with up to 5 starts depending on how much the kids enjoyed it.
Outsource The Deep Cleaning
If you can afford it, hire someone to deep clean your home every couple of weeks. You have no idea how much stress this will lift off your shoulders.
Still, if your budget doesn't allow it, try not to do it alone. Involve your partner in the process, divide the tasks, and conquer the mess.
Accept The Mess
The truth is, that no matter what you do, there will still be days when your home will still be a disaster. And you just have to accept it.
So one those hard days, pour a glass of wine and try to think not about the mess but about the smiles on your kids' faces while they were making it.