If you have kids, especially toddlers, it can feel as though you have a hurricane running through your home at all hours of the day. Only when things are quiet and everyone is in bed can you look upon the devastation and realise that you can’t be bothered to deal with it tonight, but there are ways that you can limit the damage your poor house sustains throughout day light hours. Here are our top tips to keeping your house clean with toddlers.
Creating Rules and Boundaries
One of the best ways of limiting clutter is through establishing rules. When your child reaches for a toy or toy collection, only let them take one. Once they have finished playing with the particular item or set, have them return it before they can take another. This will help you build boundaries that only one play set or item is allowed out at given time.
Everything Has Its Place
When you are tidying away, do it with your toddler or toddlers and show them that everything has its place and that everything belongs somewhere, this will help them when they are putting toys and toy sets away. By instilling this boundary, you are showing that you can’t simply put it under the bed to be forgotten about.
It is amazing how many items we accumulate especially when we are raising kids. Decluttering is a very easy way to limit the number of items that you have to constantly pick up and try and find a place for. Start decluttering in the bathroom, you will find that items that hold less sentimental value will end up gravitating there, so you can bag them up and take them to the charity shop or donate them. For further details, you can check out A Clean Home, the concerned website deals with such matters.
Make Tidying Up Accessible
If you are trying to encourage your toddler to choose one toy at a time and then put it away when it is no longer in use, then make sure you are providing facilities that are accessible. There is no point in having toys and toy sets high up on shelves, as they won’t be able to put them back. Use racks and baskets that rest on the floor, so they are able to choose toys and put them back when they are done.
Create A Routine
Routines can be difficult, especially with how unpredictable and sporadic toddlers can be, but one of the secrets to keeping your house clean is working smarter and not harder. Find space in the day where you can whip round a vacuum for 10 minutes and if it falls within the usual nap time, you’ll find that it is easy to stick to. Likewise, if you can find 10 minutes in the morning before they wake up and start demanding breakfast, you can clean down the kitchen and living room. Working in 10-minute blocks where you know you or they won’t be disturbed can increase the chances of you sticking to this routine. It will also limit the amount of cleaning you have to do as you are covering the same areas on a consistent basis.
Set Up Designated Play Areas
If you feel as though you are forever falling over your kids’ toys, or they are leaving a mess of food and dirt wherever they are playing, then setting up designated play areas may help. Select a location in your house and designate this area as the play zone. By having a selected area, all the mess, muck, dirt and other toddler debris can stay in a particular area, so you don’t have to run around with a bucket and sponge every 5 minutes when they decide to take their play endeavours to another room.
Lower Your Expectations
This may seem counter intuitive and for some people, it may be difficult to come to terms with, but your house doesn’t need to be immaculately clean to be functional. If you can overlook the handprints on the coffee table or a few dishes in the sink, you may well be far happier and less stressed for it. Having a toddler or toddlers is a fun time full of exploration and growing, a handprint on the window can be dealt with later.
Whilst having toddlers running around your home can be a whirlwind, cleaning up after them doesn’t have to take you into the early hours of the morning whilst everyone is asleep. Before they wake up, clean for 10 minutes and stick to that routine, you’ll find that things get less messy when you clean a small amount throughout the course of the day, meaning you won’t wake up to a house that looks like it has been tipped on its head. Set clear boundaries and rules, this will not only help in cleaning, but also in later life. Finally, lowering expectations can make everything far easier and work to reduce your stress, a handprint and a few dishes are fine to be left in favour of other activities.