Toddlers are like little mischievous elves that run around your home from sun up to sun down, causing as much destruction as humanly possible. You put all of the laundry into the hamper, she dumps it all out. You pick up all of the Legos and put them back in their bag, he disperses them in every crevice of your living room. You put all the Cheerios in a bowl, she decides they taste better after being thrown all over the floor. And so it goes until it’s time to put them to bed and your house looks like it’s been ravaged by some sort of natural disaster.
To aim for a perfect, magazine-worthy home when you have one or more tiny humans wreaking havoc on your space is just a little more than unattainable, not to mention insanely stressful on you and your family. However, there are plenty of simple ways to help tame the madness. Follow these handy guidelines to help keep a clean(er) home even when you have toddlers living under the same roof.
Minimize the sit-arounds
The less there is for them to mess up, the easier your life is going to be. If you want to reduce the amount of candles, picture frames and coasters strewn about your floor at any given moment, the key is to simply remove them altogether for a while — at least until your little one has a little more willpower not to leave a trail of your mini potted succulents wherever he goes.
Make daily sweeps
Instate two major clean ups every single day: one sweep after designated playtime and one major sweep after the kids go down for the night. It feels great having a tidy house before bed and it feels even better having a tidy house upon waking up in the morning. No matter how tired you are, take the extra 15 minutes after dinner for this final sweep so that you can settle into your kid-free night with a glass of wine, your favorite show, clean house and a clean conscience.
Organize (very, very) well
If you start out unorganized, things will only go downhill from there. If things don’t have a place, you’re already behind the eight ball. Every single thing should have a designated spot so there’s no question about where it needs to go when playtime is over. The trick here is baskets — baskets will become your best friend. We recommend baskets for everything like toys, blankets, books or diapers for quick and easy pick up.
Stop buying stuff you don’t need
Follow this tip and not only will your house look cleaner, but your bank account and husband will both thank you. Not every single space has to be filled! Just remember, whatever you bring into your home will have to be put somewhere and chances are your little one will find it and probably pile it into the bathroom sink by the end of the day. Besides, less stuff means a more streamlined, minimalist vibe, which in turn always looks cleaner and more put together.
Work with your kids
Work with your kids — not against them — when it comes to figuring out a system of cleanliness. For example, you can’t hold every room in the house to a high standard, so designate certain rooms or areas as “kid friendly” meaning it’s okay if there are toys strewn about most of the time. Whether it’s a whole playroom or simply just one tiny corner of their room, let them know that they have a space that’s “theirs” and take some of the pressure off of it.