I don’t know about you, but my kids certainly aren’t the type of children that’ll sit down and play quietly, not making any mess no matter what they do. I have a friend who has such children (and, boy, how much I envy her), but mine are just little messy piglets.
Since the baby was born I have less and less time to keep the mess away from my home and pick up toys after my 3-year-old twins have finished playing, but I found out that a few simple tricks can help me put the house in (somewhat) clean shape.
1. Always involve your kids
I thank my mother-in-law from the bottom of my heart for teaching me that not involving the kids in the decluttering process is downright wrong. “How are they supposed to know that they mustn’t leave the toys scattered on the floor when you’re constantly there to pick them up?”. I was appalled by her remark at first, but she helped me realize something – there really was no way for my kids to know that they’re doing something wrong if I don’t make them realize they’re doing something wrong. So, I started to indulge them in all kinds of cleaning activities. And they are really happy to help me, too.
2. Wake up before the kids
While I rarely manage to wake up before the twins (especially when I have a baby that still doesn’t sleep throughout the night), I found out that if I wake up before them I have a lot more time and energy too, surprisingly, to get through the day. I can make a healthy breakfast and clean and tidy up a little bit, as well as plan my day – this can help me keep track of everything that’s going on around the house.
3. Learn to be organized
If you don’t have a place for most of your items (if not all of them), your home will look cluttered even if you’ve just tidied it up. It’s essential that you teach your children that organization is important, too. I tried several tricks to learn the twins organize their Barbie toys and I found out that the easiest way was to tell them that each Barbie has a house and a mommy that waits for her to come back home (it had amazing success). Invest in furniture with lots of drawers and secret compartments. My sofa, for example, has a book compartment.
4. Declutter regularly
Even if you can’t keep the dust away, at least aim to keep your home clutter-free. Don’t ever leave broken toys for when (if ever) your husband finds enough motivation to repair them. Donate clothes that no longer fit your toddles (or recycle them by giving to your baby). The less items you have wandering all around your property, the more organized it’ll look. Moreover, if you don’t collect things you don’t need, your children are less likely to become hoarders when they grow up.
5. Let them be messy
You’re not perfect, and neither are your children. And the sooner you accept that they’ll keep cluttering well into their teenage years, the better. Let your children be messy – they’re kids after all. You have no idea how much you can reduce your stress levels by simply letting your kids act like kids every now and then (of course, don’t make this into a routine).
Keeping the house clean and decluttered when you have kids may not be the easiest thing, but it certainly isn’t impossible.
*featured image from google*