While children are the ones who make the messes, they can also help clean them up! Here are some basic routines that help keep a tidy home with kids. Post contains affiliate links.
I’ve written quite a bit about how to keep a home tidy with small kids. This week I’m doing a mini series to give my best tips to help you ladies because, I know, it’s enough taking care of small kids without having to worry about a crazy looking house that you’re embarrassed about.
Now, I know may people embrace the whole “the house will look like a bomb for a few years thing” and if you are truly able to function better that way, then I’m not going to try to convince you otherwise.
However, if you hate the fact that your home looks like a football stadium after a ball game, then I’m hoping these tips will help you.
1. Bed making and morning tidy
I’ve only recently gotten the kids to straighten their beds because, well, they weren’t able to make their beds. You can do a few things to make this easier like getting zip up sheets, a zip up comforter, or just teaching them (painstakingly if they’re small) how to tidy the bed. I teach mine how and they don’t have the freedom to come to breakfast unless their bed is straight. Now, straight is relative, but if I can tell they’ve tried I never go behind them.
2. Cleanup after playtime
Each morning my kids have an independent play time and I don’t restrict how many toys they can play with anymore. When they are small and in the crib, they get a few choices, but when they move to playing in their room they can do what they want. The rule is that they can’t come out of their room, however, until it’s picked back up. I’ve done this from the get-go and now they don’t argue or fuss, so their room pretty much stays in good order all day.
If your children struggle to work hard without complaining, check out these printable chore cards you can use to help teach your kids responsibility, hard work, and contribution.
3. Get a good laundry system down
I go up and down with laundry over here. Sometimes I wash a load and put it away every single day. Other seasons I wash once or twice a week numerous loads. Figure out what works best for you and this is the biggest thing: if you don’t end up putting the actual laundry away the system is broken. Find a way to make sure the clothes get back where they go and that’s key. That helps you feel things are tidier and little ones don’t go dismantle an entire pile.
Your hamper system is probably the most important thing of all.
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4. Timed cleanup
I recently bought this timer to help in our day to day. Here is all the ways you can use a timer during your day, but let’s say here that it’s a great way to get in a big spurt of cleaning without feeling overwhelmed. Set your timer for a certain period of time, turn on some music even, and clean until the timer goes off. It’s easy enough to keep the kids motivated when they know there’s an end in site. You might even do this for 5 minutes every evening.
5. Evening sweep
I wrote a whole post on the evening sweep here. It’s a great routine to add into your evening. If you get your husband involved it may take less time than you think. This is actually the icing on the cake so if you don’t add in the other four routines above this will honestly leave you with a tidy home!
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