Having young kids can be a lot of fun, but it can also be tremendously messy!
If your house is getting out of control, parents need to take action and put together a plan that will help keep things clean.
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Otherwise, the kids are going to leave quite the mess and it’s not going to be easy to manage on your own!
So, what should you do when your house is a pigsty? Here are some of the most important tips for keeping your house tidy with kids.
Tips For Keeping Your House Tidy With Kids
1. Have Rules
You need to have rules and they should be clarified on a regular basis. You want the kids to know where items are supposed to go when they’re done playing.
These little rules have to be brought up on a routine basis, so they’re aware of them and know they’re important.
Otherwise, those rules can be ignored and you are going to be back to square one without a solution in sight! Be smart and vigilant with how the rules are set up. By doing this, you will already be heading in the right direction.
We have ours written on the white board in the lounge, where everyone can see it.
2. Have a Massive Clean Out
The less stuff you have the less mess you can make. You can rotate toy bins, keeping just 2-3 sets of toys out at a time, and keep the others in a cupboard or the garage and rotate through the toys every week or so.
Go through each room and get rid of toys that are broken, missing pieces, or are no longer used.
Make sure you have enough storage so that all your toys have a home to go to, and get the whole place nice and tidy. It is much easier to keep a tidy space tidy.
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3. Keep Storage Baskets in Each Room
Storage baskets are essential in a house with kids. Whether you use rubbermaid tubs with lids, or pretty baskets, you need something.
You want all of their toys to go into these baskets because that keeps things as clean as you want them to be.
In general, each room should have these baskets because kids will know where the toys go as soon as they’re done playing.
Try keeping sets of things together in the same tub and keep them clearly labeled. All the train tracks in one tub, the dress-ups in another etc.
For the storage baskets, you always want to make sure they are appropriately sized and can be accessed by the children. Otherwise, the kids might ignore them even if they’re nearby.
4. Reward Cleanliness
Cleanliness is always going to be a complex issue but it’s best to reward children when you spot them being tidy.
You can reward them in different ways whether this includes additional playtime or perhaps a nice treat. If they start to associate cleaning up with good things, they will be far more likely to keep doing it.
Over time, it will become a natural habit and that’s when messes become a rare sight. Yes, it is not going to happen overnight but it can be a great long-term tactic to make sure the house is as clean as possible.
5. Ask the Kids to Take Charge
Sometimes, parents have to learn to delegate rather than doing everything on their own. This doesn’t mean you were cleaning before and now have the kids do it all. It can be a team effort.
It is a great idea to make sure each sibling gets the opportunity to lead charge on cleaning duty. This helps them take ownership of the cleaning, and installs a feeling of pride over what they can achieve.
Otherwise the kids may assume cleaning is something their parents force on them and it’s not for kids.
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6. Learn to Take a Step Back
Parents will often want to enforce rules and stay on top of their kids but that’s not always ideal.
Yes, you do want to keep the house clean but there are moments where you have to hold your tongue and allow the kids to make their mistakes. Always drilling cleanliness into their heads might have an opposite effect.
You want to showcase the ability to take a step back and see how they respond. Give them space to make a mess, but once they have finished making the mess, ask them now to go back and tidy up.
7. Keep Certain Spots Off Limits
In a larger living space, it’s easy for the entire house to become a mess.
It’s important to have certain spaces “off limits” to the kids. For example, they shouldn’t be allowed to play in the laundry room or in the home office.
Each house is going to have different rooms and you have to choose those spaces that you want to keep off limits for play based on your own family and home.
Allowing the kids play wherever they through the whole house is only going to make things harder on you. Managing such a widespread mess is tremendously difficult and something you don’t want to play around with!
Try and keep most of the play in 1-2 rooms of the house and tidy up as they go along.
Final Thoughts on Keeping a House Tidy with Kids
These tips are going to ensure your house looks and smells great at all times of the day.
Keeping your house tidy with kids is a situation that can be challenging at times but that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up!
Instead, you want to think about coming up with a clear-cut strategy and ensuring your kids are on the same page as you.
With time, they will start to get a feel for what’s required and that’s when you’re going to feel better as a parent.
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