Tips for Keeping a Tidy Home with Kids
I've been asked a few times here and there from followers on how does my home stay so tidy. First off, I want to ALWAYS remind you that social media can be deceptive. I will easily photograph around a mess or move something out of the way for a photo. There I said it. It happens and it's real.
But I will also say, that for the most part our home does stay tidy. Is it always deep cleaned with sparkling showers and freshly mopped floors? No. That stuff is harder to come by sometimes with three kids. But I am a fan of tidiness, organization and picking up. I make this a huge part of our rhythm throughout the day and while the kids are involved in it, I am too.
For the most part I can stay on top of our home with being tidy and looking clean throughout the day. Weekends can be worse sometimes or early mornings are sometimes still a bit disorangized if we're in a hurry, but I find ways to make things quickly come back together.
Clutter irritates me, things out of their place drive me crazy and if I leave my home with things lying all around, it will literally shift my whole mood in a negative way.
While having three little ones (or even just one) makes keeping a home tidy a challenge, it can be done. I think it's also important to remember that kids do need to play and make a mess. Your home is their home and messes will happen.
There's also different seasons and rhythms for different people. If you have a newborn baby, keeping your home tidy shouldn't be such a priority. If you're a mother who works away from the home, finding a rhythm different from mine and making it work for you is what works.
Everyone has a different rhythm to their day and many mothers are in different seasons of motherhood. Find what works for you and do the best you can. No one should judge you based on how tidy your home is. I think we all, even myself, need to stop apologizing when we feel like things are not "perfect." Because are they ever really? Nah. My home can look spotless, but please I beg you to not open the junk drawer and you probably shouldn't go into the utility room either. It happens and it's part of what makes us real.
But if you're looking for some EASY tips on keeping things tidy, read on mama.
- Pick up each night. No matter how tired I am, I will pick up every night before I go to bed. Toys will get put up, dishes put away, floors swept and sofa pillows will go situated perfectly. This gives me peace of mind at night and a better start to our day.
- Pick up before you leave. I think this is my biggest piece of advice. Even if we're just running to carpool or going to run errands, I make the kids clean up their toys before we leave and I pick up all of the random things lying around that accumulated throughout the day.
- Pick up before doing ANYTHING. We can't go outside if there's a giant mess inside. We can't go ride bikes if there's a giant mess somewhere. Before we move on to a new thing, we have to clean up the current situation.
- Have a power clean. This is when I put a movie on or give the kids the iPad, put the baby in the bouncer (or now he is bigger so he follows me and makes it harder) and have a power hour (or just 30 minutes). I start in each room and take care of any clutter piles, clothes that need to be put away, laundry to fold, etc....
- Clean as you cook. I try to clean my cooking space as I finish with things so when dinner is done being prepped and cooking, things are back to normal in the kitchen.
- Don't let clutter accumulate. I know this is easier said than done, but I try at all costs to not have any clutter anywhere. This keeps me sane and keeps my home looking tidy if anyone unexpectedly drops by (but don't get me wrong, sometimes it's a hot mess when people stop by lol).
- Use baskets. I have various wicker baskets all over that keep things. Some of them hold building blocks or legos, coloring books or clothes to put away in my room. But a nice wicker basket, provides a pretty aesthetically pleasing piece that can also function for efficiency.
- Pick up during nap time. I try to pick up before nap time but sometimes it doesn't get done until nap time. And then on rare occasions, I get sidetracked and maybe take a nap myself and nothing gets done. I hate when this happens because it throws us off and resorts in a mess to me.
- Make life easier. Lay clothes out for the morning, leave out the supplies you need to make lunches for school, etc... Make your mornings easier by setting the routine the night before along with cleaning the home. This way when your day begins and you do the things you have to do (like make lunches and take care of tiny humans), you can have less chaos and less mess.
- Keep things that go together, together. We have a cabinet full of art supples, school items and puzzles. We have baskets of blocks and a book area just for books. We keep things organized by type for the kids so it makes cleaning and knowing where things are easier for us.
- Own less stuff. Get rid of things that you don't use or that your kids don't play with. Less stuff results in less mess! I'm always on a mission to rid our home and lives of things we don't need. There's numerous studies that links that the more stuff we have, the unhappier we are. The more toys a kid has, the less they use their imagination or experience boredom. Purging and donating is a wonderful and very freeing thing to do for yourself and your family.
- Only fill your home up with what you love. I'm sure in some ways our home can seem bare to others. But I try to be much more decisive on what comes into our home now, rather than just picking up things because it's cute and on sale. I try to think hard about a purchase or justify that I have the right spot for it.
Lastly, give yourself some grace. I have to remember myself that I am a mother to three small children who make a mess. They wouldn't be enjoying their childhood as much if messes were not involved.
I hope these tricks help and if not, find your own tricks to incorporate into your day!