Before having kids, my husband (AJ) and I were always able to keep our home looking nice. We could have friends and family come over, and never need to do much cleaning. Then we had our first son and we were exhausted. We were so tired that we did not want to clean the house like we used to. But it did tend to wear on us. We liked having a tidy home. So we began to try to figure out a way we could do it without spending all our free time cleaning.
Having a tidy home just makes you feel good. There is something about a clean space that is very soothing and allows a part of you to relax. I will say that even though I love my space to be organized or clean, my kids usually come through like a tornado when playing with their toys. Every night through AJ and I are able to do a basic cleanup of the house within 15 to 20 minutes. That’s it.
Why is it Important to Keep a Tidy Home?
- Keeping a tidy home allows you to focus more on tasks or projects that need to be done. Some people are able to work in a chaotic organized mess. The keyword is that it is organized for them. In some way, what appears to be a mess is actually organized for their brain to focus.
- Little ones love to put things in their mouth and don’t think about the consequences…like the could choke. Keeping the home tidy helps keep the chance of this happening to a minimum.
- You will be more likely able to find a missing item. Having a cleaner home takes away the needless clutter and allows you to have a smaller search radius for that missing toy.
- Also, you will most likely be inviting people over more during those first six months. By keeping up with your home, you won’t have to do as much for your guests. Instead, you could focus on preparing food or playing with your kids.
Keeping a tidy home doesn’t mean you need to do a deep clean every time. In fact, what I mean by tiding up is what my husband and I call the quick clean. This means that you just put everything away in a general location. This could be throwing all the toys into a few baskets and then placing those baskets along the wall. Or it could be putting the dishes in the dishwasher after everyone has gone to bed. AJ and I will generally split the tasks. One does dishes and the other organizes the downstairs. Like I said above, since we do this constantly, it only takes us 15-20 minutes each night.
Best Products to Overcome the Constant Mess
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I’m going to start out big, but this was a game-changer for my husband and I. When our son Charlie started eating solids, that meant the increase of crumbs. Even though we work really hard on not wearing our shoes in the house, it is still inevitable that we will just quickly walk in to grab keys or a snack. So vacuuming daily allowed us to be more comfortable with our sons playing on the floor. Now I am not a mom who will freak out if Charlie finds a puff that he left the other day, but I still like the idea that most if not all will be vacuumed away before he has the chance. Bonus with the Roomba, if you have an animal it will help keep the pet hair under control.
The Roomba is so easy to use. You can even control it from your phone. The iRobot app allows you to set a schedule. So if you want to Roomba to run every other day, you can set that up. I do recommend that you get a Roomba 890 or higher. These vacuums are made to handle pet hair and have brushes that will move between multiple surfaces. We have a Roomba 890 and it has been working great since we purchased it at the beginning of 2018. Our cat has even gotten over his fear of it. We haven’t run into any issues and we use about almost every day.
Roomba is one of the best investments that we purchased. Even if ours was to break tomorrow, I would be buying another right away to replace it.
These are amazing. We use these for everything, from storing toys to being our diaper cabby. The possibilities are endless. They even became a laundry basket in the kid’s bathroom for their clothes. They’re small enough so it will at least work for now. They also come in so many designs and sizes, that I feel like that can fit in anyone’s home. When purchasing these, I recommend buying the ones that come in a 6-pack or more. You will end up spending less compared to buying single packs.
The ideal placement of this will be by your front door. Having a shoe bench allows you to keep all your shoes in one spot, which will translate to a less cluttered looking space. It will also help your kid learn the concept that some items get put away in a specific place. You don’t need to get one that is a bench, but having the bench allows your space to have a nice look. Amazon has a lot of options at varying prices, but then I really like the one shown below.
4. Splat Mat
So my son Charlie can be a very messy eater. The last home we rented had beige carpets, which spelled doom for us. Especially since Charlie loves blackberries and blueberries. I’m sure you know those are great at making stains. So very quickly I searched Amazon for a solution and found this. The splat mat is a carpet lifesaver. I can’t count how many times Charlie has dropped food and thankfully it landed on the splat mat. The mat is machine washable and there are a variety of patterns that to choose from. The bottom side of the splat mat has rubber dots, which will work great if you have wood or tile floors. I promise your floors will thank you for getting this.
I found that hanging most of the kid’s clothes was so much easier than folding them. The double closet rod is a great solution for opening up closet space. Using this closet rod allowed us to designate one portion of the closet for clothes and the other portion for storing big items, like boxes of hand-me-down clothes or a backpacking kid carrier. This also ended up working great since we now have two kids. The upper level belongs to my oldest and the bottom level to my youngest. It really is crazy at how something as simple as this can help keep your home looking organized.
6. Photo Box
I love photo boxes with all the unique designs. I use them to store all the art that is made from daycare, important memorabilia (like hospital bands), photos (of course), and any other random little mementos. The best part is that they are not too big, so when I store them they do not take up much space. Plus you will have a reason to go down memory lane when you put something new inside.
7. DVD Binder
I know you’re probably thinking “a DVD binder…is she for real”? Yes, I am serious about this. I know most people don’t buy DVDs or CDs anymore, but I do. In fact, I bought most of them while I was in college. So let’s say you decided to keep all those DVDs or CDs that you bought. The cases can take up so much room and they tend to make a room look cluttered. The easiest way of making a space look tidy is removing anything that would be considered excess. So this one little switch could make your entertainment area look much cleaner. I recommend one that holds at least 200. If you continue to buy DVDs for your kids (maybe for traveling) then plan for the future purchases.
Common Questions/FAQ About Keeping a Tidy Home
- How do you clean your home with your kid?
- Initially, you probably won’t. My husband and I do our quick clean after putting both kids to bed. This takes us about 15 minutes with the two of us splitting tasks. We are currently working on having our oldest help with cleanup, but he is not the best. He likes to wait to the point when almost everything is put into a box and then dump it. It makes him laugh every time and then I can’t help laughing as well.
- How should I organize my house with kids?
- Try to keep the items they will play with the most at ground level. Using the cloth storage bins will allow you to out array stuff, so it can be kept in one place. Then put the items that you don’t want them messing with either on a high shelf they can’t get to or locked within a cabinet.
- How can working parents keep a clean house?
- Set a schedule and stick with it is the basic answer. My husband and I do it every night. By doing it every night, it allows us to keep the amount of time we spend cleaning to a minimum (about 15 minutes). Figure out what will work best for you and make it happen. Also use tools to help make the tidying up process faster, like the iRobot Roomba. We barely vacuum any more thanks to this nifty electronic.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Keeping a Tidy Home
Keeping a tidy home is hard. I currently have two under two and it sometimes feels like a pointless struggle. But every time we finish our quick clean, I feel so much more relaxed. I feel like I am able to embrace the time I have set as “me time” or “couple time”. Having the items listed above really helps make the process so much easier. Since we have so many different tools, I say use them.
Is there an item not mentioned above that you use to keep your house tidy? Send me an email and I will feature it in an upcoming email letter. I love finding new ways to keep my home looking good.
Happy Days ~ CaitieJ