Before having kids, my husband 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 exhaustion set in. We were so tired cleaning was one of the last things we wanted to do. But messiness 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.
Does having a tidy home do anything for you other than it is clean?
Yes, it does. A tidy home just makes you feel good. I know no one likes to clean for the heck of it, but having a home look at least organized can invigorate a person. It 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 my husband and I do a basic cleanup of the house within about 30 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 con 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 they could choke. Keeping the home tidy can help reduce the chances of this happening.
- 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.
What does it mean to have a tidy home?
This usually depends on the person, but for me 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. We split up the tasks to get done quicker. One does dishes and the other organizes the downstairs. Like I said above, since we do this constantly, it only takes us about 30 minutes each night.
The Best Products to Overcome the Constant Mess
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1. iRobot Roomba
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.
3. Large Plastic Tubs
While I still love the cloth storage bins, the large plastic tubs are even better! We literally put every single toy for both boys into one large bin. It is amazing how much time is saved just by throwing everything into a giant container. Check out the link below to get your giant toy bins today!
4. Shoe Bench/Rack
A simple but effective location for everyone’s shoes. 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. Check out all the options on Amazon.
5. Splat Mat
I love love love the splat mat because it has saved my floors too many times to count. 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 tell you 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.
6. Double Closet Rod
I found that hanging most of the kid’s clothes was so much easier than folding them. This 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.
I love photo boxes, especially 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.
8. 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 future purchases.
9. A Bookshelf
We are still in the process of finding a bookshelf for our son’s room. Charlie loves to read and the current best way we are keeping them organized is by lining them up along the wall. The books still find a way spread out throughout the room.
I would like to have a bookshelf though so that way they are kept out of foot traffic. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stepped or run into a book when I did a nightly check-in. Click the image below to find the perfect bookshelf for your kid’s room!
10. A Basic Shelf
A simple shelf can go a long way with storing either kid’s items or items you don’t want the kids getting into. Amazon has a ton of options, so click the image to find one that fits with your home. Just remember to screw the shelf into the wall in case your kids are a climber or like to shake the furniture.
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 a toddler and a baby, 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 can 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 ~
Here is a great list of the essential items you need and those you can live without to build your maternity wardrobe.