Even if my friends didn’t know I was a mom, they would be able to tell instantly that Kids Live Here. There are inevitably toys strewn about, a tiny shirt tossed carelessly over a chair, or just the messiness of a house inhabited by adults who are, more often than not, too tired to keep up with the kids. Until now.
Here are 7 hacks to keep your house fabulous despite the kiddie onslaught:
MAKE YOUR BED AND KIDS’ CRIBS/BEDS EVERY MORNING
In the hurried hecticness (is that a word?) of the mornings, the poor bed can be easily overlooked. Don’t overlook it. As soon as you are out of bed, grab the comforter and flat sheet together and whip them up into the air, then quickly spread them out over the bed. Smooth out the wrinkles and tuck in the ends. I do this every morning and it takes me literally 90 seconds—unless Pumpkin insists on “helping” me, that is.
VACUUM OR CARPET SWEEP AT LEAST ONCE A DAY
Personally I prefer carpet sweeping to vacuuming, because I can do it early in the morning before the kids wake up, or after they go to bed. I can even do it around them as they play (without freaking them out!), or in the next room while still being able to hear them. I used to use my vacuum before it died, and replaced it with a carpet sweeper instead and haven’t looked back. It instantly makes the carpet cleaner which makes the whole room neater.
WIPE DOWN COUNTERTOPS IN BATHROOMS AND KITCHEN
I keep a washcloth handy near my kitchen and bathroom sinks, to wipe up any small puddles that may form. I clean as I go, instead of waiting till the end of the day to do this, because the odds are, by the time the late evening rolls around, I will be too tired to care. Then the mess just waits for me in the morning! Don’t forget about the stovetop and the interior of the microwave.
KEEP THE KITCHEN SINK EMPTY
Ahh, yes, those dreaded dishes. If everyone washed just what they used, the sink would always be empty, no? But in a house with kids, we can’t expect the sink to stay empty after every meal. Do your best not to let dirty dishes pile up, and remember to even wash the big ones (slow cooker, pressure cooker, saucepans, etc) before you sit down and put your feet up. You know, keeping up momentum and all that.
USE 2-3 LARGE BINS FOR TOYS IN ONLY ONE ROOM OR AREA OF THE HOUSE
I really REALLY hate finding toys in all corners of my home. I also really hate stepping onto one of said toys. Now, it’s a known fact that every kid scatters their toys as they move about, but if they have a clear LARGE place to store their toys, it’s less of a headache for you. And I’ve found that 2-3 large bins is more practical than 5-10 or more smaller ones, simply because they’re harder to tip over and won’t get lost easily. With the whole family involved, it will take even less time, and the kids will learn to imitate you too.
KEEP THE BED CLEAR OF CLOTHING AND OTHER ACCESSORIES AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE
I’m totally guilty of this. When we are getting ourselves and the kids ready to go out, the bed looks as though the dresser puked all over it. But I always make sure once we’re home again, or while the kids are napping, I fold and hang every single thing and put it back in its place. I guess it helps that it actually drives me a little nuts to see so much stuff out at once!
CLOSE CLOSET DOORS AND DOORS OF BEDROOMS THAT ARE MESSY
Let’s face it. Some days it’s impossible to catch up with an existing mess. Or the minute we’ve straightened up one area, another has been torn down. It’s a never-ending battle, and sometimes it’s just easier to cover it up. Sliding those closet doors closed to conceal an overflowing laundry basket or shutting the door of a particularly messy bedroom can easily shut out negative vibes and reduce stress.
What hacks do you use daily to keep your house looking fabulous?