As lovely as kids are they're not the cleanest of people, are they? They love to be involved in activities that make the most mess, and for someone who likes their house just so, it can be quite stressy when it looks like a bomb's gone off inside your child's toy chest. And it can be a steep learning curve if you've got children who don't like to sit and play quietly, but would rather get into everything, so are there any strategies you can put in place to keep your home as clean as possible while also keeping your sanity intact?
Get Up Before Your Children
It's not the nicest solution, especially if you've got children who barely sleep! But if you get up a couple of hours before they do, that means you've got a bit more time to clear away toys and get the house in a good state before the kids come and mess it up. While you may think that it's much better to sleep in, in fact getting up at the same time every day is better for your body clock than having random sleeping patterns. By having a routine in place, it can help a lot on the cleaning front and general household duties.
The Breakables Go Up High!
If you had a pristine house with antiques out on display before you had children, you'd better make sure that they are either locked away or in a place that toddlers can't reach. And while your antique clock may look like an intriguing plaything to the kids you'll only have yourself to blame if you end up getting your antique clock repaired after it was smashed into 15 different pieces! Luckily there are plenty of specialist clock makers around, but that's not the point really, is it?
Put Toys Away Before Starting Something New
This can be a big habit that will save you a lot of mess because children love to take one toy out, then another, and another until you can't see what color your carpet is. If you spend time playing with your kids, then you can help to enforce the habit of putting something away before getting a new toy out. If your child says they are done with the toy, encourage them to put it away rather than just wander off in search of something new.
Unfortunately, this is the big thing you need to learn to cope with keeping on top of everything in a busy household with messy children or fussy babies. There will be days when your children need some extra attention, or you are just too tired to do anything which allows the dust to accumulate and the dishes to pile up. And for those of us that are overcome with OCD, it is important to remember that your children are only young once and that these years are precious. So while it's great to have a routine, it's also great to throw caution to the wind sometimes.