Remember the days before you had children? A Lego-free floor, a spotless car interior, and silk tops were a way of life. But once your baby turns into a toddler, the mess begins! Try our tips to keep clutter at bay! By the way, if your kids can learn to clean up at preschool or at their childcare center, then they can learn to clean up at home too!
We know that your kids love to snack on the go. And handing them a healthy snack in the backseat is a great way to keep them satisfied and occupied when you’re fighting rush hour traffic. But try a snack that doesn’t crumble like crackers and won’t stain like jam. A granola bar is a great choice, as is string cheese, or raw veggies.
After a long morning of running errands, the backseat of your car might look like a tornado whipped through it. Food wrappers, receipts and packaging for any items you may have purchased for your child, and errant pieces of the aforementioned granola bar may litter the seats and floor. Do a quick sweep of debris into a small trash bag you keep in the backseat, and the mess is cleared.
Does your kid have a tablet, a stuffed toy, a lovey, and few action figures within reach of his car seat? Keep the clutter contained by storing a small bin in the backseat, asking your child to put his toys back where they belong when the ride is done.
Of course, popcorn on the couch on movie night is a given. But most meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, should be eaten at the dinner table and not in your living room. This helps keep stains at bay, and is especially important when your child’s friends are over for a play date.
Strategically place bins wherever toys gather. Your kids’ rooms? The living room? The basement? Wherever you find a sea of toys at the end of the day, place bins. Ask your children to make it a practice, every night before dinner, to toss all of their toys into the bins. It takes mere minutes and makes your house look sane again.
Teaching your kids to tidy their messes is a great way to help them learn to take responsibility for their possessions, and their home. Show them how to complete other chores like dusting, cleaning surfaces, and even vacuuming.
The Family’s Clothes
Sure, your child has a few special occasion items, like a fancy dress for her birthday, or a few cute holiday sweaters. But for the most part, check the labels to make sure that all of her everyday clothing is machine washable. You’d be surprised at how many articles of kids’ clothing is hand wash only, and no parent has time to be hand-washing tiny t-shirts everyday.
Kid stains tend to run the gamut, from grass and dirt to strawberries and blueberries, and, yes, occasionally blood from a scrape at the playground. Buy a powerful detergent, like OxiClean, to get rid of lingering stains. If you’d prefer a natural brand of detergent, Seventh Generation Free and Clear gets high marks for its cleaning power. And carry a small container of Spray ‘N Wash for those tough stains your child acquires when you’re out and about.
Have you learned to tame your messy house, car, and kid? Spill the secrets to your clean and tidy lifestyle in the comments!