When I first had my son, my house was always neat, clean, and orderly, but the older my son gets the more that is slowly becoming a fading memory. Living at home with a toddler is a full time job whether you work or are a stay at home mom. Once my son learned to walk, my house looked like it blew up. He was getting into everything. I couldn’t get one thing picked up before he was ready to pull out the next. My “free” time has dwindled more and more the older he gets. So I’m having to learn how to keep my house organized and clean without spending all of my time doing that. As I’ve mentioned, my son is only 15 months old, so I’m still learning. However, I wanted to share a few things I’m learning along the way.
1. Teach your kid what he/she can and cannot touch.
At first, I just taught my son what he could and could not touch based on safety concerns. I am slowly learning that he just shouldn’t get into stuff for the pure fact that he shouldn’t get into it. In order to manage my life, I have learned that he can’t have full reign over everything and I have to set limits based on the fact that my life can’t revolve around picking up his messes.
2. Set times to pick up your house.
As I said before, my life revolved around picking up after my son when he first learned to walk. I’m pretty sure I could spend 12 hours a day picking up after him if I let myself, but I would get nothing else done. Therefore, unless I have company coming, I am learning to set 2-3 times per day to pick up after him. I tried once a day and that seemed to be a bad idea because it took me too long to clean up. The 2-3 times per day seems to be the perfect amount to keep the house sane while not working myself to death.
3. Teach your kids to do age appropriate chores.
It’s amazing to me how quickly kids pick up on things. My son is only 15 months old and has already learned to put his clothes in the hamper and occasionally helps put some of his toys away. Obviously, he is still learning so I can’t expect perfection, but I don’t think it’s too early for him to pick up on some good habits. I’m having to learn to let go of the reigns sometimes and let him clean up after himself. Sometimes it just seems easier if I just do it (you know so the clean clothes don’t end up in the hamper too), but I do think it’s important for him to learn to do chores that are suitable for his age.
4. Plan out your week to allow for cleaning time.
As far as actual cleaning (i.e. dusting, vacuuming, etc.), I’ve learned that planning is the key. I usually set one morning to get all my basic cleaning done and then get my deeper cleaning done at various times throughout the month. I’ve found that if I don’t allot time for cleaning, it just doesn’t get done. I encourage you to sit down and write out a schedule for yourself so time doesn’t get away from you.
5. Don’t expect Perfection.
I am a perfectionist at heart, so this was a hard pill to swallow. I have learned that sometimes good is good enough. It doesn’t have to always be perfect.
I would love to hear some more tips and time savers in keeping a clean home, so please share in the comments section below or submit in the Submissions area.
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