Keeping a house clean when you have little kids is no small feat. As soon as you have one area clean another one has probably accumulated a mess of clutter and possibly even spills. It’s a never-ending process of cleaning and then hoping nothing catastrophic has happened anywhere else in the house.
Being a house with small kids is never easy. Life gets busy and kids are messy. It all adds up really quickly if you don’t have time to clean every day. You definitely don’t have time to tackle carpet cleaning like professionals or spend hours making sure every corner is immaculate. You need tips that are quick and easy to use that actually work.
The good news here is that there are definitely tips out there that are easy and very simple to start using. They won’t require hours of scrubbing or lots of extra cleaning supplies. These tips are made for households that are busy and have little kids running around non stop. Here are seven simple ways to keep your house clean when you have small children.
1. Use Baskets To Contain Messes
Most homes have a few areas that seem to accumulate clutter more easily than anywhere else in your home. Instead of stressing over the mess every day and running around trying to put things away, use a basket to contain the craziness. Even toddlers can learn to put items in a basket instead of on the floor when they’re done playing.
You can go through the basket or baskets once or twice a week to put things back in their correct place. The idea here is to give you a chance to breathe and enjoy a home that looks (mostly) organized even if you haven’t had a chance to really clean that day. Putting things in baskets keeps them off the floor and it looks more put together. Just make sure you don’t skip basket clean-out days.
2. Avoid Scrubbing Your Tub
You can save time in a way you might have considered when it comes to cleaning your bathroom, and more specifically, cleaning your tub. Instead of waiting a week or two to take care of the bathroom between deep cleans, wipe down the shower/tub every day instead. Keep some cleaner right by the shower so you don’t forget.
This might sound like an additional strain on your time but it’s not. You can spray and wipe down a shower within about five minutes, especially if you do it right after bathtime. If you put in a few extra seconds to wipe things down daily you won’t have to put in 20-30 minutes scrubbing away build-up later on. It’s well worth the slight change in your daily schedule.
3. Keep A Spill Kit Ready
You already know how messy kids can be, so it’s best to just be prepared for the inevitable. Keep a kit ready for those unexpected moments when a juice cup is spilled or mud gets tracked in accidentally. You can stock something like a plastic caddy with some baking soda, vinegar, club soda, and a spray bottle. Don’t forget to add some dry cloths or towels to your caddy too.
The next time a spill happens, grab the caddy and be ready in an instant instead of fumbling around for everything you need. If you act quickly enough you won’t have to worry about getting out a stain later on. You can also substitute the baking soda and vinegar for your favorite carpet cleaning products if you prefer. Just make sure what you need will be at your fintertips when the time comes.
4. Make It A Game
Little kids love a good game. If they’re still small enough to make your life crazy busy but old enough to help out, it’s time to make cleaning a game. Set a timer and see how fast you can clean a room. Set smaller goals for younger children such as seeing how fast they can put toys into the basket you read about earlier.
See if you can beat the amount of time it took you to clean the room the last time you played this “game” to encourage kids even more. In general, just make cleaning something they can think of as a game so you don’t have to nag and things actually get done.
5. Focus On Tidy When You Can’t Focus On “Clean”
If you’re busy and you only have a few minutes that’s okay. Kids and life should be more important than a deep clean sometimes. If you’re busy it’s time to focus on being tidying a room instead of cleaning it. The difference is that tidying will leave you with a room that looks pretty decent whereas cleaning is when you actually involve supplies and invest more time.
Eventually, you will have to clean, of course, but tidying a room can go a long way in making you feel more comfortable in your home. When you’re short on time and you just feel like your entire house is cluttered and out of control, go for a quick tidying up session instead of breaking out the supplies and making your life more stressful than it has to be at that moment.
6. Keep Cleaning Wipes… Everywhere
You have a spill kit for those unexpected moments but you’re going to need something at hand for those entirely expected moments too. You already know how messy kids can be so instead of fighting the mess, expect and plan for it. Keep cleaning wipes within reach in high-use areas of your home like the kitchen or bathroom.
They’re easy to grab and use while you’re cooking, right after a meal, or even while you’re out and about and want to wipe down a really dirty table before you use it. Cleaning wipes are a time-saver you can’t skip. Having them within reach in areas you know are going to be getting messy anyhow will really help you save time and some of your sanity.
7. Try To Maximize Your Time
Any time you do get a few extra minutes to clean try to maximize that time by getting a few things done at once. You can set your oven to clean itself (if it’s a self-cleaning oven) while you’re working on vacuuming the house at the same time, for example. Or you can microwave some water and vinegar to steam clean your microwave while you’re mopping the kitchen.
If you can get a few things done at the same time that’s more you don’t have to worry about later. You’re already great at multitasking if you have a few little kids running around, so use that to your advantage and plan out a really effective cleaning strategy.
It’s okay to have a home that doesn’t look Pinterest ready at every second of your life. Kids and daily routines take over sometimes and there’s really nothing to be stressed about when that happens.
Try to use the tips here to make your life feel a little more organized and remember that kids won’t stay little forever. Enjoy what you can of this time even if it’s a little bit crazy and hectic. Eventually, you’ll have more time to clean and you’ll miss having little ones running around.
Author Bio: Ashley Coblentz is a lifestyle blogger currently writing for Msscleaning and a political journalist. After graduating from college, she worked as a Registered Nurse at one of the largest hospitals in South Dakota until deciding to be a full-time mom. She remains very passionate about the nursing profession and often volunteers in her extra time to teach community education classes on first aid and other related topics. She has one amazing child who keeps her on her toes. Who knew 10-year-olds could have so many questions? If you want to keep up with her and see what she’s writing next you can find her on Twitter .