Now that I’m at home on maternity leave I am already finding it necessary to make new routines and stick to them. With my two boys home all day and a newborn baby my house can turn into a disaster VERY quickly. Just like with all things in life things just seem to work better when I try and do a little at a time and keep things simple. I’m no expert, and my house certainly isn’t perfect. I’ve said it before, a home should appear to be lived in. I try to remember that before a guest stops by and I’m frantically trying to clean up toys that cover the front room floor and clean the guest bathroom my boys urinate in daily. I don’t really remember what my house looked like before kids, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t look like a tornado just hit every other day. I wish I could keep a spotless, toy free home, but I have learned that it just needs to be organized daily and my kids need to be involved. With all that said, I have found a few things that work very well for us in our home and I want to share them with you. Maybe you can relate, and maybe you have a few suggestions that work really well for you. I’d love to hear! Here are my 10 Healthy Habits for Keeping a Clean Home With Young Children:
Find things that work for you and your family and stick to them. In our home we all have a few responsibilities of our own and we all pitch in for a quick cleanup before the kids go to bed. Below I will mostly share what exactly our routines are. I designed a cute little Weekly Chore Chart for Kids for my kids last week and have been filling it in when they complete a chore. I left it blank so you can write your own chores in.
Some of the chores my 2 and 5 year old do are: Clean pair of underwear in the morning(my kids are both in diapers at night), get dressed, brush your teeth, put dirty clothes away, pickup books, organize play room, help mommy with groceries, put away laundry, and help mommy vacuum or mop. Our first week with the chore chart went really well. I didn’t have to offer a reward or anything because they were happy just to put a smilie face on a completed chore. I’m thinking I’ll have to offer some sort of incentive soon for a # of smilie faces received in one week.
Dump the Trash Daily
Nothing irritates me more than a full trash can. Ours will fill up and then we begin to pile stuff up on the floor and counter top around it. Gross, I know. Since I’m home all day I’ve been making sure it’s dumped daily- full or not. It doesn’t usually smell nice anyway so get it out!
Do Dishes Before You Retire for the Night
I started this habit a while ago and it just makes sense. No one wants to wake up to a sink full of dirty dishes and messy countertops. My husband usually bathes the kids after dinner and I cleanup, do the dishes, and wipe down the countertops. This works very well for us!
Unload Dishwasher Every Morning
The dish cycle is done in the morning so I just put them away as I make the kids breakfast. It gets done and is ready for all the dirty dishes in the evening.
One Load of Laundry Everyday
I used to have a bad habit of letting myself get overwhelmed with mounds and mounds of laundry. I would spend my Saturday’s folding and sorting all day long. I decided one day that it needed to stop, so it did. I now put in a load every morning and make it my goal to have it dried, folded, and put away before bedtime.
Keep Cleaning Supplies Handy
I don’t think it matters how many bathrooms are in your home, everyone likes to use the same one. With 3 boys in my home I find myself bleaching the toilet, floor, and sinks every few days. I finally had my husband hang a high self above the toilet and I keep my cleaning supplies right there for when they are needed. This has been my most brilliant idea ever! I know, I’m probably not the first person ever to do this, but still…it’s genius.
Put Shoes Away
This has been a hard habit for us but we are working on it. I try and just have my kids put their shoes away as soon as we get home if I know we aren’t planning on going out again. This way we keep the dirt off the floor and furniture.
Clutter Sweep Before Kid’s Bedtime
After the kids bathe and put on PJ’s we all pitch in and do a quick sweep of the house. We mostly just put away all the toys and clear stuff off the couch.
Vacuum As Needed
I let my kids eat on the couch so I’m constantly cleaning up crumbs. Whenever I need to vacuum it up I make sure to vacuum the whole room and sometimes another room. This prevents me from having to vacuum the whole house at once. My kids love to vacuum too so I let them occasionally do that chore.
Plan What Days to do the Deep Cleaning
I don’t hate cleaning. I sometimes wish I had more help but I’ve just learned to accept it’s a part of life. Most days I start cleaning and I can’t stop until I get everything done. There is no better feeling than a clean home and a freshly mopped floor! I have a new favorite mop- The O-Cedar MicroTwist™. The kids and I love that it has a replaceable twist off microfiber head so we can replace it for a new one every few months. I found and purchased it on Amazon for a great price and it shipped right to my door! We all know how much us StayFitMom’s love pant-less shopping on Amazon! You can find the mop at other retailers as well.
This mop is super easy to use for quick spot cleanups (we have a lot of those with little ones) and easily cleans all my wood floors throughout the house with its extra large 16″ mop head. Speaking of mop day, I also designed a Blank Monthly Calendar! I don’t check things off or anything, I simply keep this inside one of my kitchen cupboards as a reminder. I love seeing things on paper and find myself more motivated to stick to things when they are written down.