Living with kids: 10 household cleaning tips that are child’s play

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​Living with kids: 10 household cleaning tips that are child’s play

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
  by homify
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It can be quite easy to go slightly mad raising children, especially if you’re also in charge of cleaning house. And just when you think you’ve got it under control (and that this parent thing might not be too difficult), along comes another little one demanding to be fed, loved, played with, cared for, etc. 

Fortunately, there are tips and tricks you can do to cut a few corners without neglecting your household chores… or one of your kids!

1. Trick them into helping you

Options Shutter Blinds:  Nursery/kid’s room by Thomas Sanderson
Thomas Sanderson

Options Shutter Blinds

Thomas Sanderson

Pull your older child aside and confide in him/her that, as the “leader of the pack”, you trust them to help you set an example around the house in terms of picking up toys, ensuring a neat playing space, etc.

2. Create a cleaning plan

With little ones running around the house, things usually don’t go according to plan. Better to set smaller, more realistic cleaning goals for you then – ‘clean every room in the house’ is not attainable, but ‘dusting the living room’ while baby is taking a nap is

Dividing cleaning tasks (i.e. this one is in charge of taking out the garbage, that one needs to unpack the dishwasher… ) among your household can also make a massive difference to your cleaning chores at the end of the day.

3. Let go of your perfectionist goals

Smudges and smears all over a house will drive a perfectionist mad, yet that is what you get with kids. Let go of your visions of a ‘picture-perfect’ household and realise that there’s no point in getting upset over spilled milk (literally), for chances of it happening again tomorrow are pretty good.

4. Reduce the dirt

Treasure House, Polzeath | Cornwall:  Corridor & hallway by Perfect Stays
Perfect Stays

Treasure House, Polzeath | Cornwall

Perfect Stays

Teaching your little ones the value of a clean home can go a long way in making your household cleaner – i.e. letting them take off their shoes in the foyer and dumping them in the shoe basket instead of trampling dirt all over your living room rug.

5. Create the illusion of a clean home

Living Room:  Living room by deDraft Ltd
deDraft Ltd

Living Room

deDraft Ltd

Expecting company? As long as it’s not overnight guests, you can totally get away with the ‘idea’ of a clean home for your visitors.

Dusting the coffee table, sweeping the foyer and picking up loose pieces of toys and clothing can do wonders for first impressions.

6. Stick to laundry day

Children (and their clothes) get dirty all the time, yet if you focus on keeping your child’s clothes clean 100% of the time, you’ll scarcely have time for anything else.

To keep yourself from going mad (and neglecting your other duties), stick to laundry days (unless, of course, it’s a real emergency). That muddy shirt will just have to wait!

7. Wear less, wash less

  by Creazione Interiors
Creazione Interiors

Washing area in Living Room

Creazione Interiors

Got a smudge of peanut butter on your shirt at the breakfast table this morning? Unless it really stinks or you’re on your way to the office for a crucial meeting, leave it – it’s not the end of the world.

Replacing every single shirt, pair of pants, sock and anything else that gets dirty only adds to your laundry list.

8. Throw out on a regular basis

Kids grow pretty fast, and what’s fitting them today might be too small come next season. Regularly check up on their clothing and donate whatever’s too small as soon as it doesn’t’ fit them anymore.

You don’t want to be washing unnecessarily, do you?

9. Be clever with cooking

Cows Tea Towel and Oven Gloves:  Kitchen by Sophie Allport
Sophie Allport

Cows Tea Towel and Oven Gloves

Sophie Allport

Nobody expects you to prepare a five-course meal three times a day with little ones running around the house. Leftovers from last night (plus maybe a fresh salad) are perfectly acceptable, and it can save you some dishes to wash later.

10. Get help from outside

Nobody will blame you for hiring extra help around the house, what with you having to clean home and raise little terrors. Bringing outside help in is especially helpful during holidays, when there’s just too much to balance on one plate. 

It can only do you good to check out Household cleaning while you’re dreaming.

What other cleaning-and-surviving tips do you know of that can help out fellow parents?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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