15 Tricks To Keeping Your House Clean With Kids
Having your kids home with you during the day can make keeping your house clean a challenge. Whether your kids are young, you’re a home school mom, or you’ve recently found yourself in the middle of a pandemic while your kids do school virtually, kids are messy.
When everyone is at school and there isn’t anyone in the house all day, it’s just plain easier to keep things clean because there is no one there making a mess.
When you’re home all day you can start to feel a bit insane because it feels like you are picking up all day long.
The trick is to build systems and routines that will make cleaning easier for you. Keep it simple and don’t over complicate house cleaning. Most of the time our biggest obstacle is us procrastinating and watching the mess grow.
15 Tips For A Clean Home With Kids At Home
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1. Have Realistic Expectations
You live in your home and it will get messy. Your kids are human and are still learning how to pick up after themselves. Think about how often you don’t pick up after yourself and then give your kids a little break the next time you walk into a room they just destroyed.
Your house will not be 100% perfect all of the time and that is okay. Your goal is mostly clean, most of the time, with the understanding that some days it’s just not possible and that’s okay.
Also, stop comparing your home to others. All that really matters is what you do for the Lord. The Lord knows your heart. He knows when you’re exhausted and need to let the dishes go for a day. He also knows when you’ve watched a lot of Netflix and let the house go. Focus on the Lord and not on what others are doing or thinking.
2. Remind Yourself Of Your Why And Stay Positive
There is a reason why you want to keep your house clean. It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day and feel really frustrated while you are picking something up for the 3rd time that day.
You can choose to always feel frustrated about the never-ending cycle of cleaning or you can choose to be thankful for a home that needs to be picked up. The cycle never ends so why let it continue to bring you down when you can find joy in your home?!
If that hasn’t convinced you here are 9 Motivational Reason To Keep Your Home Clean.
3. Figure Out How To Handle Your Toys
Toys everywhere can easily be the most aggravating thing making your house messy. The constant nagging of your kids to pick up their things can be exhausting. I mean really… why do they just dump everything out on the floor?!
Here are multiple tips for dealing with toys:
Declutter Their Toys
Kids don’t need as many toys as they have. It really is that simple. They will get more use out of a smaller amount of toys than they ever will out of having a room full of toys they never play with.
Just do yourself the favor and take the time to declutter the toys they don’t play with, only keeping their favorites. Here is exactly how you can declutter your kid’s toys.
Set Guidelines For New Toys Coming In
Even before you get the toys decluttered, stop bringing new ones into the house. They don’t NEED them and it will save your sanity.
Here are some example guidelines for limiting the number of toys brought into your home:
- only buy toys at Christmas and birthdays
- request no toys from guests at birthday parties
- limit grandparents, aunts, uncles etc. to one toy at Christmas
- declutter and donate toys before birthday’s and Christmas
Pick Toys Up Once… Maybe Twice A Day
Don’t drive yourself crazy by trying to keep the toys picked up All Day Long! Pick them up when a specific project is over, otherwise, just leave them and pick them up at the end of each day.
If the toys are just way out of hand and driving you nuts before bedtime then switch to twice a day. After quiet time and before bedtime has always worked for us.
Seriously though, just shove them in your kid’s room until you can help them get them back in their place later.
If things are really out of hand during the day. Put on a song and encourage everyone to join in on a 2 minute tidy up. Gather all the toys and get them back as quickly as possible.
Have A Toy Organizational System
Have a system for your toys that is easy for you and the kids. Make their toys accessible (expect the messy ones… keep those in a place where only you can get to them.)
I personally like the cube organizers with a few bins to go in some of the cubes. Then you can use the shelves to set toys on and use the cube bins to quickly toss things in.
Have a bin for each thing. For example, we have a bin for animal toys, paw patrol toys, transformer toys, blocks, and miscellaneous. Then we use the shelves for a few stand-alone toys and books that we get from the library.
We keep the library books here and our own books on a small bookshelf in a different area of the room.
If you have a child that is a stuffed animal lover then use a tall basket to store all of these in. It’s super easy to get all the toys put back.
I would avoid a large toy box if you can. It’s not horrible and does make for a quick clean up but it seems like things just get shoved in there and are never seen again.
If the number of toys your kids have outgrows your organization system then it is time to get rid of some toys.
Don’t try to keep finding new places to “organize” toys… own fewer toys.
Teach Your Kids How The System Works
From a very early age, your kids can help you pick up their room. Don’t expect them to do it by themselves. Save yourself the headache of repeating yourself a thousand times and teach them how to clean their room.
You can start this today! Go into their room with them and start helping them pick up. Show them and tell them where things go.
Having an easy system in place will make it easier for everyone.
Animals in the blue bin, dolls in the pink, etc.
4. Avoid The Laundry Pile Up
I highly suggest trying to do a load of laundry every day and following these other laundry hacks. If you already have a good system where you do it all in one day on the weekend… then don’t let me change it.
But if you struggle to keep up and have endless piles of laundry then put one load in each morning, dry it during the day and just make sure it’s put away before bed (or during the next morning.)
You’ll miss some days but at least attempting to do it every day will help you out. Even if it means you are washing the clothes that everyone wore yesterday. That is fine! It is way better than getting behind.
We all know we start to put it off when we start to see that overwhelming pile that’s not fitting in the closet anymore.
Also, consider downsizing everyone’s wardrobe… how many clothes does everyone really need? Not as much as you think. Do yourself a favor and have fewer clothes to take care of.
5. Prioritize The Kitchen
A clean kitchen makes for a happy home. Plus, it’s really hard to make a meal when the kitchen is a mess.
Clean up every night after dinner and leave the kitchen sparkly clean before bed. This includes running the dishwasher each night.
Then unload the dishwasher every morning… do it right before or right after breakfast. Make it part of your morning routine.
6. Everyone Tidy’s Up Every Night And Make It Fun
You don’t have to do it alone! Get the whole family involved in cleaning up dinner and cleaning up the house.
Everyone has to clean up their own room before bed. It should be part of everyone’s’ nighttime routine.
Now, you do have to make the effort to help and encourage each child or you may get a lot of arguing every night.
Turn on some music or make a game out of it and get everyone involved.
Music and dancing always help. Plus, I find that we can get a bedroom cleaned up in less than one song. It never takes as long as anyone thinks. So bring yourself some peace in your home and get it done.
Another fun tip for those who have a community playroom… choose a mystery toy and don’t’ tell anyone what it is. Tell them that whoever picks up the mystery toy will get a prize when the room is all picked up.
Everyone will be motivated to pick up more toys, increasing their chances of getting the mystery toy.
7. Set A Designated Time For Chores Each Day
Pick a time during the day that you are going to do chores such as dust or vacuum or just tidy up. For example, after everyone is done with school it could be chore time. Everyone does their own job or plays while you do a 10 minute tidy up and one 15 minute chore. I use this simple cleaning routine and do one 15 minute chore a day.
Once it becomes a regular part of your everyday routine, the kids will know you are going to be cleaning right now. They’ll get used to it and either help or know this is time for you to get something done.
8. Take Care Of The Mail ASAP
Don’t let your countertops get cluttered with mail. Open the mail right away and then do something with it. Toss the junk, file the important stuff, and put bills in your planner.
9. Stop The Clutter
The key to stopping the clutter is to stop buying new things. You’ll never have a clutter-free home if you are in a consumerism trap. Limit your time on social media and stop letting influencers convenience you that you need something.
You may want to declutter your entire home but I know that can take time and commitment. It’s so worth the time put in, but if it’s not realistic for you right now then really watch what you are buying.
If there isn’t a place for it in your home then don’t buy it. Or if you really NEED it then what are you going to get rid of so that this item can take the old items place.
Owning fewer things makes your house easier to take care of.
10. Designate Play And Craft Areas
While this isn’t easy and doesn’t always work out perfectly, it is best to have a specific place for the kids to play or be creative.
For example, encourage them to keep their toys in their bedroom and play in there. If you have a toy room, perfect, they should be able to keep toys in there and avoid bringing them out and about in the house.
The kitchen table could be your designated craft and learning area. All messy and hands-on activities happen in the kitchen and nowhere else. This keeps the mess confined and keeps you from having toys, crayons, and crafts all over the house.
This might not work for all families depending on your home and it can sometimes be an unrealistic expectation. At the very least, encourage children to put their toys back in their rooms when they are done or have been abandoned.
I often do a quick tidy and take abandoned kid’s toys and set them in their room. This only takes one minute because I don’t take the time, at that moment, to organize and put them back where they go. We do that at bedtime.
11. Use Baskets
Using baskets to store things around the house makes for easy cleanup. Put a basket by your door to hold shoes, dog leashes, etc. Put a smaller basket where you come in the door for keys and things that need to be taken with you on your next outing.
Hide your planner and pens in a basket on the kitchen counter.
Put all school supplies in a basket and hide it on the shelf when the kids are finished with school. This works great for coloring books and crayons as well.
If you don’t have an office, a catch-all basket for laptops, tablets, and other electronics can hide somewhere in the living room.
Or build yourself a cute crate to hide electronics, even your gaming consoles.
Baskets are great for quick clean but do not let them get the best of you. If your basket is starting to hold other items and starting to overflow, then it’s time to declutter the basket. Make sure it’s only being used for its main purpose and not just to throw random stuff in.
12. Have Cleaning Wipes Handy
Whether it’s disinfectant wipes or baby wipes, wipes are great for a quick clean up.
Have someone coming over? Grab a wipe and give your bathroom sink and toilet a quick wipe down.
Having these handy will help you clean up messes in a sinch.
13. Set A Timer
If you are staring at the mess in your home and don’t know where to start, set a timer, and jump right in. How much time do you have? Maybe you only have 15 minutes or maybe you have one hour on a Saturday morning.
You’ll be amazed at what you can get done in a short amount of time. Half the battle is just getting started.
14. Clean The Bathroom While Kids Are In The Bath
While keeping an eye on the kids in the bathtub you might as well clean the bathroom while you are in there. Here is how I keep the bathrooms clean in just 15 minutes a week.
Keeping Your House Clean With Kids At Home – Final Thoughts
Please, do not feel in any way that you need to try and tackle all of these ideas at once. Choose one to work on and when you have one mastered add on another. If any of these tips or tasks stress you out or don’t work for you… fine! It’s all about finding a system that works for you and your family.
Need More Cleaning Tips?
I have tons of free cleaning tips. Just use the menu to find the Cleaning and Organizing articles on the blog and read as much as you want.
Secondly, you can sign up for my free ebook and free printables library. The ebook will help you design a cleaning routine for yourself so that it’s easier to stay on top of chores. The free printables are all very helpful as well. Get your FREE EBOOK and Check Out The Printables Library.
And lastly, you can sign up for my FREE 3-Day Declutter Challenge. We will work together to declutter your bedroom in 3 days.
I hope you found something helpful here! Come back any time.