Raise your hand if you have felt personally victimized by your toddler's maddening messes. Sometimes I feel like I am following a hurricane around all day trying to warn people to evacuate the premises and retreat to higher ground. If you are anything like me, you have a house that is more commonly in disarray than not. Well, over the years I have learned a few tips that go a long way in terms of keeping the house in order. I know I can’t sleep as soundly if there is a mess waiting for me in the morning, and if momma ain't sleeping ain't nobody happy (is that how the saying goes?). So, here are a few ways to keep the house a little less messy and a little more zen.
Make sure everything “has a place”- Take the time to organize your home in a way that everything has a designated place. If there is no place for it, either create one with bins and organizing tools, or better yet- toss it! This way when it is time to tidy up, you know exactly where everything goes, and you feel a sense of calm once all is in order at the end of a hectic day.
Declutter- As Marie Kondo says, if it doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it! This one is pretty straightforward. The less “stuff” you have around the house, the less mess you will be dealing with. Your kids don’t need 1000 plastic toys - ask them which are their favorites and organize them in a way that they are accessible and neat. This way you will have less mess all around and your kids will appreciate and utilize the select toys they choose to keep.
DON’T clean as you go- Let’s be honest, there is no point in cleaning in the middle of the day if your toddler is just bound to make a mess of things again. Let the mess be for a minute, take a breather and relax. Once playtime is over for the day, take the time to tidy up at the end of the day as a family. Set a timer on your device and see how much you all can clean in two minutes flat! You will be surprised how much you can get done in that short period of time and the kids will feel the thrill of the race!
- Remember to give yourself grace- The house will not always be perfect, the floors won’t always be spotless, but the kids won’t always be this age, either. Enjoy the imperfection and chaos in this time of your life and leave the judgment and criticisms to Simon Cowell. There will be plenty of time to spot clean your home once the kids are grown. But for now, enjoy a house full of laughter, commotion, and temporary messes.