Did you know it really is possible to have a clean house with toddlers? I’m going to share with you 6 sneaky ways to keep your family home clean, even with little kids.
One thing nobody warns you about when you become a parent for the first time, is just how much stuff babies and toddlers have! Keeping a tidy home can feel impossible when you have small children. So I’m going to share some simple tips on how to keep your house clean with toddlers.
Okay, so before I dive into this I’m going to share a secret with you… We are a family of hoarders.
This is absolutely true! We just have a real hard time getting rid of things that “might be useful”, “might fit” or just have sentimental value.
In fact the only one of us who’s not a hoarder is Roo, and that’s probably because she’s still only small.
But we live in a smallish sized house, which can be a nightmare to clean simply because of all the stuff we have in it.
I’m sharing with you the secrets to keeping a clean and tidy house with small children that I wish I’d known years ago.
I’m going to keep this post short and to the point because I know you’re a busy mama. And it’s loaded with quick and instantly actionable tips on how to keep your house clean with toddlers.
How to Keep Your House Clean with Toddlers: the Big Secret!
Let’s kick things off with the biggest secret of all. A clean home with toddlers in it is not going to look like your clean home pre-kids!
There. I’ve said it.
You may need to lower your expectations just a tad.
There’s no getting away from the fact that children have a lot of stuff. And, if your little ones are anything like mine, then they probably have way more than they actually need.
But don’t despair lovely mummy. It is still possible to keep a clean house with toddlers in it.
Related: Check out these 25 simple chores for 3 year olds
Clean Home with Toddlers Tip Number 1: Get the Kids Involved
This is possibly my favourite sneaky way to keep a house clean with toddlers (or any aged child for that matter!)
Kids love to help. So let them!
It may take a little longer to do something that would normally only take you a couple of minutes to do. But we’re setting the foundation blocks here for future years.
By allowing your toddler to be involved in the cleaning process, you’re giving her a sense of autonomy and helpfulness that she will absolutely love.
The jobs you give to your toddler to do are entirely dependant on age and ability.
Start with something simple, like tidying away her own toys. As she gets older she can move onto more tricky tasks, such as making her own bed.
It’s also important for our children to learn to share the workload of running a house. We’re not doing our kids any favours by doing everything for them.
Tidy Home with Toddlers Tip Number 2: Everything Has its Place
Did you ever go to a friend’s home and wonder how they manage to keep their surfaces clear from clutter?
You might very well be scratching your head and wondering just where they keep all those annoying little bits and bobs that plague your home.
The truth is that everyone has clutter. But some people are better at organising it than others.
One simple trick to keeping a clean home is having a designated place for where everything goes. And making sure that everyone who lives in your house also knows the correct place to put stuff away.
So, keys go on the key hooks. Letters that need attention go in a paper tidy. Shoes go on the shoe rack.
You get the picture, right? I know it’s a bit cliche, but having a place for everything is one of the basic principles of keeping a clean and tidy home.
The sooner your kids learn where things belong, the sooner they’ll get into the habit of putting stuff away without being told to.
Related: Discover these 10 Genius Toy Storage Ideas you’d never think of!
Clean House with Kids Tip Number 3: Purge Kids’ Stuff Regularly
This one tip will save you hours of tidying in the long run. It’s also the one tip that I really, really wish I’d stuck to when GinGin was still small.
We basically kept everything from when GinGin was a baby and then a toddler. Her baby and toddler stuff filled our attic and cupboard space. Some of it spilled out to the garage too.
Why? Erm, sentimentality. Planning for a second baby. And any other excuses I can think of.
My biggest regret was not properly sorting through her stuff as and when she grew out of it. Honestly, it made the sorting and decluttering job far bigger than it needed to be later on.
It also meant that GinGin grew sentimental about her baby and toddler stuff, which made it a million times harder to eventually get rid of it all.
If you’re hoping to pass on clothes and toys to another baby later on, I urge you to sort through and only keep the very best pieces. Sell, donate or recycle the rest!
Related: Get Your FREE printable cute Spring to-do list
Clean Home Tip Number 4: Have a Daily Cleaning Schedule (and stick to it!)
There are just some cleaning tasks that need to be done everyday.
And there’s no escaping that.
Things like washing the dishes, making the beds, cleaning the toilet, vacuuming heavy traffic areas, wiping down the kitchen worktops.
These are all everyday cleaning habits that are good to get into if you want a clean home.
I’d also recommend doing at least one load of laundry a day if you can. This will reduce the feeling of overwhelm of having a huge pile of laundry to do at the end of the week.
Focus on the things that are a priority for you, and make them your daily cleaning schedule. Then, when you’ve worked out your basic daily cleaning schedule, add in one bonus cleaning task for each day.
This could be something like vacuuming a bedroom, cleaning the bath / shower, dusting one room, put out the recycling or emptying the bins.
Make your bonus task manageable, but not crucial. That way you won’t feel guilty if you don’t get chance to tick it off your list.
If you can stick to your daily cleaning schedule, the deeper cleans that need to be done less often won’t feel like such a humungous task.
Tidy Home with Kids Tip Number 5: Put Laundry Away Now, Not Later
If I wash and dry laundry, and then fold it in my lounge it’s going to stay on the sofa for a good 3 days before I put it away.
And while it’s there I have to keep telling the kids not to knock my laundry over.
Great parenting, hey!
But, if I wash and dry the laundry, and then fold it in my bedroom it gets put away straight away. It’s not left hanging about for days on end making the place look more messy than it is.
Why? Because I can’t go to bed until it’s done. So I make sure it’s done!
Ladies, I know from experience that I’m not alone in this.
Stacks of laundry waiting to be put away create unnecessary mess. I realise that often we are interrupted (many, many times!) but we’re just making excuses here because putting away clothes is something we really don’t enjoy.
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Clean House with Toddlers Tip Number 6: Use Screens
I don’t want to be the one to break it to you, but you’re not Wonder Woman. Well, not all the time anyway!
Sometimes we need to accept that Mr Tumble or Bluey is going to have to babysit our darling toddler for a few minutes while we get shit done.
If you’re feeling guilty about this, don’t! You have my permission to plonk your kiddo in front of the TV while you get through some of your daily cleaning schedule.
So if you were wondering how to keep a toddler entertained while you’re cleaning, here’s the secret.
You don’t have to entertain your toddler all day long. In fact, it’s good for toddlers to entertain themselves for short periods of time.
Just don’t leave them unattended for too long, or you might discover that they’ve found where you keep the flour, or shaving foam…
If you have a clingy toddler, or you’re really dead-set against screen time, then one thing I used to do is put my girls in a high chair with some colouring or another simple activity.
Doing this meant they could be in the same room as me, and we could avoid any separation anxiety.
Of course this works better with younger toddlers.
6 Sneaky Ways to Keep Your House Clean with Toddlers: Takeaways
- Remember that your home with toddlers is not going to be the same kind of tidy as it was before you had kids. So cut yourself some slack and be realistic about what a clean home with toddlers looks like.
- Encourage your kids to be involved in cleaning your home. We’re not talking gender stereotypes here, we’re simply teaching our toddlers an appropriate level of responsibility.
- Decide where things belong and get everyone else to agree / understand this too. The sooner everyone knows that shoes belong on the shoe rack, the sooner you’ll have to stop picking up everyone’s shoes. Makes sense, right?
- Regularly go through and declutter your kids’ stuff. It’s great if they can be involved in this process, but if not then do it when they’re asleep or at nursery. Sell, donate or recycle the clothes and toys they no longer need.
- Work out what the very minimum cleaning tasks are that you need to do everyday, and make sure you do those on a daily basis.
- Put laundry away as soon as it’s been washed and dried. It’s very tempting to leave a pile of laundry to put away “later” but this just makes more unnecessary mess.
- If you need 10 minutes to focus on cleaning without constant interruptions, then don’t be afraid of using a little screen time entertainment for your toddler. You do not have to personally entertain your child from the moment they wake until the moment they fall asleep.
Read these posts next or bookmark them for later:
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- Refresh Your Winter Clothes with Ace for Colours
- I Bought a Slow Cooker and I Love It!
- Simple Tip For Reusing An Everyday Household Item
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These are great tips! I struggle with this one…but I especially love tip #3 – something we’ve been working on more lately! Thanks!
Oh my! I so needed to read this…I’ve got 1 toddler….1- that’s it and I cannot seem to handle getting him into a routine of expectation to pick up after himself. I’m so tired at end of day, that I just don’t even try..lol! Definitely need to work on actually putting away laundry once it’s folder (i leave out on the counter for a while) and removing stuff from his room…way too many things. Great ideas!
Some great tips here! When we started using clear containers with ATTACHED lids for each group of toys, it became a lot easier to get my kids involved in cleaning because everything had its own bin.