Probably the BIGGEST daily battle I face as a mom is trying to clean up all the messes. I swear, my girls can turn a clean home into a messy one in record time. Let’s face it, everything we do causes a mess. When we read books, we read ten thousand. When we eat lunch, we put half of it on the floor. When we do an art project or get out the Play-Doh, there is always a mess. I can’t keep up. I have only one resolution for 2013, and part of it is to keep my home organized. I’ve started implementing a few things to get control of the vicious cycle…
The 10-minute Sweep
This is something I learned from my sister in-law. Each night, once my girls are in bed, my husband and I do a 10 minute sweep of the house, picking up as much as we can and putting it away. Mail, laundry, toys… anything that isn’t where it should be.
Bins and Baskets
These are life-savers, for sure. We have a basket of books in nearly every room. All of the art supplies are now neatly organized and labeled. Even things like socks and leggings and underwear have their own bin now.
Clean Up a Mess Before You Make a New One
I feel like this is something every parent tells their child, but it’s a hard one to put into practice. It’s a quick way to prevent a catastrophe.
Help Your Little One Clean Up Their Mess
When there is a HUGE mess to be picked up, little ones can become easily frustrated. To avoid a meltdown, help your child pick up.
Pack Away the Books and Toys
After Christmas, I went out and bought four large clear plastic totes. I packed up half of all the toys, books, and art supplies we own and put them in the basement, leaving the other half in the house to be used. At the end of the month, we’ll switch them out.
Keep Food in the Kitchen
I just started implementing this rule, and it has made a huge difference. No more crumbs on the carpet. No more spilled milk in my bed.
Utilize Nap Time
This can be tricky if you need to use a loud vacuum, but nap time is the perfect time to get a little bit of cleaning done, especially the kind that can’t be done with a baby on your hip.
This is easier said than done, I know. With less stuff, it’s harder to make such a big mess. Try to only buy things you truly need. If it’s not something you need, then try to get rid of something else.
Do Two Things At Once
Moms are born with this skill, I think. It becomes particularly useful for cleaning. While the kids are eating breakfast, wipe the counters or wash big dishes. While the babes are in the bath, clean the bathroom fixtures and sort the laundry.
As a mom, it’s important to realize that things don’t always have to be in tip-top shape. Unless you’re hosting a party or the President is on his way to see you, your home doesn’t have to be sparkling and perfect. Give yourself a little slack and do a little at a time.
What about you? How to you keep up with constant mess-making in your home?