October 25, 2020

A kid is washing the dishes and text above it says how to keep a clean house with kids 8 easy steps

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Disclaimer: This post Disclosure might contain Amazon affiliate links. Any purchase made through such links will award me a small commission (or referral fee), at no extra cost for you. Regardless of whether or not I receive a commission, I only recommend products that I personally use and/or genuinely love (I would never promote any products or services that I wouldn’t pay for myself), and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart.

Do you feel overwhelmed with working, taking care of your kids, and trying to maintain a clean and organized home? If so, I completely understand. That use to be me and it still is on occasion. I work from home with my little kids. This means that I have to deal with the demands of my job, maintain order in the home, keep my two toddlers alive, and educate them.

This is a lot to juggle, but it can be done. Maintaining a clean house with kids requires an efficient system in place because toddlers are naturally messy explorers. I once cleaned my home and when I was finished I realized that our house looked like it did before I started cleaning. It turned out that while I was cleaning, my daughter was going behind me and undoing everything that I had done. I put a stop to that now she cleans with me.

How to keep a clean house with kids?

1. A Clean home is a priority.

If you have small children then maintaining a clean house is definitely a challenge but it is still a priority. You can’t put off cleaning until the kids grow up. Make a small effort each day to clean an area of your home will go a long way in keeping a well-maintained household.

2. Set realistic Expectations of cleanliness.

This is something that I had to come to terms with. Growing up my mom would tell my sister and me that she wants our house to look like a model home. I would always sarcastically reply saying, “So you want our house to look like nobody lives there?”, and my mom would always sarcastically reply saying, “exactly!” I realized that I had adopted the same expectations for my home which was fine before I had kids. After that, I found myself drowning in feelings of overwhelm and frustration trying to maintain a clean house with kids.

It wasn’t until my husband who speaks to me using sports analogies told me. “You don’t have to always go for a home run, because in doing so you will end up striking out.”

At first, I was like how does this apply to our lives, but after continuing our discussion I understood what he meant. I don’t have to always reach for an extremely clean home because with work and the kids I can’t always achieve that goal. Instead, I should set realistic expectations.

As long as the house is organized and tidy then I have reached my goal. If I have time to go beyond that then I am pleased and if I don’t then there is no disappointment here.

3. Include your children.

A young boy showing how to keep a clean how with kids by washing the dishes

Your home can get cluttered pretty quickly when you have little ones, but in order to keep your home clean with little kids, they will have to do their part. Toddlers are naturally messy explorers. I used to get annoyed when they would play with their toys because I knew what the aftermath would look like.

I like that my kids play well together and I want them to continue to stimulate their little minds through the use of their educational toys. I am not going to stress too much over their toys. It is ok for them to play with their toys as long as they put them up where they belong once they are done. Kids can begin completing age-appropriate chores as early as age 2.

Once my daughter turned two years old I began to include her into our cleanup routine. This sets a great example for the kids and teaches them life skills. I would sing a clean-up song and show her how to pick up her toys. Fast forward she is now 4 years old and she cleans up her room, her brother’s room, and the living room.

Most of the clutter that is in those rooms is from her and her brother. I clean up the kitchen, my bedroom, and all of the bathrooms. My son is only 15 months old and he can only do so much. The key is to make cleaning fun. If your kids are reluctant to help you clean here are some things for you to try:

  • Sing a song or play fun music
  • Play games. You can easily make a game or even a competition out of anything. Whoever can clean the fastest gets a prize.
  • Divide and conquer. Divide all of the tasks and set a timer so that everything will be done in a timely manner. The timer evokes a sense of urgency which will make them move faster.
  • Help them to understand that cleaning is a priority and a part of their responsibility. Even toddlers can do their part.
  • Utilize a kid’s chore chart and check off each chore after they have completed it. For the little ones you can use stickers like stars to check what they have completed.
  • Stop complaining. If you are constantly stressing and upset over having to keep the house clean then this will transfer to your kids. If you hate it, then they will too. Set the example of how you want them to act. Access my secret resource library to get a free family chore chart!

4. Clean Up.  

a blue spray bottle with safe non-toxic chemicals misting out of it for maintaining a clean home with kids

When maintaining a clean house, don’t look at your entire home as a unit because you cannot clean up the entire home at once and this type of thinking produces feelings of overwhelm. Just take one room and complete one task at a time.

To maximize efficiency use cleaning materials that are made to save you time and effort. Use cleaning products that use the least amount of toxic chemicals. At times I make my own cleaning products but most of the time I like to use brands like Method, Mrs. Meyers, Better Life, and Seventh Generation. Make sure your cleaning products are out of reach for small children.

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5. Home Edit

I love the show on Netflix called The Home Edit. It is a show about professional home organizers. The first step in their process is to edit inventory. Figure out what to keep and what to purge. If you see anything that you don’t use or need then try and see if you can get rid of it. Any sentimental items that you want to keep group them together and store them properly. After you edit your home the next step is to kick the clutter.

Minimize the Knick knacks because they become what I called organized clutter. That is when you neatly organize all of your trinkets but if you have too many of them it still looks like clutter. Because of this, I am not a fan of trinkets.

I take the minimalist approach. When it comes to home décor less really is more. If you take the minimalist approach then you will find that keeping your home clean and organized will be so much easier.

6. Organize what is remaining.

After you have removed all of the unnecessary items that contribute to clutter it is time to organize what you have. You are now left over with all of the things that you wanted to keep and you now have freed up more space in your home that you can utilize. Group together all of the related items and store them properly.

Utilize organization bins. I normally go for clear bins and then I will store them away. Any storage solutions that I intentionally leave out to be seen I normally go for something that is more stylish that will blend in with my color scheme and when they have multiple functions then this is a plus for me.

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7. Daily Cleaning Habits.

You can maintain a clean house with kids by washing the laundry daily

Make small achievable daily cleaning habits. This is how you maintain a clean house. Don’t let things pile up. I find that washing a small load daily is much easier for me to maintain than letting laundry pile up for me to have to dedicate an entire day of washing all of the loads and another day dedicated to folding all of the laundries.

Another daily habit is to run the dishwasher nightly. Every night I unload the clean dishes in the dishwasher and run a load of dishes after dinner. This is a best practice because you never want to let dishes pile up and stay there overnight. Utilize a cleaning checklist and check each task after it is cleaned.

8. Repeat.

Cleaning and maintaining a clean house is a never-ending circle but if you have the proper system then this will not be a daunting task.

More ways to maintain a clean house with maximum efficiency

A young girl showing how to keep a clean house with kids by keeping her toy cleaning supplies organized
  • Limit toys in the main area of the home– Try to limit toys in the main living areas to further reduce clutter.  It is ok for them to have just a few toys in the living room but the majority of my kid’s toys are stored away in their bedrooms. Try to make a small space in your house designated for your kids to play.
  • Limit screen time– When it comes to watching the TV and iPad, it is easy for kids to get sucked in and before you know it. So much time has passed without getting any chores done. Use screen time wisely. There may be times when you want the TV to occupy them so that you can quickly get your stuff done but we also want to maintain a sense of balance. Help your kids to understand how to have their priorities in order. Incentivize chore completion by telling them that they can have screen time after they take care of their responsibilities.
  • Go Hands-free– We can’t always wait until our baby naps to get things done. It is hard to tidy up the house with a baby on your hip. You can get things done much faster by going hands-free with a baby wrap or carrier. I prefer the baby wrap over the carrier because of the soft material and it allowed for my baby to be closer to me. My favorite was the Baby K’tan wrap because it is the easiest to use. It comes already assembled.
  • Do a nightly walk through– Every evening I take out 10-15 minutes to walk through my home and make sure that it is tidy enough. There are certain things that can’t wait until the next day like crumbs on the floor and dishes in the sink. It doesn’t take much time to walk through to make sure that all of the pertinent things were not missed. If I need to do a quick sweep of the floor I take the time to do so.

Read: 5 Ways to Stay Organized and Sane

Call to Action

You have learned 8 steps on how to keep a clean house with kids. If you follow these steps then you won’t have to deal with a cluttered home and no one to help you clean it. Instead, you will see that it will never take you more than 15 minutes to tidy up your home.

If you already have a system in place then re-evaluate it to make sure that it is working. If you are still feeling overwhelmed or it is taking more time and effort than necessary to maintain a clean home with little kids then it is time for you to try something new.

If you found this post helpful please share so that many other moms can find it helpful too.

Disclaimer: This post Disclosure might contain Amazon affiliate links. Any purchase made through such links will award me a small commission (or referral fee), at no extra cost for you. Regardless of whether or not I receive a commission, I only recommend products that I personally use and/or genuinely love (I would never promote any products or services that I wouldn’t pay for myself), and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart.

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About the author 

Carolyn

I'm A registered nurse by profession, work from home mom to a daughter and son and wife to a busy working man who is back in school for a career change. Despite being a busy working mom, I’m very proactive with my kids’ education. I believe in making learning exciting and fun. This blog is dedicated to sharing work-life balance and child education tips to empower busy working moms. Please join me at my Facebook group Busy Mom Life.

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