My top 3 tips to keep your house clean with kids are:
1) Food stays at the table
Many visiting kids have a terrible time with my food rules as they’re used to just walking around with food in their hands at home. I’m in an awkward position as don’t want to embarrass their parents but I’m also very house proud and don’t appreciate peanut butter smeared on my couch, chocolate on my curtains, etc.
The parents will try to keep their kids at the table and I’ll maybe say something like, “If they’re hungry, they’ll sit. Just push their plate out of reach so they can’t grab the food and run.” The parents will sort of try but will usually give in to keep the peace and I’ll be left to clean all sorts of gross messes after they leave. I’d much rather watch their kid tantrum than walk around my home smearing and dropping food everywhere … ugh.
Those parents usually have lots of mealtime struggles obviously. When my kids were little people would say, “You’re so lucky your kids enjoy sitting and eating at the table.” There was no luck involved, they just didn’t have a choice. You either eat at the table or you don’t eat. If you get up before you’re done, the food is gone. They never challenged it as never knew any different.
2) No shoes in the house
This one’s a no-brainer. You’re obviously going to have a cleaner house if you take off your shoes at the door. This is particularly important with kids as they have their feet up on furniture, walls, wherever.
I had a neighbour who had shoe prints on her walls as said her kids liked to lay down and climb the wall with their feet.
Those same kids liked to run around naked. I made the mistake of sitting on their couch after the toddler had just done a poop on his own with no toilet paper. Needless to say I had to put a blanket down on my car seat before driving home and racing in the house to rip my clothes off and burn them, lol.
Why those kids loved running around naked with with their shoes on I’ll never know?
3) Set up a Toy Rotation System
My kids rarely complained about being bored yet had very few toys out at once. The secret was that everything was rotated so when they’d get the new box full of old stuff it seemed new to them.
More on how to set this up.
Clutter is overwhelming for kids. They can’t concentrate on anything when everything is in front of them.
Obviously kids are going to make some mess but you can still keep a clean home and have kids you’re proud to take anywhere.
Do you have any tips you can share?