How I Manage a Clean and Organized House with a Toddler
Hey y’all! If you’re reading this, I can only assume you’re at your wits end with your house constantly being a mess. This was me for the LONGEST time! Before baby H, our house was immaculate mainly because we weren’t home that often and because I cleaned like a mad woman every Saturday. Once our sweet boy was here and I began staying home everyday Saturday cleanings were not enough, and we wanted to spend time as a family. No longer could I deep clean our house in 2.5 hours; I could “clean” our house in about 5.5 hours if Sam watched H, but that wasn’t even a good cleaning. I tried a lot of different things and I’ve finally found what works for us! Here are my 6 tips for managing a clean and organized house with a toddler.
- Make sure everything in your house has a home
Cue Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore-“It’s time to go home, ball…That’s your home!”
Really though, the first step in keeping your house clean and organized is making sure everything has its own spot. Animal toys, blue bin; magnets, Buzz Lightyear bin; wine, in my glass. It will make picking up become both thoughtless and a breeze.
2. Include your babe(s) as much as possible
Not only will tidying/organizing/cleaning with your child promote good habits, but it allows you to spend time together while still being productive. H is 14 months old now and he loves “helping” me with EVERYTHING (also, separation anxiety). I give him a rag while I wipe things down, he holds the vacuum or mop while I hold him and do all of the work. We sing songs and clean up toys. I don’t recommend trying to clean your whole house this way-rather, cleaning up after meal times , before naps, and bedtime, etc.
3. Don’t leave a room messy
I think this is hardest, sometimes, especially with a toddler(s) running around. H can move from one room to the next in 30 seconds flat and a new room means about 5 new activities. We really try to pick everything up before moving onto the next thing or room. Having everything picked up really helps when it’s time to actually clean.
4. “Don’t leave it for later”
A lot of don’ts, right? Usually I turn negatives into positives, but we are talking about cleaning here, so…
Anyway-do your best not to push things off; especially at night. I know unloading the dishwasher and folding laundry does not sound appealing at 9:00 at night when all you want to do is crawl into bed and binge watch something (or just pass out), but letting things go is not a great habit. From personal experience, I’d much rather unload the dishwasher and fold laundry at night than wake up in the morning and have to start my day doing it. Think coffee and crafting, or coffee and that show you wanted to binge watch. Other than a crappy start to the day, putting things off tends to quickly escalate and next thing you know the entire house is a disaster instead of just the sink that had dishes in it.
5. Clean the house before it’s actually dirty
If you follow tips 1-4, then this should be painless! Clean your high traffic areas daily and as you go. This is not a deep clean! Wipe down, vacuum/sweep, mop-done. If you are doing your main bathroom, living room, and kitchen like this everyday it won’t actually be dirty come time to “clean, clean.” I do these things while H is eating (we all know toddlers eat for a solid hour), playing by himself (for the 15 minutes a day he does this), or napping (only if I have to).
At night, after H goes to sleep, or sometimes in the AM-I clean one or two rooms thoroughly. Picture this though-there aren’t crumbs on the floor or dishes to be done. There aren’t legos booby-trapping the living room or monster trucks on the bathroom floor. Everything is already put away and your messiest, most used areas, are already “mostly” clean! It literally takes maybe thirty minutes to deep clean a room or two! Hallelujah!
6. If all else fails partner up with a cup of joe or a glass of class (wine)
If you read all the way down to here, cheers! You are invested in living a clean and organized life with your beautiful monster(s). And while it may seem like you are constantly cleaning, it becomes second nature and truly takes no time at all. Good luck mamas and dadas!