Sunday, February 24, 2013

Culling the Chaos With Littlies Around

A few people I've been talking to both in and out of the lifestyle have been having a hard time with coping with keeping their house clean with small children around. They feel as if their lives and their homes are falling apart. So here are some tips that I had been given by people over the years to help keep my sanity and at least keep a mostly neat and tidy home (because really, no one expects a home where toddlers to reside to look perfect):

  • Toys are probably the biggest issue. At least they were for me until someone suggested going out and buying several plastic storage bins. Place a couple in every room where the kids play, including your living room. When it comes time to pick up, you can just go room to room throwing toys right into the bins. 
  • Get the kids to help! Seriously... start while they're young. I made the mistake of always doing the cleanup because it was easier. Now I'm wishing I would have listened to everyone who told me to get her started earlier. My mom had a saying, "If they're old enough to take it out, they're old enough to put it away." I wish I had listened to that advice. Now it's a nightmare trying to get our daughter to clean. If they get into the habit when they are toddler it will be something they're used to doing (even if they don't like it).
  • Make a habit of picking something up and putting it away every time you enter a room. It will help keep things from getting too untidy.
  • Clean the shower walls a couple times a week while you're having a shower.
  • Wipe down the toilet and bathroom sink every day (this takes less than a minute if you do it every day)
  • Buy your toddler(s) and other young children their own dusters and let them follow you around the house while you're dusting. Most kids love to help with this! It still works with my seven year old.
  • Clean something in your kitchen every day. For instance, one day clean the stove, and then the next day clean the microwave and so on. This way you're never stuck having to spend a lot of time cleaning the kitchen at any one time.
  • Only vacuum and/or mop one or two rooms a day (depending on size and foot traffic in your home). Trying to do the whole thing in one day is a losing battle with young children around.
  • If you are home alone with the kids all week and find you don't have much time for cooking, do some food prep over the weekend, or you can even prepare and freeze some meals for the week. You can either make or prep healthy meals that can be thrown together in 15 to 20 minutes this way.
Hope these tips help a bit. If you have any of your own, feel free to leave them in the comment section below! We'd love to see them!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

5-Minute Fixes

When folding towels, try to remember to tug the corners (all four) to keep them from...well shrinking. Such a simple thing that honestly will keep your towels looking better longer. Also, folded towels just make a room, like the bathroom seem a bit more tidy.

Each day, take a moment and fluff all your pillows and cushions! Not only will it shake the dust off seldom sat on furniture -- but it does make the room look a little brighter.

Make your bed (encourage the kids to also). Silly as it sounds even a kinda messy room will look a little better when the bed's made.

Clean your (all) sinks and swish the toilets. Especially during the winter months when everyone is sharing germs.

Wipe down appliances. The stove, fridge, dishwasher, coffee maker microwave -- basically if it lives on a countertop or if it takes up a lot of eye-space. Give it a little wipe-down.

Sweep or dust your floors. Again this can't be said enough a messy floor just attracts more mess. Not sure why it is. But it does.

Set your table before bed! If your home is like ours the kitchen table is a major artery. Kids play, do homework, random things just get dumped and its a hot spot straight from Dante's Inferno. Setting the table before bed, culls the need to drop things on the table. Breakfast bowls or plates, silver and glassware...and it's one less thing to do during a busy morning!

Lay out your clothes for the next day! Do we need to explain this one? Gather your purse, iPod, charge your phone -- where are your keys?

What's for dinner?