I don’t know what it is about a clean house that just totally changes my outlook on the entire day. My to do list seem way more doable, I don’t dread getting work done from home and it even gets me motivated to work out. Less stress for mom, certainly makes the day more enjoyable for everyone else. Anytime we have company over, the first thing they comment on is how clean our house is even though there is a toddler living here. It really makes people think I have my shit together, even when I don’t, and who doesn’t enjoy that feeling?! Here are some of the ways I keep my messes at bay and how you can too.
Independent play time. Every morning after we eat breakfast, I have my toddler play independently for an hour. I use that time to clean up the biggest messes, like the dishes, that I may not have time to do later when she needs all of my attention. Clean those messes that will really drive you nuts throughout the day, like the dishes or messy bathrooms. Independent play is great for toddlers and I find that mine enjoys it the most in the mornings.
Start in the kitchen. For some reason, a messy kitchen just brings down the entire house and makes it look messier. I always start the day by loading up the dishwasher, clearing the clutter off of the counters, and giving them a quick wipe down.
Get a toy basket. I don’t know about your toddler, but mine loves to bring all of her toys from the bedroom into the living room. It used to drive me nuts but I found using a basket helps out greatly. Leave it in your living room, and whenever they move onto another toy, have your toddler put the ones they are not playing with into the basket. At the end of the night before bed, we bring the basket into her bedroom and put them away together. It also gives your toddler a bit of responsibility and I love that time together before she winds down for the night. If your child naps, (you lucky people, you) you can put away their toys before nap time too!
Have your toddler help out. Yes they are only a few years old and yes they may fight you on certain things but have your toddler help out however they can. My two year old loves “helping with laundry” and throwing away trash. Whenever the laundry piles up, I have her help me put the wet laundry into the dryer. Then once it is dry, I will fold it into piles and ask her to put the piles into each room that they go in. It makes my life a little easier and she has so much fun knowing that she is helping me out. If she doesn’t feel like helping out, I obviously don’t force it. She is two, and learning, and I want cleaning to be as fun and easy as possible.
Prioritize the mess. There are only so many hours in the day, and you don’t want to spend your entire day cleaning, when you could be playing with your child and getting other things done. Your house does not need to be spotless, just clean enough to keep you a little less stressed. Prioritize what messes are most important to you and let the other ones go until your toddler goes to bed, or for the next day. If you have a sink full of dishes and a toddler putting stickers all over the walls, conquer the dishes and leave the new wall art for another time.
Simplify and declutter the toys. We don’t have tons of toys in the house. I never saw the need for it and I simplify my toddler’s toys every few months. Once she grows out of a toy, or gets bored with it, I either donate it or put it in storage. If it something she really enjoyed, I store it, if it was only used a handful of times and she never got much enjoyment from it, I donate it. There is no need to have hundreds of toys when the majority of them will not get played it. It makes her appreciate what toys she does have and whenever she gets to pick out a new toy, it is much more exciting! I also look for toys that will grow with her, like her play kitchen that she got for Christmas, that I know will be used for years.
Do you guys use any of these tips already? Be sure to let me know what works best for you and your family. I love learning new tips and tricks to make life easier for all of us.