3 Keys To Making Your Home Less Messy With Kids

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On my recent visit back to New Zealand something really struck me with what had changed. Almost all of my friends are now mothers.

Now as a childless person currently, I don’t have to think about small hands reaching things or how to store the numerous toys in the living room, not to mention sticky fingers and spills or just keeping on top of it all. But my amazing ‘wondermother’ (friends do).

I call them wonder mothers for this. They are always busy, they have so much on their plate, they barely get a moment to themselves, and yet they keep it all together so beautifully….

In that beautiful mess kind of way of balancing spinning plates on top of sticks, and trying not to let any of them fall.

If this sounds like you. Take a deep breath. Grab yourself a comforting drink, and snuggle up to read this post.

Because today I’m going to cover some of the tricks to bringing some semblance of order and peace back into your living spaces.

Plus in a few days i’ll be sharing second post which covers hiding those spills with well planned decoration and more. Lets Dig in….

 

 

The Secret To Having A Tidy House

If your feeling like you’re drowning in stuff and have lost track of the number of ikea storage containers you’ve brought to contain it all. Then here’s the secret I’ve noticed from those who have the most tidy houses.

They simply have way less stuff. And by less I mean think about halving what you have. They also like to purge. Culling even kids toys down to the minimum.

But I can’t cut my kids toys I hear you say… How are they going to keep themselves entertained?? I don’t want to deprive them.

That’s what I thought too until I saw a Spanish tv show where two wives swap houses. On this one episode a mother from a middle class home swapped with a mother from a family of squatters.

The only money the squatters earned was from entertainment on the street which gave them just enough for food. The children didn’t have a thing, no toys, no hot water, yet you should have seen their energy and smiling faces.

The middle class mother was shocked at how happy they were and that they didn’t, once, ask for anything, unlike her own kids who had so much.

Think of it like this. The ability to imagine, and having creative problem solving skills, is key to a successful life. This can be diminished in your children by too many visual and sensory diversions.

Culling the toys down is not depriving your kids, besides I’m not saying to get rid of ALL of them. More like enough so life feels a bit more than manageable.

Then it’s about getting them to pick the remaining toys up.

 

 

The Key To Getting Your Family To Pick Up After Themselves.

Is that possible? Ask yourself this… Do you have knives lying all over your house? Do you run around searching for them because you’ve lost them, and then find them in all strange places?

I’m guessing you know exactly where they are. In the drawer in the kitchen with the divider thing. That’s Because they have a designated space and everyone in the house knows where that space is. Plus we’re trained since childhood to put them back in that space.

The same can be true for all the other things in your home. Give every item in your home a designated space. Make sure everyone knows where each items home is. Then get your family in the habit of putting every item they use back in it’s designated space.

This is especially great if you have poor memory and find yourself leaving things out in plain sight so you won’t lose it. Which ends up being counterproductive, as those items accumulate.

Of course making a home for your kids schoolbags in your downstairs basement, behind the power tools, pretty much means they’re never going to put them away.

Instead you want to get super strategic, where you make homes for things. Store stuff at the point of first use.

  • Board games and puzzles for your kids inside the big coffee table they play on.
  • If you sit on the sofa in a certain place for tv watching, put a pocket on the side of the sofa so you can easily put the remote away.
  • Have baskets divided into groups such as soft toys or lego in the toy zone where your kids play
  • And add immediate holding areas for things like school papers that you can deal with more efficiently in quantity. Plus a bin close by, so you can throw what’s not needed right away.
  • prepare for disasters by having your stain removers stashed where they most happen in the dining and living areas.

Whatever you do, don’t put it down, put it away. Ideally touching each item only once.

You may have noticed. One thing attracts two, two attracts four and quickly it’s developed into a pile to clutter which becomes utterly overwhelming.

Nab it in the bud before hand and all will be well in the world 🙂

That said, some of us have major hangups when it comes to cleaning and tidying.

 

 

How To Make Cleaning Easier.

If the idea of washing the stacks of accumulating dishes brings you to tears. because you know you have to do it. Even though you HATE washing up. Or that sounds like someone in your family here’s some insight.

When I studied personal training (for fun) which taught me about helping people make a big life transition doing something they don’t necessarily like, I learn’t this.

Small regular painless actions lead to habit forming, that is much more effective in getting you a lasting result. You want to make it fun, and simple to do. How?

Here’s some ideas on how to take the pain out of cleaning and tidying:

  • Put on your favourite music and do tidy up as a family quick. 10 mins a night, nothing more. Getting competitive about who can pick up the most is great for getting kids engaged.
  • Fire up your laptop and have it propped up so you can watch a favourite tv show from netflix or tedx while you clean one part of the house each night.

Small regular chunks really help.

So now it’s your turn. What area in your home accumulates piles of stuff? Is it because those things don’t have a designated spot? Where is the most logical designated home for those items? Then let me know now in the comments below. It might just be the thing someone else needs to hear for inspiration.

Also check back for my second post in the next few days, on how to decorate a home that’s stunning AND kid-proof (aka indestructible).

Much love,

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Published by: Rach Bryant

 

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