How to Keep a Tidy House with Toddlers

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Believe it or not, it is possible to have a tidy house AND toddlers. Read my 8 simple tips for creating a clean home with kids below!

Read my 8 simple tips for keeping a tidy house with toddlers!

Hello hello!

Probably one of the most frequent questions I’m asked is this – “How do you keep such a clean house with little kids?” 

Similar questions come in all the time. 

“Where are all the toys?”

“Your house looks perfect. How you do it?”

“Where do you find the time?”

Can I be honest with you guys? When I read messages like that my heart just sinks. The last thing that I ever want to do is make another mom feel inadequate or like she doesn’t measure up. 

Please PLEASE know that my house is NOT clean all the time. I have three little boys all under the age of 5, and let’s be real – boys are DIRTY. 

Whether it’s legos all over the floor, or play-doh shoved in the cracks of my dining table, or sippy cups on every surface all over the house, believe me – there are signs of those three everywhere. 

When I post perfectly clean, styled rooms on the blog or social media, don’t let that fool you. As I sit here typing there are pillows strewn on the floor, baby toys scattered across the living room and dirty dishes piled up in the sink. 

Obviously my goal and dream is to inspire others, so I’m not going to post or share the messes with you all. With that being said, there are definitely some tips and tricks that I have learned over the years that I’d love to share with you. 

When I first got married, I was SUCH a freak about having a clean home. I had a checklist and each week I cleaned our little rental from top to bottom including baseboards and scrubbing our linoleum kitchen floor with a toothbrush. I kid you not. 

Everything HAD to be perfect and look perfect all the time. But after a while I began to realize that demanding this kind of perfection not only stressed me out and put me on edge, but it put my family on edge as well. If something spilled or broke I could feel everyone’s eyes shift over…

Oh no! What is she going to say? How is she going to react?

Well guys, having children changed aaaaalll of that. 

Once your toddler pukes all over your living room rug, you begin to realize that life just can’t be perfect all the time, ha! 

Honestly, though, my boys truly changed me for the better. Yes, I still love a clean home and yes, I still deep clean my entire house every couple of weeks. You kinda need to when you have three little boys. 

So, here a few things that I try to do (but not always) that help me keep our home pretty neat (most of the time;) ). 

HOW TO KEEP A TIDY HOUSE WITH TODDLERS

1. Try to tidy up on a daily basis

Life is so much easier with little ones when you tidy up daily. I’m not talking about scrubbing toilets or mopping floors. Just simply picking up. 

I think a lot of the reason why young Moms feel overwhelmed is because they don’t know where to start. There are piles of laundry in one corner and puzzle pieces in another corner and hot wheel cars in another and the list goes on. 

Believe me, I’ve been there. It’s paralyzing isn’t it? So try daily to do a sweep of the house and make it a part of your routine. I’m a morning person so I usually tidy up after getting ready every day. I make my bed and put away any laundry or dirty clothes, put shoes away that are all over the entry, straighten pillows etc. etc. 

You could do the same thing in the evenings, or even try to tidy up as you go. Before I lay the kids down for naps in the afternoon, they have to clean up all their toys. Do whatever you need to do to make the house at least feel orderly on a daily basis. 

2. Have the kids help

You are not doing your kids any favors by doing everything for them. It’s so so important to teach them responsibility even at a young age. You are not their slave, Momma. If they got it out, make them pick it up. 

Try to involve your kids in your cleaning routine, too. My boys love to vacuum, clean windows (we only use water and Norwex cloths), dust, and mop. I kid you not, they beg me to let them help. 

They may not to do the best job, but one reason I love letting my kids help is because it keeps them busy while I’m cleaning, too! Plus, Norwex cloths are chemical free and 100% natural and safe for my boys. If you’re unfamiliar with Norwex, watch my video below for my absolute favorite cloth ever!

I think it’s so wonderful to teach your kids at an early age the importance of hard work and picking up after themselves. 

3. Establish a cleaning routine

Your routine could be completely different than my routine, but try to establish some type of consistent schedule for cleaning. 

I have friends that do laundry one day, clean the kitchen and bathrooms on another day, vacuum and dust on yet another day, etc. etc. You get the point. 

I’m a bit crazy, but I love cleaning the whole house from top to bottom in one day. It just feels so nice when I plop down on the couch at night, knowing I cleaned everything. 

Honestly, though, that doesn’t always happen. And when the kids don’t cooperate or your schedule only allows you to get a little done at a time, that’s great too! 

A consistent cleaning routine really helps me not to feel overwhelmed. 

4. Declutter

As I type this, I am currently in Spring Cleaning mode. It just feels soooo good to purge and get rid of things we no longer use, decor I don’t really love anymore, clothing that never gets worn, the list goes on. 

The longer I live, the more I crave simplicity. It just makes life easier! I mean, do you really need  35 different coffee mugs in your cupboard?! No way! 

Go through your closets and GET RID of the those things that are literally just taking up space. Honestly, those things just create more stress. 

5. Create simple solutions for easy organization 

Just because you have kids doesn’t mean your house needs to look like a day care. I strongly believe that everything should have a place, and by creating simple solutions for organizing, it makes picking up easier for the whole family. 

For example, I love using pretty baskets to hide toys. They look like they are part of my decor, but they are filled with blocks and cars. When it’s time to clean up, baskets or some type of closed storage makes it so easy for both you and your kids. 

We have an ottoman in our living room that opens up, so I keep all the baby toys in there. My youngest loves to pull them out, and its so simple to just throw them back in there quickly when I tidy up. 

Don’t make it complicated, keep it simple! 

6. Eliminate toys that create stress 

Do you find yourself picking up the same toys 50 times every day? Toys that the kids don’t even play with, they just like to dump and spread around??

This is something I learned long ago and I regret not doing it sooner. There are certain toys that my kids are no longer allowed to play with unless they ask me. 

I know, I know. I’m such an awful Mom. Honestly though, toys with several pieces and parts are no longer within the kids’ reach. I have them high on a shelf and if they want to play with them, they simply ask. 

Train sets, toy food sets, legos, puzzles, crayons, you name it. Anything with more than one part is just no fun for Mom when it’s time to clean up. Oftentimes toddlers and babies just like to dump toys and those little pieces create headaches later on.

Either eliminate them or get them out of reach. That way kids can only play with one set at a time, and when they are done they can easily put it away before you get anything else out for them. 

7. Establish rules for eating

My kids always eat at the table unless we are outside. It just makes it so much easier to keep an eye on them, make sure they eat everything, and then wipe them up afterwards. 

Yes, occasionally we have popcorn or snacks on the couch, but nothing that will stain or create a huge mess. Crumbs and sticky spots all over the house that you have to smell (or worse, taste) to identify are just no fun. 

I would rather vacuum one spot under the dining room table every few days than have to vacuum the whole house daily because my kids run around with cookies. 

8. Make toys and screen time a privilege 

This has been something that my husband and I have really been working on lately. Our boys love to play on the tablet, but we have definitely noticed a shift in their behavior when they spend too much time staring at a screen. 

Lazy, mean, whiny, and entitled are just a few words that come to mind. 

We have really cut back on screen time lately, and we try to explain to our kids that any time spent on the tablet is a privilege and not a right. The same goes for toys. 

When our kids leave toys all over the place or pitch a fit if we ask them to clean up, they lose the privilege of playing with that toy. 

In conclusion…

Let me end by saying again that I am by no means perfect, and a lot of the time I don’t even follow my own tips!

If I am engrossed in a project, there are days I just let the house go. And there’s nothing wrong with that!! Having a clean home when you have toddlers and babies sometimes just isn’t possible.

We can’t put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect all the time. Show yourself some grace and simply do your best, that’s all we can do!! Never ever compare your life to someone else’s, especially someone you follow on social media. 

What you see in a perfect square has nothing to do with what really goes on in their life. And if you need more encouragement in this area, be sure to read this post and this one too. 

I hope these tips have helped you in some way friends. Are you a young mom? A grandma? What do you do to keep a tidy home with little ones? I’d love to know in the comments below!!

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Read my 8 simple tips for keeping a tidy house with toddlers!

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