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If you have little ones running around, then you know that they like to touch, grab, and explore everything. While I love to watch my twins explore, this also means that they’re making a mess. More often than not, I’m behind them picking things up, or trying to avert any disasters (this is not always a success). At one point in our lives, my husband and I could keep our house spotless for weeks at a time. Seriously, we weren’t even home a lot, so cleaning was a breeze. Now, I’m lucky if this place stays clean for half a day. Fortunately, I’ve come across a few ways to keep things as clean as possible with our two little hurricanes scurrying about. In attempts to help my other fellow parents out there, I wanted to share 5 tips to keep your house clean with kids. I hope you enjoy! (It shall be noted, that by NO means is my house perfectly clean at all times, but things have certainly gotten better!)
1. Take advantage of naptime and bedtime! Or, wake up early!
If you can wake up early and get a head start on your morning routine, do so! That way, you won’t feel like you’re sitting in a mess of everyone’s breakfast once the kids are up. During nap time, get any quiet cleaning out of the way. Re-organize, wipe things down, fold laundry, etc. during this time. You won’t worry about waking anyone, and won’t feel a burden as large as your laundry pile by the time night time comes around.
2. Create a routine.
I don’t have a super, duper, uber “I’m so organized” kind of cleaning schedule. There is no whiteboard on my fridge with tasks and I have no printable calendar of chores. That works for some people, but it’s just not my style. With that said, I AM a fan of routine and think that it helps. If we focus, routines become habits, and habits don’t seem like such a hassle. For example: my routine dictates that every other day, starting with Mondays, I vacuum and clean the floors while my babies eat breakfast. This way, they’re in their high chairs instead of in my way, and I can get done quickly. I do this no matter what, and live a happier life knowing that we’re not all covered in dog hair.
3. Have a good cleaner or two on hand, at all times!
Okay, my kids are at the “cruising” stage of learning to walk. This means that they put their hands on EVERYTHING to steady themselves. Since we have a glass coffee table and end tables, stainless steel appliances, and of course windows on our house, I need something to clean all of those at all times. Although we’ve been using Windex® Original Glass Cleaner, in our house and vehicles for years, I’ve never found it more vital to have on hand. It starts working even before we begin to wipe, which is great for those sticky little fingerprints that I clean so often.
We used to (unfortunately) look the other way sometimes when there would be little nose marks on our glass doors, or cup rings on our tables. Since having babies though, we’ve wanted to be more adamant about cleaning, so that dirt doesn’t just pile up! We’ve made a habit of cleaning our poor tables daily, so that they don’t look so poor any more. Just like Windex®, we believe in the motto, “Don’t Stand For Dirty™.” To make the cleaning even easier for those with a two story house, we like to keep two bottles of Windex® Original Glass Cleaner at all times, one upstairs and one downstairs. Trust me, you’ll feel overcome with relief when things are not only clean, but easy to clean.
If you’re wondering how we keep our stainless steel free of smudges (until a child touches it again), I also want to share my secret weapon for that! Windex® Vinegar Multi-Surface Cleaner has never failed me. I used to use it for our countertops, and now my usage has expanded! It has not failed me for our appliances (or countertops still!), and with its ammonia free formula, it leaves behind no funny vinegar smell! FYI- If you’re worried about your countertops, it works on Corian® and Formica®, as well as sealed granite and marble! Seriously, its versatility is mind blowing!
4. Do things immediately, instead of saying, “I’ll do it later.”
I know, I know, we’re all busy. It’s so easy to just walk past a basket of laundry, or trash that needs to be taken out, and say, “I’ll do it later.” When you have kids though, it turns into leaving toys out, or a snack out. When you let it slide once, it’s like opening up a can of worms. The next thing you know, ALL the toys are out and snacks have gone bad. Not only that, but now you have to take the dog out, cook dinner, send e-mails, etc. If you take care of small messes or tiny tasks as they occur, you’ll be much better off and will have created a good habit. This is part of why I’m not a super strict scheduler. I’d rather just work as I go! To help with this, I’ve designated a “place” for a lot of things, especially toys. I’m hoping when my kids are just a bit older, they’ll recognize where to put things away, but for now, I can quickly clean up, because toys have their own homes.
One thing that I am grateful for during every waking second of my life, is having a husband who is hands-on. If he sees that I need help with something, or just feels like helping me out at all, he does it. If I’m entertaining the babies, he’ll whip out that Windex® Original Glass Cleaner that I was bragging about, and start cleaning. If the babies are napping and we can tag-team a bit of cleaning, he’s game for it. We should all be stronger together, and you and your partner can team up to tackle chores, it makes it easier on everyone. Not to mention, it might leave you with some extra family time!
If you want to share some tips on how to keep your house clean with kids, or have any mom hacks, feel free to leave them in the comments! Be sure to also checkout your local Food4Less (or Kroger banner store!) for Windex® Original Glass Cleaner or Windex® Vinegar Multi-Surface Cleaner! You can also visit their Facebook or Twitter for more information, or to show some love!