Becoming a parent is considered to be one of the most emotional and fulfilling moments in a person’s life. While many people love to coo over adorable babies and children, the messes and chaos those innocent cherubs can create aren’t nearly as delightful. Here, we’ve collected some of the best tips and tricks to help busy parents and caregivers keep up with and get ahead of the paths of destruction their little angels leave behind!
Time is On Your Side
A parent or caregiver’s first line of defense is to manage time effectively. Of course, to an exhausted, overworked adult, this is a laughable concept at first thought. But, as the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Rather than trying to force endless chores into your busy day, work them in in small amounts. The best way to approach a seemingly endless mountain of chores is to “divide and conquer” with a cleaning schedule. See Lauren Smith's version of a schedule that includes daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly tasks at Good Housekeeping Magazine.
For humble abodes that still prove overwhelming, try a daily breakdown by day of the week. It is often suggested to assign each room of your house or type of chore to each day. Tech-savvy moms and dads may find the aid of an app helpful such as the top-rated Tody app for iOS systems. Android users should look into House Cleaning List.
Can You Hack It?
In addition to creating schedules, many parents find it helpful to “hack” as much as they can around the house in order to keep things neat, clean, and, most importantly, safe for their little ones. Popular social media platforms, most notably Pinterest, have endless sources of inspiration for home hacks that take little to no effort to make and cost you pennies! For products that provide safe and effective cleaning in the home, many people turn to homemade cleaners and one of the ones they need the most is carpet cleaner. For all of those spills, smears, and smudges that just don’t ever seem to go end, try this quick DIY recipe for dry carpet cleaning. For extra odor-fighting power, add your own essential oil of choice. Other popular homemade cleaners can include kitchen spray, bathroom cleaner, toilet cleaning fizzies, laundry detergent, dishwashing tablets, and more.
To keep a straightened home, it takes more than just “cleaning.” Things must be organized and the easiest way to do so is to give everything a place. Invest in boxes, bins, tubs, or other containers and sort and place your belongings. This is a wonderful way to get the kids to help clean up at the end of the day as they naturally like to sort things and love being mommy and daddy’s big helper! Help your living room pop and find bins that are brightly colored and decorative and add labels to help others learn your new system! Repurpose old cardboard boxes by using them as dividers in a cluttered drawer. Wire baskets and tension rods can be used for cabinet storage of cleaning, beauty, or baby supplies while utilizing the ever handy storage hooks have numerous applications for storing items up and out of the way such as curling irons and jewelry.
Learn and Earn
While young children are the best mess-makers around they can also be taught to be the best cleaners around! Young kids are eager to help adults cook, clean, and organize. Utilize this natural curiosity by making up a chore chart for your little ones. Be sure to make the selected chores simple and easy to complete. Many parents choose to add in a reward system based on something small that their child likes such as small candies, stickers, or prizes from a prize box. Choose what works best for your family. Also be sure to take advantage of the energy that destroyed your living room and host a clean-up competition! Set a timer and have the children see who can clean up their selected area the fastest. Coupled with the chore chart and reward system, this method is sure to bring some order and laughter to your home!