How to keep a tidy home as a working parent
If you're like most parents, your biggest challenges are finding time and energy to keep the house clean. Here are some tips on how to stay organised amidst it all.
It’s proven that having a clean house can help you manage feelings of stress and anxiety. Clutter can make a space seem smaller and there’s nothing more frustrating than having to clear up messes as you go along.
However, children are naturally very messy and it can seem impossible to keep a tidy house when you have little ones at home. This can add to the stress of being a parent, especially when you don’t want to spend hours cleaning every day.
We’ve put together some great tips to help you keep your home tidy to make life easier. This way, you don’t have to worry about spending all of your time cleaning up after others and can relax when you’re at home.
Create a play area for your children
One problem with your children’s mess is that it can get everywhere. Toys are particularly hard to keep track of because they can be carried from room to room, creating tripping hazards when left somewhere they shouldn’t be.
To stay on top of this, create a designated play area for your children. Make sure the area is stocked with plenty of toys and games and be consistent with playtimes - for example, if it’s not playtime, see if you can keep your child away from the play area.
Make sure your child knows that they have a specific area to play with their toys. If they want to show you something, go over to their play area instead of asking them to leave the area with their toys. This way, the mess will be contained in one part of your house and will be much easier to clear up.
Teach your children to put away their toys
Teaching your children that they have to put away their toys after they’ve used them is a great lesson to learn from a young age.
Your children naturally won’t be as fast or as neat as you are when it comes to tidying up. However, if you teach them where toys go, they’ll at least start to learn that certain things have certain places.
You can set up bins or cubby holes to store certain toys. For example, blocks and figurines could go in a bin, where you don’t have to worry about keeping things neat. Books and board games could go on a shelf, where they can be easily stacked. You’ll likely have to show your children a few times where everything goes, but once they’ve learned, cleaning up afterwards will be much faster.
It’s important to make sure you have rules in place when you're teaching your children to tidy up after themselves. Rules can give your children structure, teach them what’s expected of them, and let them have some responsibility.
You should remind your children what they’re expected to do; when they start playing, make sure they understand that they have to put their toys away once they’re finished. When it’s time to tidy up, give them a 10-minute warning so that they have plenty of time to get to it.
If they don’t obey your rules, show them that there are consequences. For example, if they don’t help tidy up then you’ll take away half an hour of playtime the next time they want to get their toys out.
Just remember that your children are still learning and will need time to adjust to the rules and routines they need to follow. Reward them for following the rules and don’t punish them too severely if they forget.
Make cleaning time fun
Tidying up after playtime is going to feel like a boring task to your children. However, if you can think of ways to make cleaning time fun then it’s going to be much easier to encourage your children to help put away their toys.
You could create a cleaning schedule that includes singing or playing music whilst you work, which will make the job seem quicker. You could turn it into a competition over who can pick up the most toys in a set time limit. Your children will respond much more positively to tidying up when you make it less like a chore and more like a game.
Final thoughts from Kinhub
Having a tidy home can do wonders for your mental wellbeing, although it may not always feel achievable when you have children. However, if you can encourage your children to get involved in tidying up, this can be a huge help to you. Not only does it make the job quicker, but it also teaches your children about the importance of cleaning up after themselves. This way you can spend less time cleaning and have more time to spend with your family.