Ever since becoming a mum I’ve found that I’ve become much more house proud than in my pre-mum student living kind of days. Of course I’ve always liked things to be clean and tidy but I guess having three mini tornadoes running around now makes me appreciate a clear space more than ever … not to mention with a toddler that licks everything, another toddler that runs around naked all of the time and a baby that puts everything in his mouth … keeping my house clean is kind of essential right!?
Vax recently asked me for some advice on surviving life with 3 under 3; specifically my top tips on how I keep my house in order with those 3 bambinos! Now don’t get me wrong, my home isn’t spotless and tidied to military precision. We have messy ‘please excuse the state of my house’ days just like most. To me mess is the sign of a lived in home and a fun filled day and I’m a big believer in spending as much of my time making memories rather than tidying and cleaning; however like I said I am house proud so for me it’s about finding the balance. It’s about doing the minimum with maximum effect and here are 5 ways that I achieve a tidy and clean house while getting to spend as much time as possible making memories with my family:
1 – Delegate, delegate, delegate
I may be mistaken as one by all who lives here but I’m certainly not the maid. In our home we all make mess so we all tidy up the mess … except Jenson who’s 5 month old, we let him get away with it! Now of course this can be easier said than done and yes I do the majority of it myself but I do really try to instil responsibilities into my boys and my husband – yes he still needs a little push!
The boys put their nighttime nappies in nappy bags and then into the bin every morning and they put their dirty clothes in the washing basket (aka throw them on the floor next to the basket). They put their plates and cups in the sink after meal times and they put their shoes away in the shoe cupboard. We also do ‘tidy up time’ where they put their toys away although Jasper does procrastinate and always manages to get away with doing the bare minimum!
My husband works long hours but I do try and get him to take out the bins and we take it in turns to cook while the other clears away … I do somehow wind up doing both though! I’m also still working on his underwear not being left behind the bathroom door and shoes not being a tripping hazard by the front door … I’m sure the boys will teach him soon enough!
2 – Keep wet wipes in every room
Wet wipes are an absolute godsend! I use them for everything from the obvious dirty nappies and mucky faces to cleaning dust from the surfaces and baby sick from my shoulder. Having them in every room is essential because I don’t think there is a single room in my home that hasn’t had a ‘wet wipe required’ incident. Every one in the house knows where they are kept in each room so when an emergency occurs and I shout ‘WET WIPESSSSSS” they’re usually in my hands within 10 seconds tops!
Of course I know wet wipes don’t do much for antibac-ing or stain removal but they can be great to get rid of any initial mess while you find your sprays and potions to do the real work.
3 – Invest in a good stain remover and carpet cleaner
When we first had kids I was that mum who thought we’d get a brand new carpet and expensive sofas because ‘I wouldn’t let my children eat in the living room’. How naive I was! If it’s not Jensons bottle being spilt on the carpet it’s Jasper wiping his wotsit fingers on the sofa or Pete dropping a spoonful of curry on the sofa cushions, so having a good carpet and upholstery cleaner is a must – unless you want to be forking out for carpet cleaner and upholstery cleaner services every few months.
We have the Vax Dual Power Pro Carpet Cleaner and oh my goodness has it been a game changer. I’m pretty sad and set aside times to do it whereby the boys are scooted off into the dining room to play and I’m left alone to work my magic bringing my carpet and sofas back to life (oh the life of a Mum!). It’s a 2 in 1 so I just work my way around the room cleaning the carpets and then using the stretch hose to clean the sofa and cushions. It’s also really easy to do the stairs and as it’s the mother of all Vax carpet cleaners it’s super powerful and has Dual V technology for quicker drying times (which means I don’t have to keep the kids away for too long). It also rinses so there’s no need to faff about doing that separately – us Mumas need all the multifunctional time-saving products we can get right!?
4 – Tidy as you go … sort of
I’m a firm believer in tidying as you go but not too much … basically I don’t want to pick up toys as soon as the boys are finished playing with them because they’ll only get more out and I’ll end up tidying 20 plus times a day; however I don’t want to leave them to get all of their toys out and be left with a huge tidy up at the end of the day. A toy covered floor is the sign of a great play date and I love that but I do want my toys to learn to put things away before getting new things out, I think it’s a good habit to instil. In our home we tidy up after sessions; for example if Jasper is playing with toys in my room while I get dressed, before we go downstairs he tidies his toys and I tidy my stuff. If we then go in the kitchen and make breakfast we make sure to tidy up before we start a morning of crafts. If we then pop out for the afternoon we tidy up our crafts. I like to leave a tidy house because I like to come home to a tidy house. I always like to live as though we could have a surprise visitor at any time and of course we have a lived in home so there will be some mess; however I wouldn’t want to get home at 5pm and breakfast still be out, my bed still be unmade and the mornings toys not be packed away.
It makes the evenings so much easier if I do it this way as I’m not left with a huge amount of tidying and cleaning when the boys are asleep and all I want to do is work and then relax. I’m only really left with tidying the kitchen after dinner, loading the dishwasher and perhaps putting away a load of washing before bedtime as most of the days mess would have been done throughout the day.
5 – Go to bed with a clean slate
Speaking of evenings, it’s the same when I go to bed. I like to start my days with a clean slate and not yesterdays to-dos so I always make sure to go to bed with a house that’s as tidy and as clean as can be. It not only makes me feel more refreshed in the morning to be in a tidy and clean home but it makes me less stressed and more able to focus on that days tasks. I can make breakfast without having to wash up last nights plates first and I can make Jensons bottles without needing to wash his old ones first; it really does make for a less stressful morning!
What are your top tips for keeping a clean and tidy home with young children? Or any children for that matter … they’re all pretty messy aren’t they?
Thanks for reading,
*This post is in association with Vax, all content is my own