As a mother, I thrive in a clean and tidy environment. I think it’s human nature in a lot of us. We are less stressed, handle everyday life better and even sleep better when we are in an organized environment. However, in my case and with five kids, it’s survival in keeping everything running smoothly. I have learned a lot in this area that I thought might be helpful so today I am so excited to have teamed up with Extra Space Storage to share with you all about how to keep your home organized and tidy with kids. And they are five tips that are simple enough to include the kids in helping maintain a clean household!
From the beginning of starting our family, my goal has been to create a home where my children feel comfortable. Being a working mom following them around all day picking up after them was never an option. Heck, even if I didn’t run a business I wouldn’t want to spend my days doing that. And I am also a firm believer in teaching children life principles from a very early age. When you are part of a large family, I think it comes naturally because help is always needed and extra hands are expected. These five tips have been my ride or die approach when it comes to our house and has allowed me to also include the children in the responsibility of keeping our home feeling clean and tidy.
I am not always the one putting things away, but I am always the one to organize spaces in our home. Nothing is more frustrating than organizing a linen closet only to find it in disarray weeks later because littles helped put laundry away. Labels have been my number one must-have for the home. This allows me to organize every space, but I can still rely on others to help with putting things away knowing that they have guidance on where everything goes.
I found these bookplate labels on Amazon right here. Linen closets, drawers… you name it and I have them there. My husband will either install them with tiny nails or I will hot glue them to certain surfaces. And until the little ones are able to read, they simply work side by side with the older siblings to direct.
Within your home decor, use large baskets where you can and in the areas that are pain points. I find this to be such an easy to reduce mess without it being a detailed process. Shoes by the front door? Add a basket. Toys in the family room, but company is coming over with not a lot of warning? A basket in the corner will allow the little ones to help and for you to feel a bit more put together before answering the door. Tired of seeing the stack of mail? Add a desktop basket to hide the clutter!
Baskets are easy but are a kid-friendly option to teach them responsibility in keeping things picked up. At a year and a half, Brooks already is involved in the picking up routines and does very well with it. Having older siblings to watch and also including him in the process has started him on the right foot.
This is a big one when it comes to kids and their toys. So often our kids aren’t even playing with actual toys. They are coloring, creating, playing games, spending time outside or watching a move together so having a lot of toys isn’t necessary.
Every holiday or birthday when we know the kids will be receiving gifts from others, we take a little bit of time to sort through what we still want to keep and what we would like to donate. It’s a way to keep things fresh, but also teach the kids about simplicity, living simply as well as what donating items can do for others.
I will simply grab a trash bag, gather all of the toys to the center of the room and allow the kids to decide for themselves what they can live without and what they want to spend more time with.
If we want our children to help in caring for our home, we need to make it easy for them to pitch in. Their art supplies are a perfect example of this. Instead of fighting it, I ditched the original packaging that things came in and opted for a metal caddy that little ones can easily dump like items in the same spot. You can also use glass jars or even baskets depending on what it is that you are organizing.
I find that this helps the kids to be more independent when it comes to picking up their messes while also allowing them to be proud of a job well done.
The tradition in our household is that every evening after dinner and before bedtime we do a 10-15 minute pickup as a family. We turn a timer on, play our favorite tunes and get to work. It’s amazing how much you can get done with a solid ten minutes and seven people helping! It makes it fun for the kids, it involves everyone in the responsibility and it allows Dad and I to wake up to a clean home to start the next day.
If there is one thing I have learned about living with kids and keeping our house in order is that my home is happier when I am not nagging and fighting with my little ones. Work hard to assess where the pain points are in your home and figure out the best solution based on the ages of your tiny helpers. Guide them in the process of helping with more household chores to teach them independence and responsibility. Not only your home will feel better and put together, but so will you. And remember that the day will come when we will miss seeing the toys on the floor and the dirty laundry that didn’t quite make it into the basket. Wink!
For even more tips on home organization and tips to keeping your clean and tidy, be sure and visit Extra Space Storage! A big thank you to them for partnering with me for this post – I hope you found it helpful!
What have you found to work best in your home?