The sounds of your kids playing around the house is a heartwarming thing. Parents strive to keep their kids happy, healthy and growing in a positive environment. Between the fun and games, schoolwork, sports practices and generally being kids, however, parents also know the mess they can create.
Whether you are a stay-at-home or a working parent, you likely struggle to keep all areas of the home as clean as you would like. In a fast-paced, hectic life with kids of all ages, any tip that makes cleaning time easier and more effective will feel like a life-changer. Here are some of the best tricks and tips we have found to help you keep the home happy, healthy, and closer to spot-free!
1. USE THE DISHWASHER
Of course this applies to the dishes in your house, but it can help with so much more. For the kids, you can clean plastic toys and sports equipment like shin guards and helmets. Beyond that, many things around the house like gardening tools, flip flops and vent grates can benefit from a run through the dishwasher. See what else you should consider washing here.
2. EASY CLEANING FOR THE MICROWAVE
Busy moms know how helpful the microwave can be to warm up a quick snack for the kids or leftovers for your own lunch, but it can be a trap for messy food residue and germs. Cleaning such a small space can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Use a mixture of vinegar and water to make cleaning the microwave a breeze!
3. USE A TENNIS BALL
In some parts of the country the weather is so nice that kids get to play inside and outside almost year-round. This often leads to a lot of running back in to grab a quick drink or snack before heading back out. Combine this commotion with sneakers and wood floors and you’re certain to end up with scuff marks. Rather than getting on the ground and wearing your elbow out, use a tennis ball to quickly and easily clean them.
4. USE A STEAM CLEANER
A steam cleaner can be your best friend in many areas of the home. Along with cleaning carpets and rugs, you can use it to clean mattresses, ovens, stainless steel appliances and more. Not only will it make cleaning easier, it offers a sanitary alternative to harsh chemicals you may find in traditional cleaners.
5. WASH STUFF ANIMALS
Whether your kids keep them in bed or tote them around everywhere they go, their beloved stuffed animals will wind up dirty. Most of them can be washed on the delicate cycle in your washing machine and be hung to dry. Be sure to check care labels before washing, but most of them should be good for a quick wash!
6. MAKE A CHORES BASKET
This tip is great for everybody who is helping keep the house clean. Create baskets for each room of the house with a cleaning list and the materials needed in the basket. This cleaning aid will help you keep your materials organized, and it will be easy to have a kid help clean part of the house when they can follow the included instruction sheet.
7. HAVE THE KIDS HELP
Children of all ages can certainly help clean around the house, even if they aren’t responsible for all the mess. You can make it more fun by turning cleaning into a game or a competition. Be sure to always assign age-appropriate chores so the work is done well and won’t leave you cleaning again in their footsteps.
8. HYDROGEN PEROXIDE
There are plenty of great uses around the house for hydrogen peroxide as it offers a more green alternative to chemicals found in many products. It can be great for cleaning a lot of toys, especially small accessories for dolls, Legos and other play sets. All you need to do is fully immerse the toys and wait for the bubbling to stop; once they dry, the toys will be clean and ready to use again.
9. CREATE A CHORE CHART
This will help you assign tasks to everybody in the house, stay in a routine and make sure no area of the home gets forgotten. Having the chart will teach accountability to your kids, and you’ll always know who was supposed to clean a room. They can have all sorts of designs, and you can work in a reward system for consecutive days of cleaning without a reminder.
10. IF YOU HAVE FUN, THEY HAVE FUN
This is more of a mentality tip, but it is very true. If you are positive and make it seem like cleaning is a fun activity for everybody, the kids will follow suit. Along with making games out of it, you can liven it up by listening to your favorite music, dancing and singing while you clean alongside your kids. It will feel a lot less cumbersome and they are more likely to want to help.
Keeping a clean, healthy house for the whole family does not have to consume your entire day. Hopefully these tips can help you tackle your chore list with more confidence and the help of your kids. If you’ve found other tips that have worked well for you, we would love to share them as well!