Easy Parent Cleaning Hacks to Help You Stay Sane

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Is it just me, or does it always feel like the house is a mess? When you have kids, cleaning can feel like a never-ending task. Sure, people will tell you to have your kids help out and make a chore chart, but I feel like that doesn’t really get it all done. I am one of the people who reposted the meme with the infinity symbol as the national laundry symbol. There is nothing more accurate for a house of six people.

Even though something is always a “mess” in our house, I do think that cleaning is therapeutic. Just picking up a few things can make you feel like you accomplished something and make you feel a little better. There is nothing like looking around a room and seeing it clean. A messy house can create stress and make you feel overwhelmed in life. Now I am not saying your house has to be completely clean all the time to feel good. Trust me, we embrace the mess many days.

In our constant struggle to clean up, I have found some great cleaning hacks. Not just closing a door and forgetting there is a mess behind it. But things that truly help us function better and feel better about being in our, at times, chaotic house.

“Minimize” as Much as Possible

interior of children bedroom with wooden furniture and toys and globe placed on shelves in room
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I know, with kids, this is nearly impossible. They have tons of stuff, including toys. A birthday comes around and they get more toys. The toys just never end. However, there are ways to reduce the “stuff” and you don’t have to get rid of it all. Methods like toy rotation and using bins help give the minimalist feel, without actually taking stuff away.

Toy rotation is one of the best things ever. I did not even know the term until recently but, realized I had been doing it for years because we moved houses so often. Simply put, it is boxing up some of the toys to switch out at a later time. A great example is my daughter’s barbie stuff. She has two campers (I am not sure how or why) and I put one of them up in the toy rotation bins. In a few months, I switch them out. She feels like she just got a new toy, and I don’t have to take up space with both of them being out.

Kids will not play in their designated toy space if it is messy, crowded, and not welcoming. It is too overwhelming for them. I have proved this over and over with my kids. Toy rotation and organization of the playroom is beyond important, or they will end up creating a mess in other spaces.

TIP: Minimizing should also happen in the spaces that you spend most of your time in. If you clear your counters in the kitchen, it makes you feel better about cooking. If you organize your office, it makes you feel better as you work. Take steps to clear the clutter and put away all the “stuff”, even if you don’t get rid of it completely. I like to do one room at a time so that I don’t feel so overwhelmed with taking on the whole house.

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Use Bins and Baskets

wooden toys in basket
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My husband will probably read this and say, yup, she is the queen of baskets. I literally have a basket or bin in every room and for good reason. I even have a stair basket and it is amazing. It really makes cleaning simple. I can have the kids, or anyone, throw all the “stuff” in the bin. Then once a week, I empty the bin by putting all the stuff back where it belongs.

The key is having a home for everything. The bin is not the home. It is there to temporarily lessen the mess and chaos in a room. You have to empty the bin regularly and not let it overflow with random stuff.

This is such a helpful hack and really truly helps me feel a little put together most days. If someone is coming over, throw all the “stuff” in your bin. If it’s the end of the day and you are tired, clear the floor by putting it all in the bin. At least you get the feeling of having a clean or organized space, without putting in hours of time.

Multitasking is Key

woman cleaning room with children
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We all know, multitasking is life. When you combine household duties with your everyday life, you win. You get a little cleaning done while you tackle something else at the same time. Then on your actual cleaning day, it won’t take so long. Here are a few examples:

  • Clean the kitchen counters off while you wait for something to cook.
  • Organize the pantry while something is baking.
  • Clean the bathroom while the kids take a bath.
  • Clear your living room floor, into your bin, while everyone watches a movie.
  • Put some unused toys into toy rotation while the kids are playing.
  • Clean the floors while having a family dance party.
  • Pull weeds while the kids play in the yard.
  • You can fold clothes while doing many things.

These are just a few of the things we do in order to keep the house from hitting that overwhelmingly messy place. My husband likes to say, “you just do a little each day” in order to tame the mess. We then have one major cleaning day each week and that is when we break out the elbow grease. But it doesn’t take a ton of time because we have “picked up” all week long.

Lastly, remind yourself that some weeks are better than others. The house cannot always be clean and one day you will miss all those toys thrown around. Give yourself grace on days you are tired, overwhelmed, or sick.

-Kristy M., Mommy to Many

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