Toddlers and clean go together like oil and water. The more you try to clean, the more mess there seems to be. I once read that cleaning the house while toddlers are awake is like trying to brush your teeth while eating Oreos. hahaha!! Can you relate?Thankfully, we’ve discovered some quick and easy ways how to keep your house clean when you have toddlers.
Let’s Define “Clean”The first step to keeping your house clean when you have toddlers (or kids of any age!) is to really examine how you define clean. The clean that you experienced before there were children living in your house is probably not as realistic as it once was. I know that for me, I had to let go of smudges on the glass sliding door and be okay with the fact that there were going to be little handprints & fingerprints on it throughout the day. The truth is, your house can be clean and tidy, but it’s probably never going to be immaculate if you’re doing it all yourself – especially with toddlers in tow.
Set a RoutineWhen my kids were little, I had two 10-minute routines that I’d do every day. In the morning, I would straighten the living room and dining room, wipe down the glass door, and do a quick pass with the vacuum. Later, after lunch when the kids were napping, I would do a quick pass of the bathroom and kitchen wiping down counters, sweeping floors, and putting things away. Those two 10-minute spurts of cleaning left me feeling accomplished and made the space feel less cluttered and overwhelming. If you can’t spend 10-minute chunks of time, break it down into 5-minute spurts. Set your timer on your phone and just get something accomplished. Now that our kids are out of the toddler & preschooler stage, they are very helpful. They have their set responsibilities and then they can do more chores to earn screentime (it’s the best chore chart system I’ve ever used) The key to your sanity & to a clean home is to use your time wisely and to realize that your house doesn’t have to be spotless to be clean.
Keep a CaddyOne of the best tricks for keeping the house clean when you have toddlers is to keep a cleaning caddy. A cleaning caddy is a container or bucket – I like to use the two-sided shower caddies that you typically see college kids using in dorms – that has everything you need to clean within one handy location. I keep one upstairs and one downstairs, so I don’t have to race up and down the stairs to get what I need. Since we’re all about limiting the chemical footprint in our house, I keep the following things in my caddies:
- A spray bottle of Thieves Household cleaner to wipe down almost every surface
- A spray bottle of water and vinegar for cleaning windows and mirrors
- An old, soft t-shirt that we use as a rag instead of paper towels (I recommend washing it frequently)
- A scouring pad for tough areas
- A small feather duster
- Extra pads for the bottom of the floor duster