If you are a stay at home mom, you are more than likely always on the lookout for the best way to keep your house clean with toddlers underfoot. The task is not impossible, but you will have to be somewhat creative. One of the main things is to not let the overflow of your toddlers’ lives start to leak into your office. The following tips can help you keep your house clean and your business operating smoothly, even if you have small children running through the house.
#1. Stay Organized
The first step is to stay organized. Bins and baskets are a great idea if your toddlers have blocks and other small toys that get scattered everywhere. Instead of tossing them in a toy box, store them in bins. They can be found without emptying the entire toy box and are easy to put away. Small baskets and bins are also easier for the smaller children to tote around. Keeping things well organized prevents toys and their separate parts from being lost and makes it easier for the small children to play independently.
#2. Divide and Conquer
If your toddlers are easily distracted by one another, assign them a task separate from their brother or sister. One can put away blocks while the other gathers the stuffed animals. If they tend to get along well together and complement one another, having them work together can make things go faster, but there will be times when having them work together is like mixing oil and water. If you have older children, you can put an older child with a toddler to help teach team work and make sure the job is completed correctly.
#3. Start Using Chore Charts Early
Before chores become dreaded activities, play on your children’s desire to be a “big help”. Create chore charts and put them where they are easily accessible to the children. Make sure each child’s chore list changes daily so they aren’t always working on the same task. This not only teaches them responsibility, it allows you the opportunity to show them how easy it is to work together as a family. You will be able to keep your house clean without constantly fighting over who does what chore and at what time.
#4. Delegate Tasks to Older Members of the Family
Your spouse and the older kids can also take on their share of responsibility. While it’s beneficial that you can stay at home and be there for your family, part of that trade off is the fact they need to help you maintain a smooth running operation, especially when it comes to caring for the toddlers. If deadlines are close and you know your older kids want to earn a little extra money, pay them a few dollars an hour for babysitting services. When it comes to the household chores, delegate specific tasks to each one so that everyone has something to be responsible. If they enjoy having you close at hand, they won’t mind pitching in when you need them.
#5. Clean As You Go
One of the quickest and easiest ways to keep your house clean, especially if you have little ones under foot, is to clean as you go. This is extremely beneficial when you’re cooking a meal. Don’t let the dishes pile up. Wash them as you use them. By the time dinner is ready, the entire kitchen is clean and the only dishes that are left are the ones used during the meal. Even if you have toddlers with you in the kitchen, you can still clean as you go. Make them some snacks and set them down at the table or in a high chair. This gives you the time and space to clean up after yourself, while at the same time keeping the kids close at hand. They can even help if they are old enough to understand what needs to be done.
The best way to keep your house clean with toddlers under foot? With a little initiative and creativity, you can maintain a clean home, happy children, and operate your own business, all from the comfort of your home office. The biggest problem for many stay at home moms is separating their home life from the time they must spend working. It isn’t as difficult as it sounds and once you have it fully mastered, you will be one of the lucky few who has the very best of both worlds. You will be able to keep your house clean and manageable and teach your toddlers the benefits of responsibility. Have fun. Be creative. Show your children that, even when you have a full-time job, you can work from home and keep your family happy.
The article has been previously published on TCI Blog, at 5 WAHM’s Secrets to Keep Your House Clean and Organized with Toddlers.
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