Many people have trouble keeping their homes clean and tidy, and that’s when they’re living alone. When you have a small child or pets – or both! – in your home, the task of cleaning up is a whole new feat. Here are some tips to help you get through.
Clean daily and as needed
If cleaning up your home is part of your everyday routine, that’s great. Otherwise, you need to get used to it. Kids and pets can seemingly go over the entire floor area several times each day, with the potential to create a mess every few minutes. Vacuums and lint rollers are your trusty companions. Make sure to take out that litter box at least twice a day.
Be prepared to clean up immediately after accidents. Unattended spills can lead to nasty smells and even mold formation, which could trigger allergies or get your child sick. Beautiful carpets and homemade modern rugs could also suffer lasting damage – take them to a professional cleaner if you’re pressed for time or aren’t sure what cleaning materials to use.
Make tidying up a habit
The longer you put off organizing stuff around the house, the more cluttered it gets. And in the long term, the mountain of clutter you need to sort through only becomes more intimidating to process. Items can get misplaced – a stray sock becomes your dog’s favorite chew toy, for example. Children’s toys can gather dust in the corners or under furniture for days or weeks, and the next time your child picks them up, they can harbor dirt and bacteria.
You don’t have to organize everything in one day, but make tidying up a habit. Each day, sort out a bit of the mess you see. Get your kid involved, so that fixing up after they play becomes one of their habits as well.
Keep things out of reach
You can’t stop your pets from scratching and biting your furniture, but a lot of items can be kept out of harm’s way by simply stowing them at a height. Installing a few extra shelves is always handy, so that you can keep fragile décor like vases or picture frames on display, but out of reach of your little ones.
Fragile items of sentimental value or significant expense should probably just be kept in storage for the time being. As your child grows older and learns to be more careful around the house, you can start restoring things back to their former places.
Keep dirt from getting inside
Kids and pets love playing outdoors, and most of the time you’re happy to let them frolic around the yard. They get exercise, sunshine, and fresh air, all while leaving you some moments of peace and quiet indoors. But after all that activity, they’ll bring in and track around a lot of outside dirt when they head back inside.
Door mats, whether they’re disposable or easy to clean, are essential to stopping much of this dirt from ever entering your home. Wipe off your pet’s paws with a towel and water before letting them back in. Teach your child to do the same if they play a lot together, and lighten your load a bit more.
Having small kids and pets in the house makes cleaning more difficult, but don’t let things get out of hand. Manage the burden with these tips and others you learn along the way.