Keeping it Clean in the Midst of Kid Chaos

Ah, children. For every smile, hug, and sleepy good night kiss, there's also a half-gallon of spilled milk, toothpaste painting on the bathroom mirror, and the crafting project that leaves something that's a cross between the surface of the moon and a prehistoric mud pit on your kitchen table!

Kids have a bit of a predisposition for creating mess, but you don't have to let that get you down. Inspired by Blogger Deanna Kennedy's Tips for Slacker Moms, here's some ideas for keeping things under control when the house starts to feel overwhelming:

Get a Helpful Hand

Busy schedules, hectic moments, and the occasional surprise mess can certainly make you feel like your torn between cleaning your house and taking care of everything else.

Take a step back and think about your schedule and your lifestyle. You should never have to choose between keeping your house clean, taking care of important tasks, and spending time with your family. That's why maid services do what they do—to make room in your schedule for the things that are really important.

Choose Your Battles

When you have children, messes and accidents are going to happen—it's unavoidable. It's important to expect the unexpected and to really weigh which battles are worth fighting. There are some great ways to harness these moments, though: 

  • Learn what's a good idea to keep around...and what's not. The wooden coffee table, for instance; is a great thing to have around—even if it takes a bit of a beating, it will look like “character” not “my son chipped his tooth there” (although you'll probably be telling that story later, anyway!). The porcelain deer passed down from your great grandmother is probably NOT something you want to have laying around, though!

  • Teach your kids to think before they act and clean up after themselves. Take a deep breath and count to ten if necessary, then use the opportunity to show your children how to take care of things that are breakable, full, or not-designed-for-baseball-bats. Also, these are great moments for teaching children to take responsibility for their messes and clean up after them.

Play to Your Strengths

Your family is a team, but you're all individuals. Use that to your advantage—find your individual strengths and weaknesses and use them together. If one of you loves laundry but the other is a whiz with the dishes, then split up the chores accordingly. Teamwork is about knowing what each person is good at and using it to the best possible advantage.