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When the message came through from Redfin.com saying "Redfin wants to feature Spaces Organized & Styled on our blog!" I immediately jumped at the wonderful opportunity to discuss how we can keep the kiddos tidy.


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How to Keep a Clean House With Kids: 18 Expert Tips

November 15, 2021 by Julia Weaver

It’s no secret that raising children is messy. And while we wouldn’t change a thing, kids across the country, from Orlando, FL to Boise, ID, have a unique ability to get into everything and create disorder.


Keeping a clean house with kids can sometimes feel impossible, especially with the neverending piles of laundry, dishes, and to-do lists. No matter how much effort you put in or how much time you spend, your home never seems as clean as it once was. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the top cleaning tips. From tried and true cleaning routines, strategies to get the little ones to help out, to decluttering and organizing hacks, you’ll have your home looking clean and tidy in no time.





Wake up to a clean and organized space

A made bed is a great way to keep yourself and your kids motivated to keep the house orderly throughout the day. Always empty the sink right after a meal – a sink full of dirty dishes will make the most pristine kitchen look dirty and disorganized. Lastly, tidy up the common areas (family room, entry, kitchen) every night before going to bed. Fluff up the couch, take the trash out, put the dishes away, tidy up the entry. Waking up to an organized and tidied-up space establishes that as a norm for the kids and helps the adults become more productive and less stressed. Children can participate in most of these activities and they will feel good about contributing to the family’s household routine. – Call Emmy


Find a home for everything, and label it

Parents, guardians, nannies, or caregivers can keep a clean house with kids by utilizing a simple decorative basket system in each room. Dedicate each basket to specific items like upstairs toys, downstairs toys, homework basket, return to school basket, craft basket, etc. We are approaching the cold winter months that need gloves, scarves, hats, and masks too – belongings that go missing and wander around. So, dedicate a basket to collect all the loose items from around the home to keep the morning less hectic. This easy-to-use system is kid-friendly for little helping hands of all ages. Just hand the baskets out to each child to go around the home and collect only the items belonging to their baskets. It’s that simple. Eye Maid


Establish a clear and simple system for cleaning

Kids need to have very clear and simple systems in place in order to keep themselves organized. Try labeling toy storage areas in broad categories like “dolls”, “lego bricks”, “dress-up” in order to make clean-up time into a matching game instead of a chore. If your littles can’t read yet, label the bins with images. – A Worthy Home


Donate unused belongings

When families want organization in a playroom or child’s room, we recommend culling down the kids’ “collections” on a regular basis and talking with them about how donating helps less fortunate kids, making your little ones feel like they are part of bringing joy to other people – sort of a way to have Thanksgiving all year round. Giving back to the community and making your surroundings beautiful by feeling good about having a smaller footprint in this world is The OFab Way. – Organization Fabulous


Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Did you recently welcome a new baby into your household? Postpartum doulas are professionally trained to assist families during this unique time of life. In addition to helping you navigate the changes and challenges of welcoming a new baby into your household, postpartum doulas also provide light housekeeping, light meal planning and preparation, organization tips in the nursery, and they even do baby laundry. Get much-needed sleep in those early days and keep your household clean, it’s a win-win. – A Mother’s Perspective


Break up chores into smaller tasks

The best way to keep a clean house with kids is to be organized, consistent, and to work together with them to establish a new routine. Use many colorful bins with descriptive pictures on the front so children will know which things belong in that bin. Break down the clean-up project into smaller specific tasks, such as changing “clean your room” to “pick up all the books” then “pick up all the cars & trucks”, etc. Breaking down the tasks into smaller tasks makes it less overwhelming. Create a rule and job chart so each person in the house knows what is expected of them. Place ownership on the child by stating, “These are your toys, it is your job to put them away.” And, praise them when they accomplish the goal. – Ann & Andy Child Care Center


Don’t raise your voice

Use a calm, but firm tone of voice when asking the kids to put away their toys, puzzles, or books. This shows mutual respect for the parent-child relationship and the responsibility of the household. If they decline to pick up, get down on their level and practice asking them discovery questions to understand why they don’t want to clean up. It will help gain greater insight into problem-solving and understanding the child’s perspective so you can work better with them in finding a resolution. Additionally, it can be beneficial to explain the bigger picture perspective of the lesson that cleaning up is part of everyday life. – Divorce Family Mediation and Coaching




Take 3-5 minutes a day to clean

At least once a day (preferably before bedtime), set a timer for 3-5 minutes and clean space-by-space, putting toys, kitchen items, etc away where they belong. It can be a mad dash – and if you don’t get to everything, that’s okay. Once this becomes a daily routine, once a day may turn into 2-3 times per day, or that 3-5 minutes might turn into 5-10 minutes. After a few weeks, this should become an automatic habit. – Swoon Spaces


Let your children choose by rolling a dice

Put their healthy snacks low to the ground for easy access after school (put the less healthy occasional treats up higher and out of sight). The best time to organize with kids is right before the holidays or their birthdays when you know they will get an influx of toys and gifts. Go ahead and purge your house of clutter to make room for the new toys, clothes, movies, and other items they will receive. When it comes to keeping them engaged in cleaning, have them pick from a list of chores that you would like to have completed, but make it a game by rolling dice to see who gets to pick the next chore. Keep in mind that they may not be done to 100% standards, but with practice they will get the hang of it. – Spaces Organized & Styled LLC


Schedule a weekly “reset” day

The hardest part of having an organized and clean house with kids is keeping up with the daily clutter that accumulates. Without a plan on how to keep up with it, things can easily go from nice and neat to cluttered and chaotic. However, if you schedule in a weekly “reset” day, you can stay ahead of the mess and can easily get back to your baseline. It’s a nice way to set ourselves up for a smooth week ahead. Some ways to reset your household include chores like straightening up drawers, picking up clothing, clearing the countertops, grocery shopping, food prep, and filling up a dedicated basket with your child’s things that are out of place and around the house. Have them take the basket and put the things where they belong – Beautiful Life Creative Organizing


Purge and simplify belongings so there’s less to clean up

Kids and adults get overwhelmed by clutter. Make sure everything has a home or spot where it belongs so there is less clutter lying around. It is great if you can label spaces and bins. Break up a bigger chore into smaller steps. Have a checklist or a picture of what the clean room should look like so that kids know what is expected. – Gentle Parenting Coach


Consider rotating toys available to play with

Store toys in bins and regularly rotate them out of the closet or garage into the play area. This keeps your child engaged with ‘new’ toys and minimizes the mess. Also, involve your children in keeping things tidy. Everyone can help – it teaches them important skills and ensures they know they are a vital part of the family and can contribute in meaningful ways. – Dana Hirt Parenting


Make it a game for your little mess machines

Start out by saying how grateful we are to have so many wonderful toys and games. But guess what? There are so many kids out there who don’t have any toys at all, or who need comfort when they’re sick, or have lost their homes. Wouldn’t it be nice to give them some of the things you don’t really love, have outgrown, or just don’t play with anymore? Set up a bin for donations, one for each child (make it big – and do one for the grown-ups, too). See how many of their own toys/games/dolls/etc. they can throw in the donation bins in 5 minutes. The winner – the child who has the most donations – gets a reward, like choosing the game for family game night, baking cookies, or choosing the movie. Do this before the holidays and you’ll be making room for the new gifts yet to come. – Clutter Whisperers


Establish a routine to get the kids involved

We all know little ones keep us busy. Establishing a routine, and getting the children involved in the task is a great way to keep a clean house with kids. Have a designated place for toys to be kept, and make it fun. Singing, dancing, and working together can make it a much smoother process. – The Houston Cleaners





Create “zones” for each category of toys

Engage the kids by giving them a “tour” of the zones then have them give the “tour” back to you and then again to a 3rd party (grandma, aunt or uncle, etc) to make sure they understand where things “live”. – Simplified Spaces by Nancy


Turning cleaning into a game

When we create a sense of accomplishment around cleaning, it allows for the children to take ownership and pride in the results. – MyNanny


Train your child to supervise

One way to keep a clean house with kids is to give your child a checklist of things they are always responsible for when you leave the house. These should be small tasks that aren’t exceedly time consuming like cleaning up toys or a big mess. An example can be: making sure the lights are off when you leave the house, ensuring that a favorite toy is always in a specific place, etc. They don’t necessarily have to be able to do the task, just make sure that it has been done. As they grow older and more capable, the responsibility of accomplishing the task can be given to them. – Oranges and Lemons


Make cleaning fun

We are parents of 6 children and 2 dogs and our best strategy to get your little ones to help out is simple but effective. First, play music. Next, make a game out of it. For example, if you’re picking up their toys, ask them to find an object on the floor and then find the toy bin. Third, be sure to celebrate, “Yay, here is your reward for being the biggest winner of all!” – Quik ‘N Tidy





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