Life with two toddlers is…sticky to say the least. If I didn’t stay on top of my house daily, it would end up looking like a hurricane rolled through it in two days flat. But, it’s not just the end result that motivates me to keep tidying, scrubbing and dusting. In fact, I’d hardly call myself a “clean freak,” and I definitely don’t fit the domesticated housewife mold either. Truthfully, I more fit the “mentally maladjusted” mom role whose sanity depends on the order, balance, and harmony of things in her household. In short, a messy house equals a messy life.
It’s no secret having a cluttered home can intensify feelings of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm, which combined, make the perfect recipe for mom burnout. In a world where everything seems to be spiraling out of control, your home should be a space to relax and retreat from the chaos going on outside your door.
Having years of professional cleaning under my belt (both commercially and privately), I’m going to tell you how to turn your messy house into the always clean sanctuary you deserve. I know you’re probably thinking, “it seems like a lot of work”. Don’t worry, I’m also going to share my time-saving hacks to cut your cleaning time in half.
Messy House Messy Life: How I Maintain An Always Clean Home With Two Toddlers contains affiliate links. This means if you purchase an item using my links, I get a small commission. Don’t worry, there’s no extra cost to you! You Can read my full disclaimer here.
Messy House Tip #1: Set Yourself Up For Success
First off, say goodbye to traditional modes of cleaning. When looking into products to clean your messy house, go for items that are easily accessible, hassle-free, and low-maintenance. Look into investing in a light-weight cordless vacuum, disposable dusting wands, and other cleaning products that take minimal preparation to use. Think about it, how often are you going to vacuum when you have to lug a cumbersome machine out of the closet, unwind a giant cord, and rewind it again to clean up a small spill? The same goes for mops. Consider purchasing a mop that has disposable pads and cleaning liquid already in place. Are you really going to mop when you have to fill up a sink with hot water, solution, and then wring-out a germy mop head over and over again? Probably not. These time-saving products are no more expensive than their traditional alternatives and will save you so much grief when you just want a clean house fast.
Tip #2: Designated Room Rule
With two kids under three years old, we’ve accumulated a lot of toys. This was the main reason I started the designated room rule. Over the years, I’ve found this to be a useful strategy to apply to every room in my house. Basically, every item has a designated room, and those items are never allowed to leave their designated spaces. My kids have bedroom toys and living room toys. When things start moving from room to room, that’s when clutter starts to accumulate. This goes for pillows, blankets, and every other item in my house as well. Not only does it help when looking for things, but it makes cleaning up so much easier.
Messy House Tip #3: Go Big Or Go Home
My next tip for having an always-clean, company-ready home is what I like to refer to as the “Go Big Or Go Home Rule.” Basically, this rule states that we only collect and decorate the house with big items. In other words, we say NO-NO to knick-knacks, tchotchkes, and trinkets. These are your shot glasses, thimbles, silver spoons (I may be dating myself here), and other useless items that accumulate over time.
Admittedly, I do have one designated bookshelf for small gifts, travel souvenirs, and other tiny keepsakes, but they only ever stay in their designated area (rule #2). Instead, accessorize your house with plants, wall hangings, and unique furniture pieces. This will make dusting so much easier and keep your home from looking like something from A&E’s Hoarders…which brings me to my next tip.
Tip #4: Don’t Hoard
With popular apps and groups like Offer Up, Buy Nothing, and Facebook Marketplace, it’s never been easier to get rid of old stuff. Don’t hang on to things you don’t need. If your kids grow out of toys, clothes, or stuffed animals, get rid of them! This goes for every other outdated item in your house too, including magazines, movies, CDs, and books. I’m not talking about getting a trash bag and throwing things out. Take advantage of one of the above apps, pass things on to other families, or try to make a few extra dollars by selling stuff on eBay!
Only hold on to things that have sentimental value to you and be realistic about what you will and won’t use again. Otherwise, you’re only lying to yourself. Think of it like this. The more stuff you have, the more surfaces there are for dust to accumulate. Don’t make cleaning any harder than it needs to be. If you’re the type that struggles with getting rid of things, one thing you need to ask yourself is… what would make you happier, having that extra, clean space, or hanging on to that particular item?
Messy House Tip #5: Never More Than A Load
This rule applies to everyday chores like dishes and laundry. It’s much easier to do one load of laundry every couple of days rather than doing four or five at a time (depending on the number of people in your household). For me, it’s much easier to motivate myself to do one load, than it is 4. Not to mention it saves a lot of time. Who wants to spend an entire day out of the week doing laundry? This applies to things like dishes as well. It’s much easier to clean up after each meal than it is to clean up an entire sink full of dishes.
Make it a habit to pick up after yourself so things don’t pile up. This means putting your shoes or coat away when you walk in the door, washing pans and cooking utensils as you prepare a meal, and folding that blanket after you use it. Doing a little every day assures your house is always clean and makes it so much easier to pick up should you get sick or take a couple of days to binge-watch your favorite Netflix show.
Tip #6: Jump On The Storage Train
All aboard the storage train! Just like every item has a designated room (Tip #2), every item also has a designated place! I am a huge proponent of storage bins and organizers to keep my home clean. Instead of having everything laid out on tabletops, countertops, or floors, I like to organize things into containers! Using see-through containers for cereals, ingredients, and pantry items in your kitchen is a great way to always be aware of what you have on-hand, and it keeps your kitchen looking tidy and spacious.
In bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces I use a lot of baskets, storage cubes, and toy boxes. I even have a toy box in my living room! Storage vessels are a great way to organize the little things like remotes, keys, and cosmetics, and keep bigger items like toys and blankets off the floor. I also have laundry baskets and hampers throughout the entire house so dirty laundry is never strewn about the floor. Get creative with the styles you choose and match them with your home décor. You’d be surprised how much a simple basket or storage bin can reflect your personal style as well as tie a room together.
Messy House Tip #7: Deep-Clean Once In A While
Nobody likes deep-cleaning, but it’s something that has to be done every-once-in-a-while to keep things safe, sanitary, and always clean. I usually clean gross things like toilets, sinks, and bathtubs once a week, and dust, vacuum, and mop twice a month. With all the spills, smears, and crumbs that come with raising toddlers, I end up spot cleaning and vacuuming small areas throughout the house more often than that. Luckily, if you’re applying the above messy house tips to your everyday routine, cleaning should never be overwhelming or take too much time.
Having a house that’s always clean sets you up for success in other aspects of your life and is one less thing to have to work into your already busy schedule. An always clean space helps to relieve stress, be more productive, and allows you to wake every morning with the feeling of having a fresh start.
Taking care of your home is something to be proud of. With the major cleaning out of the way, you can spend more time on the fun things that come with having your own space, like updating, decorating, and making it smell pretty with candles and flowers!
I hope you found these tips for an always clean home useful. I’m confident if you begin implementing these habits into your daily routine, you’ll never have a messy home again! If it seems overwhelming at first, just start cleaning and decluttering one room at a time until you’ve cleaned each one. There’s no rush. If you have the luxury to do so, there are multiple home services to help you with the initial cleaning and will likely give you a free quote too.
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