How can you keep a house tidy with small children?

I have two children under 5 and i do alot of things with them,i just never seem able to get on top of my housework and this gets me really down,especially when my parents visit and i get compared to a cousin who has 4 children and a beautiful home.i always feel ashamed of my home.can someone out there please tell…

It is normal to have a messy house and don’t worry about it. As long as the children are warm, dry and clean and they have clean clothes to wear and clean dishes to eat from they’ll be happy. I have 5 children. They are now aged between 8 and 15, but at one point I had 4 under five. It’s really hard work. Try to keep clutter to a minimum, even packing things away in boxes like books and ornaments. Get the children involved. Teach them to tidy away their mess after them. It helps them be more tidy in the future and you can make it into a game. It can make them feel important if they have a little responsibility. Even if they’re not really being helpful. For instance give them a cloth and ask them to wipe around while you are doing the same. It’s unlikely that they’ll clean very much, but they’ll think they are and they’ll keep out of mischief. If you also get them to help with tidying one thing away before starting something else, that helps. You can also do things like cleaning the toilet and sink and tidying the bathroom while they’re in the bath, when they come out, you can then spray cleaner in the bath and when you get back to it, it should be nice and easy to clean and rinse off. Another thing I used to do is have a cooking day. If you get plenty of ingredients then you can make things in bulk and freeze them. Give the kids a bit of pastry each to keep them occupied. Anyway, try not to get stressed out about it, your kids happiness is more important than a posh house. It does get easier as they get older, but my 8 year old still ruins my lipstick and draws on the walls! Aagh! The boys minging habit is to take their socks of and leave them lying round the sitting room floor! Yuk! I’m looking forward to having a nice tidy house when they all leave home. But then I’ll probably start getting grandchildren! If your parents are so obsessed about a nice home, maybe they could give you a hand or take the children to the park for a couple of hours so you can get stuck in. Good luck and just relax and enjoy your children, I’m sure you’re doing fine!!!

My experience…always feed the children at the table, no food anywhere else, most children have too many toys to play with, sort thru the toys, donate the ones they don’t play with that often, limit 5 toys each, store the rest, rotate every week or so, it will seem like they have new toys! It works…cuts down on clutter….you are their mother, not their maid….teach them to pick up their own things, you can make it a game…reward…read them a story….nap time is mandatory, it helps them and you reset, turn off the phone, TV, etc., no drop by visitors, let it be known, say from 12:30-2:00 is nap time. You can take a nap if you need it or use that time for yourself! Read a book or do something for yourself! Sweetheart, parenting is one of the hardest and most rewarding things you will ever do, give yourself some credit! If your parents are that critical/comparing you to someone else, feel free to vocalize that you find their comments are hurtful. You need to leave home emotionally….I had to do that…it was hard at first but in the long run, your self esteem is more important, than swallowing criticism..Bless you, dear….

I have the same issue. I have two that are young. I don’t care much about what other people think, but I still want to try and keep up. Try getting some baskets or decorative bins that fit under the coffee table or next to the couch. Throught the day, just run through and pick everything up, have your kids help, they made the mess. Don’t keep all the toys available to them at tall times. After a week or so switch out what is in the baskets with toys you have put away, they will think they have all new stuff.

As long as your ‘mes’ is just clutter and not dirt, don’t worry. You are just like many moms out there. BTW, with 4 kids AND a clean home, I can’t imagine she spends much time with her children.

I have 4 year old twins and I work fulltime so you can imagine what my house is like. I used to be constantly picking things up and cleaning until I got to the point where it was making no difference. I decided to wait until the kids were in bed and then have 1 good tidy up. Your kids will soon be in school and besides, its almost summer and they’ll be outdoors a lot more. Treasure the quality time that you have with your children while they are young instead of worrying about housework. That can be done anytime, you cant get back time mis-spent. Your house sounds perfectly normal to me, and a very happy home. Enjoy your kids!!!

Are you meaning that your house is full of toys all over the place, or that your house isn’t clean – i.e. dishes in the sink and the floor needs hoovering.

I think these are two different things and if you worry about what other peoples houses are like then you’ll never relax. Your cousin might have 4 children and a beautiful house, but does she spend time with the kids or is she constantly cleaning?
I try my best to keep my house clean and tidy and if others don’t like it then tough.

I hoover every day and wash dishes every night, so what if toys are scattered around? Keep the house clean and worry about the tidiness another day.

I have 3 year old twins and my house is always a mess. I make a joke about it I have a sign up in the kitchen saying… my house was tidy last week, I’m sorry you missed it!
I try and do a little each day to keep on top of things. My kitchen is always clean… hygiene is important in there. Most of my mess is superficial clutter, toys and ironing.
I have a huge cupboard in the twins bedroom and I encourage them to tidy up after each game or toy they have played with.
I’m lucky because my family don’t judge me on it even though their own homes are perfect. Often they will take the twins out for a walk so I can have a blitz. Remember you house is a home and it is lived in. Enjoy your children they are only young once.

It’s normal. I have 2 boys and we have a small home. When we lived in a larger home everything looked neater. I think because we had more space and smaller homes just get cluttered up more easilier. I try to do what I can and not worry about what hasn’t. Your kids will only be young once so enjoy them now, when their grown up you might wish they where little kids again leaving those messes. If your parents want to compare your home with anyone elses just let them know they can hire a cleaning person for you if they’d like. Enjoy your family the house will get in shape some day. Good Luck!

I have two girls aged 4 and 2, my house used to be utter chaos, but Ive taught both girls that they MUST put away 1 toy or tidy up the previous activity before we play with the next one. Its worked a treat and although the house isn’t beautiful, at least the toys aren’t lying around and I catch up on my cleaning when they’re asleep. Don’t put extra pressure on yourself by expecting the house to be really clean as bringing up 2 kids is difficult enough but there are things you can do to make it a little better. Good luck.

I have 2 daugers 6 and 3, i just walk about all day picking up as i go. I hoover first thing, quick antibac of kitchen and polish, takes less than 30 mins, and then as i said during the day i pick up as i go.

I have a great husband bless him, that before works gets kids sorted, puts out washing and emptys the dishwasher, so to be fair he helps loads, but even when hes not there, i manage fine.

My kids help as they tidy there toys once finished with them, all else fails, go out a lot that way theres no mess to be tidying.

Please dont get your self down about it, your cousin with 4 kids properly dosnt spend as much time with her kids as you do. Most people i know have messy homes, but to be fair thats life. Im just rahter organised and my husband helps loads, so i have it easy i suppose.

As long as your there for your kids, what the heck if the house is messy. There not young for long

As long as it’s ‘clean’ I wouldn’t worry about it x Its hard going when you tidy one room and the Lil buggers trash another it’s like a vicious circle!

I have one box of toys downstairs,the rest stay in there bedroom.If they want to bring something down they have to take one thing up and do a trade…..Do you have one at school? I clean up while my eldest is at school by occupying my youngest (she’s 3) by giving her a big box of stuff IE dress up,crayons etc and get the hoovering and dusting done while she’s happy.Try and do a bit everyday so it doesn’t get on top of you.Every now and again my nanna has the kids and I use that time to do a big ‘spring clean’.As long as they are happy and your house isn’t ‘dirty’ just cluttered (kids stuff gets everywhere!) don’t worry.And if your mum doesn’t like it tell her to give you a hand instead of looking down at you x I bet your cousin doesn’t give as much time to her kids as you do!

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