Keeping your house clean with a toddler is challenging because they love exploring. I have two toddlers myself and most days, it’s a struggle to clean up.
My toddlers like to play in the kitchen by taking things out of drawers. It only takes a few hours after breakfast for the house to look like a hurricane swept through it.
Due to this constant struggle, I’ve come up with some ways to help me keep my house clean with a toddler. I’ll share them with you below.
I also interviewed some stay-at-home moms about how they manage to keep their house clean with their young kids as well.
Read on to learn more.
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How to keep your house clean with a toddler
Accept that your home may never be spotless
It’s good to manage our expectations when we have young kids. You may have to accept the fact that your house will never be perfectly clean with a toddler, and that’s okay.
The most important thing to do is clean up the obvious big messes like spilled food and drinks. Pick up trash and other garbage. As for toy clutter, those may never be solved.
I interviewed some stay-at-home moms about how they keep their house clean with toddlers, and here’s what they said.
Rita, a mom of 2 said
“If you have to choose between spending time with your kids and keeping the house clean, choose your kids. You won’t look back on those years and think “man I wish I’d spent more time keeping these floors spotless”. But you will regret the moments you could have had together”.
Gina a mon of 5 said
“My house is a disaster between 9 am and 7 pm. I have 5 kids. I don’t pick up toys during the day, I sweep and mop after supper. The dishwasher does get loaded 2-3 times during the day though. And big messes or spills get cleaned but other than that I don’t see the point of wasting all my energy constantly cleaning”.
Stacy a mom of 3 had this to say
“A clean house?! BAHAHAHAHA no. That doesn’t happen over here. It is what it is in our household”. Hugs, mama! Your kids won’t remember the clean house, just the fun times they had with you”.
Here’s what Amanda who has 2 toddlers said
“My toddlers are 15 months apart so I understand the struggle. Just remember the dirty laundry, and the dirty dishes are gonna always be there but your kids grow up so quickly. You need to spend time with them. That’s what’s important. The work will still be there and will always be there, but they’re not always going to be babies so cherish the moments”.
What all these moms have in common is they don’t stress too much about keeping their house spotless. Now is the time to focus your energy on making memories with your kids, instead of stressing about keeping a clean house.
You may also like: 11 Ways To Get Motivated To Clean When Overwhelmed By The Mess
Other ways to keep your house clean with a toddler
Clean when they’re napping or down for the night
One way I keep my house clean with a toddler is to clean when they’re napping or in bed for the night. If I clean up the mess during the day, it’ll just get messy again because they’re not done playing.
During nap times, I pick up some of the mess and rearrange the toys. This helps to keep the house looking neat until they wake up. Thankfully my kids have an early bedtime. After they go to bed at 7 PM, I clean up one final time.
So from 7 PM to 7 AM the next day, my house stays perfectly clean. I get to enjoy a mess-free home until they wake up again.
Practice toy rotation
Toy rotation is one of the most effective ways to keep your house clean with a toddler. Toy rotation is the practice of limiting the number of toys your kids have to play with.
Some parents rotate out toys every week. I choose to do it every month.
You provide them with about 5 -10 toys to play with. Whatever toy they lose interest in during the week is replaced with another toy.
One of the benefits of toy rotation is that you only have to clean up a few toys every day. Your kids also learn new ways to play with old toys.
This means you don’t have to keep buying new toys to hold their interest. You can learn more about toy rotation here. It wasn’t until I started doing toy rotation that the volume of mess in my house decreased.
Teach them to clean up after themselves
One way to keep your house clean with kids is to teach your toddlers to clean up after themselves. When kids are young, it’s easy to teach them to do chores because they’re so eager to please. They want to be little helpers.
My oldest toddler loves to help me empty the dishwasher.
Every time he hears the sound of the dishwasher, he comes running into the kitchen to help. I give him lots of praise when he’s doing chores. This helps encourage him to continue.
I’m currently teaching my kids how to put away their toys after playing. It’s a work in progress. Some days we’re very successful and other days we’re not.
Make cleaning fun
If you want your kids to clean up after themselves, then you need to make it fun. I try to turn cleaning into a game.
This is an effective way to keep your house clean with a toddler.
One game we play is to sort toys by color as we put them away. I ask my kids to put away all the blue toys first, then the yellow, etc. We also play the “who can clean this pile faster” game. This creates healthy competition between the kids.
Get a toy organizer
Having a kid-friendly place to store toys is a good way to keep the house clean with toddlers. I suggest getting a toy organizer like the Humble Crew toy organizer from amazon.
The Humble Crew toy organizer is a staple in most classrooms and homes because it’s sturdy and big enough to fit all sizes of toys and books.
When kids know where to put their toys after they’re done playing, they’ll be more likely to clean up.
Section off areas you don’t want them to enter
Another thing you can do to keep your house clean with toddlers is to section off some areas of your house.
Consider getting more baby gates to block off areas you don’t want them to mess up. Areas like the kitchen, bathroom, bookshelf, etc. that get messy the most should be blocked off.
This way, your kids will know which places in the house they’re free to play in and which places they can’t enter.
Take them outside to play
Outdoor play is very beneficial to kids for many reasons. It sparks their creativity, helps them connect with nature, and encourages independence.
So whenever you get the chance, take your toddler outside to play. This will help keep your house clean.
Some places you can take your toddler to include parks, playgrounds, the beach, botanical gardens, zoos, libraries, the children’s museum, etc.
You can also let them play in your backyard if you have one. To find out more about some outdoor play activities you can do with your kids, check out this article: 27 Awesome Outdoor Activities For 1 to 2-Year-Olds
Create a playroom
If you have a home big enough, you can designate one room as their playroom. You could also convert your basement to a playroom if possible.
Having a designated playroom will prevent your kids from creating a mess in any other areas of your house.
Put things like a trampoline, ball pit, slide, etc. in the playroom. These special play things will help hold their attention for a long time.
When they’re entertained in there, they won’t want to go messing up the rest of your house. A playroom is a great way to keep your house clean with kids.
Involve them in your daily activities
Sometimes toddlers make messes because they’re bored. One way to entertain a bored toddler is to involve them in your daily activities.
Have them do the laundry and the dishes with you. When you’re cooking, have them join you. They can do simple tasks like peeling and washing fruits and veggies.
I recommend these kid-safe knives (wooden and plastic) from amazon to teach your toddlers to help in the kitchen. They’re designed to help kids cut real fruits and veggies without getting hurt.
When I’m vacuuming the house, I get my kids involved as well. My toddler uses the Bissell Featherweight Stick vacuum from amazon. The base is detachable to become a handheld vacuum.
It’s lightweight but has a powerful suction. They love using it to help me around the house. It’s fun for them and helpful for me.
Involving your toddlers in your daily activities will help you keep your house clean.
Everyone wants a clean house, but it’s good to keep things in perspective when we have young children.
It may be more difficult to keep your house clean with kids, so try not to stress about it too much. Your family and friends who have had or currently have children will understand.
Remember that spending time with them and making memories at this age, is more important than keeping a perfectly clean house.
What other ways do you use to keep your house clean with your toddlers? Please comment below.
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