Being a mom is not a clean business, but when the kids are home all day with you, the house can quickly turn into what closely resembles a war-zone. So how can you manage to have a home that actually looks like a home without throwing all of those toys, crayons, blocks, and shoes straight into the trash? I’m so glad you asked! Here are a few tips to help you stay in control of the daily clutter of being a stay-at-home mom!
Baskets — One of the easiest way to hide clutter (especially if you have visitors coming over) is to implement a basket storage systems for everything. Dolls in one, shoes in another, and blocks in yet another. By giving everything a place, and making that place easy to access, all clutter is more likely to reach it’s appropriate location with little resistance. If your child(ren) are very young, you can even use pictures of what goes in each basket to help them know where to put their toys. Attach the images to the correct basket and explain to them why it’s there. They’ll love being Mommy’s Helper!
Helping Hands — Speaking of Mommy’s Helpers, don’t take it all on yourself when it comes to staying in control of the daily clutter. The children make the mess, so have the children clean it up. By having them help you’re helping them learn responsibilities and good habits. Make it a game. See who can pick up all the purple blocks the fastest. Assign he child their own basket and/or items to be in charge of. You can even make clean-up time part of the daily routine–for example, before snacktime.
Sort & Separate Later — One of the most commonly used methods in the SAHM world is the sort and separate later method. This is where you go around throwing everything into one big basket with the intention of sorting them all out when you have more time, later. However, this method only works when you actually have the time, later. I don’t like this method, though it is really fast when you need to clean up for a guest’s arrival. If you use this one, at least place the mess out of site and make the kids play with the same toys the next day so that you won’t have double the mess the next day.
Daily Pick-Up Time — Having a set daily pick-up time is one of the best methods. You and the children know that it’s time to clean the toys up at the same time everyday. This could be before dinner, after dinner, after bathtime, or right before bed. Try not to make it too early in the day, or else you’ll just have kids that are whining about wanting to play with their toys, and another load of daily clutter to deal with. That’s never fun.
It Can Wait — Lastly, sometimes staying in control of the daily clutter in a SAHM’s world just isn’t possible. Things come up, you have to dash out the door on an unexpected errand, the phone rings with an important call during the scheduled clean up time. These are the days where cleaning the clutter can wait. It will still be there tomorrow, or when you’re able to make it back to your regular schedule.
Making life easy is definitely something that all stay-at-home moms need to work on. Why deal with clutter when you can easily toss things into the appropriate location with a flick of the wrist. Teach the children at an early age to pick up what they’re playing with when it’s time to move on to the next attraction. Don’t be afraid to make it part of their daily chores. Every member of the family should have a chore to call their own and contribute to the running of the household they live in. Good luck with staying in control of the daily clutter in your stay-at-home mom life!
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