Getting housework done when you have young kids can be a challenge. Here are just a few tips for making household chores easier.
Put infants in a sling
A baby sling allows you to carry your infant around while you do housework. You can move between rooms while keeping them close and you’ll still have your hands free to vacuum or do the washing up. There are lots of different types of baby sling to look into – including wraps and carriers.
Consider a playpen
If your little one has started rolling/crawling and you don’t want to carry them around with you everywhere, you could consider putting them in a playpen. You don’t have to worry about them crawling off while you’re doing the washing up or tidying up clutter. Playpens come in all designs – there are even outdoor ones that can be useful for when you need to do housework outside. It’s worth putting a range of toys in there to keep them occupied. Kids may eventually reach an age where they can climb out, so you should try to keep them within sight.
Protect your floor
Young kids can create a lot of mess – whether it be dropping food, wiping sticking hands everywhere or running muddy shoes through the house. All of this mess will end up on your floor. If you’ve got carpet, it could be a nightmare to clean. Putting down rugs in mess-prone locations could be one way to protect your carpet. Alternatively, you could look into laminate flooring options such as these at Floors Direct. A laminate floor will be much easier to clean the mess off of.
Protect your walls
Sticky hand prints and felt tip pen marks can be difficult to remove from walls without also removing the paint. In some cases, you may have no choice but to paint over them. One way to protect your walls in the future could be to choose a scrubbable paint (this guide at Real Homes offers a few examples). These paints allow you to easily clean away marks without removing the paintwork.
Invest in new gadgets
There are lots of household gadgets that can speed up housework. These could be a worthy investment if you’ve got young kids. A few examples of gadgets include:
- A tumble dryer: Hanging up clothes can be a huge chore. A tumble dryer could save you a lot of time. If you’ve got limited space, a washer-dryer could be an option.
- A dishwasher: If washing up plates and kitchenware is the bane of your life, a dishwasher could be a worthy investment. Of course, this depends on whether you have the space or not.
- A steam cleaner: These gadgets can help to shift dirt and marks off of hard surfaces like laminate flooring, tiles and countertops. Some are designed specifically for certain surfaces, while others can tackle a range of surfaces – look into this before buying.
- A carpet cleaner: If you want to keep onto your carpet, then a solution could be to buy a household carpet cleaner. These are different to vacuum cleaners in that they put hot water and cleaning chemicals onto the carpet in order to loosen up dirt so that you can more easily vacuum it up.
- An automatic hoover: These robot hoovers will vacuum your house for you. They could also keep kids entertained.
Find healthy distractions
You may be able to find distractions for toddlers that keep them occupied while you’re doing housework. This could include watching TV, playing with Lego, colouring in or playing with other toys. You may even be able to occupy kids with food. Make sure that any distraction is healthy – if you’ve got a lot of housework to do, you don’t want to keep giving your kids chocolate and sweets just to occupy them.
Keep up a housework routine
Having a housework routine can help you to keep on top of housework, while also helping kids to identify when it’s housework time. As kids reach three or four, you could set a ‘housework hour’ in which your child must occupy themselves while you do housework. You could save certain treats for this hour such as giving them as certain snacks or letting them watch a certain TV series – knowing that they’ll receive this treat for that one hour only, they’re more likely to look forward to ‘housework hour’ and less likely to bug you while you get everything done.
Allow kids to help
Kids may want to get involved in housework – even if it’s just helping with small tasks such as carrying clean laundry to the bedroom or helping to pair socks. Allow young kids to get involved if they want to. In some cases, kids can be more of a hindrance than a help, however they’ll get used to the idea of helping around the house early and you’ll eventually be able to delegate tasks to them such as washing up or hoovering once you’re confident they can handle them themselves (this may not be until they’re at least 8 to 10 years old).
Turn cleaning into a game
There may be ways to turn cleaning into a fun game. This could be a way of encouraging kids to help you clean up, while keeping them entertained. You could clean up to music and dance and sing along. When it comes to cleaning up toys, you could do a countdown and give kids a treat if they manage to successfully do it in time. Alternatively, you could buy toy vacuum cleaners or toy kitchen sinks for young kids and let them ‘pretend play’ along.
Set rules to prevent mess
A lot of mess around the house can be prevented by putting in place rules. This could include being only allowed to eat food in certain rooms or having to lay down a sheet on the carpet before doing any kind of messy play. You cannot prevent all mess – there will be times when toys are everywhere. However, you can take steps to prevent the worst types of mess such as spillages and potentially permanent marks.