We all want a cleaner home, right!? But, let’s be honest, it is pretty impossible. For me, the only scenario to keep my home as clean as I like it would be to kick my husband and kids out. They could sleep in a tent out back! Since that will never happen, I try to stick to what I like to call the “house rules”. They are pretty simple! You just have to make sure the husband and kids go along with them (that’s the hard part!). However, once the family gets used to them, they are easy to keep as a routine.
- No Shoes! Have you ever stopped to think what all was on the bottom of your shoes??? SO gross. And I am not talking about dirt and grass (although that is annoying too), I am talking about bacteria and germs. Did you walk thru Target today? Did you use the public bathroom? Enough said. There are some floors that hide it better than others. We always used to wear our shoes in our old house, cause you really couldn’t tell a difference. It was when we installed the dark wood floors in our current home that I could really see it all. My husband, Tony, would come home and walk from the garage to the master bedroom to change clothes and there would be a perfect shoe print trail right where he stepped. No more! We now take our shoes off at the door (the laundry room to be exact) and guess what!? My floor stay cleaner, longer! No shoe prints, no dirt trails, and no wondering what germs are all over the floors. I will say the only issue with this rule is when we have company over. There are not many people who like to take their shoes off at someone else’s house. (Ironically, I am just as guilty!) So, in those times is when you have to choose your battle; make my guests take off their shoes too, or clean the floors after they leave to ensure they’re clean again. For me, if its family and close friends I make them take the shoes off!
- Eat only in the kitchen! Do not get me wrong, I love to veg out with some snacks on the couch just as much as the next person. But, I don’t do it in front of my kids. My children are messy. They eat messy. They drink messy. They even breathe messy. It is just a part of them. I am sure most moms can relate. This being said, they are only allowed to eat in the kitchen. This way all crumbs, spills, and jelly stained hands are contained to one room. Have you ever tried to clean a colored liquid from carpet? It is not fun….and the carpet is never the same! My boys eat at barstools at the counter and have designated spots (their choice). The barstools are wooden to make for easy cleanup as well. Any messes can be swiped up or swept up easily. I also go a step further and require them to wipe their hands and mouth before they are allowed to get down from their seats. Since it is routine for them, they never complain about it!
- Train your kids! Of course, it is easy for YOU to keep the above rules, but what about your little ones!? If you decide to implement something, just stay consistent. Just like with anything else, your kids will get used to it and start to do it on their own. My boys now take their shoes off at the door without me asking. They walk in the laundry room, pop their sneakers off, and put them in the cubbies of the shoe organizer. They know the rule! Of course, when they were younger, I had to assist them and remind them constantly. But now at 2 and 4 years old, they know just what to do. As for eating; they go straight to the kitchen and sit down when they’re hungry. And when finished, they will even ASK me to wipe their hands and mouth if I forget to. Yes! (High fiving myself!)
- No pets (or at least get a Rumba) I might lose blog followers for saying that, but its true! If you have a cat or dog, your house is most likely going to be messier. Pet hair and dander is unavoidable. (Along with constant drooling if you have the right breed….) For some, this does not bother you! You love animals no matter what mess they make. Although I enjoy animals, I personally just don’t want one in my house. I already have 3 boys to clean up after! Plus, remember how you really never know what on the bottom of your shoes…? Well, you really never know what is on the bottom of your dog’s feet! BUT, here are some things that might help: Rumba and towels! Get a Rumba, or any other brand of self-moving vacuum. It will do the extra work for you! As for the towels, I would get a cute basket and keep hand towels at the door. This way, when your dog comes back in the house from using the restroom you can wipe off its feet easily. They also sell “dog wipes” that are safe for use on their paws!
Hopefully, these tips work for you as they have for me! Let’s be honest, keeping a clean home is exhausting and it truly never ends. But, until the day when I can force my children to do all the work for me, I guess I will just stick to my “house rules”! 😉