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Does your living room look like a tornado swept through it? You probably already the name of that little tornado very well!
As a busy mom focused on building your business even as you battle your child with a cardboard sword from behind your makeshift fort in the living room; the sudden ringing of the front doorbell can give you anxiety. We moms and innate home-makers feel judged if our homes look less than perfect when someone comes calling.
While keeping a tidy home with young kids can be a challenge, follow my 10 storage solutions to quickly decluttering your home and you will never feel anxious or judged by others again.
We live in a world of multi-functional everything. From smartphones and smart TVs to Toaster ovens and vacuums that can clean wet and dry spills, they all help somehow de-clutter by needing less items for multiple uses.
As a smart mommy, you multi-function so well yourself managing your time between kids, family and business.
So why not your furniture? Storage ottomans or storage benches offer both seating and storage...and can help you clean up those spread out Legos in record time, while enhancing the beauty of the room.
Consider adding some beautiful baskets to the room as well, depending on the number of toys your kid(s) leave around. You can find some real gems in the laundry basket area of a home decor store which would be great additions in your living room as well for hiding blankets and sheets.
Decorative trays are very popular today and you can surely and easily find one that harmonizes well with your décor and style.
While these are usually put on top of a cocktail ottoman or coffee table with decorations, consider keeping some on your bookshelves or under coffee tables for quick pick ups.
I find that these are a life saver when it comes to picking up tiny pieces of the floor - broken crayons, tiny Legos and even drawing books etc. Shove them back on the bookshelf if you need a quick clean and you can carry it to the kids room or playroom when you have a breather.
If you have not thought of this before, this is a good time to start!
What is 'peace of mind' wall paint? It's the kind that is easily washable or cleanable. Kids start their coloring journey in the coloring book you give them. But truly they are not partial to it and are happy to draw on any surface they see. Protect your sanity by using only washable or cleanable paint (think Magic Eraser...it really does work. Ask me how I know.)
You have many options to run with here. You could choose a satin or semi-gloss finish wall paint which are easy to wipe down. Alternatively, you could get an accent wall in chalk paint and allow it to be the art gallery for your kids' creative minds.
There are also paintable wallpapers, if that's the way you want to go.
Consider bookcases with wood doors to hide unsightly messes in a heart beat. Any surface area that can allow for boxes, jars and other toy storage bins are worth investing in. If you are a highly organized mom, you could label the bottoms of the bins for different items...and later transfer them to their original boxes.
However, you want to be careful about clearing it out regularly or you might find yourself running out of storage space in your living room.
If you have the space for a well organized mud room, take the time to list out what items it would need to cater to. Do you need hooks for jackets and backpacks (or as in our case, dog leashes)? How about cabinets or drawers for winter wear - hats, mittens, scarves? A place to sit down as you take off your boots?
A well organized mud room will prevent these items from piling in your living or dining room space. If space permits, you could have separate cubbies for each family member.
Even if you don't have a lot of space for it, create a separate area around your main entryway (and I mean, the door that you most use and not necessarily the front door). There are some great options out there that can give you an instant mud room area without investing in built ins or making holes in walls.
Keeping your home clean requires more than just picking up the toys, clothes, coloring books and beyond. Enforce the rule in your home that outside shoes be taken off before the kids come in. Have separate indoor and outdoor footwear. Children pick up habits very quickly. As parents, it is our responsibility to teach them the good ones.
You don't want the dirt and who-knows-what-else tracking into your clean home. So make sure that shoes are left at the door. Even slippers or sandals that you might wear into your yard should be separate from the ones you wear indoors. We even wipe our pets' paws after their walk every time.
And don't forget to PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH.
It is super easy to keep it and forget it. But if you want to be the 'Quick Picker Upper' in your home; labeling boxes and toy storage bins will make life much easier and simple.
Labels can help your child understand organization even as they learn spellings ! If you want to start them even younger, consider labeling with pictures instead of words. This will make clean up a fun exercise. Your child can help with the tray you filled up from the living room by taking it to their room and putting everything away. It will give you some breathing room too. On that note, check out my solution #8
As I help clients with their decorating projects, I often hear them comment that they cannot invest in high end furniture or furnishings because their kids are really young.
It is accepted that kids will damage or destroy beautiful or expensive objects - not because they enjoy being destructive, but just by their being too young and still learning to coordinate their limbs. But this is not true. If you teach them to respect the objects around them and to enjoy the beautiful artifacts or understand the souvenirs you showcase in your home, they will grow up with a keen interest in and enthusiasm for the good things in life.
Start with items you don't mind throwing away because, like any good habit, it takes time and your commitment to make it happen. But once formed, it will serve them (and you) forever.
Getting rid of a stain before it has had a chance to dry up will give you a better chance of getting rid of it completely. Accidents happen. As a mom juggling business and baby, you need to have important cleaning items close at hand. At the bare minimum, you should keep paper towels and disinfecting sprays where you can get to them quickly.
In your haste, don't forget the safety considerations as well. All cleaning agents must be kept where curious hands cannot get to them.
The best advice I can give you is to 'roll with it'. If you are a perfectionist or a cleanliness freak (and I mean that in the best of ways), you are going to learn the hard way. Sorry. There is no other way for me to say it.
Kids will be kids as long as they are kids.
What that means is, there are going to be accidents, there is going to be a mess and there is going to be chaos. And you should enjoy every moment of it because, guess what...it is gone in the blink of an eye.
In my motherhood journey I learnt an invaluable lesson. 99% of the times that we as moms get upset or frustrated or annoyed - we are not really upset or frustrated at the kids. What truly upsets us is the extra work we have to do to rectify it. Let me tell you my story...
When my kids were young (from 2 to 7 years), we moved into an apartment where the dining room had wall to wall carpeting. The rule in my house was that food and drink do not move beyond the dining table. Every other day the kids would either spill milk or juice or the food would drop.
I would get really mad and upset and naturally it showed on my face or in my voice. Until one day I realized that the reason I got so upset had nothing to do with them spilling their milk and everything to do with the fact that I now had to clean the carpeting - a pain to clean and even then, I knew it would not be a 100% clean.
My solution? I bought an extra vinyl table cloth and lay it under the table. Now when the kids spilled their milk, clean up became a breeze and my frustration disappeared.
So the next time you get upset at something your kids do, take a moment to reflect and see what is truly upsetting you. It will help you get over your panic attacks and enjoy better quality time with them.
Hi, I am Richa and am super excited to see you here. I enjoy interior designing so much I went back to study it. Now armed with knowledge, passion and a vision to make 'happy homes', I hope this site will give you all the tools you need to make your kid's room happy too. Read More...