Parents with young children will understand that kids can be messy. Small kids are a curious lot, getting into mischief and exploring the world which is new to them. Naturally, they demand a lot of attention and time. When your priorities are focused on your family and career, tidying up a messy home may seem like a Herculean task.

But it’s not impossible.

Redefining What a Tidy and Messy Home Means

Man and toddler boy making cookies at home. Father and son baking gingerbread Christmas cookies.

What does tidiness mean to you?

Is it the sparkling clean surfaces that glint even under natural light? Is it neatly arranged bookshelves and cabinets? Perhaps a perfect picture home that is Pinterest-worthy?

When you’re balancing a busy career and children, these images will need a version update. Hence, it’s normal to redefine what a tidy and organised home looks like in a family home.

Include Your Children During Tidying Up

A small toddler girl with brush and dustpan sweeping messy floor in the kitchen at home.

Depending on your child’s age, kids as young as four years old can be taught how to pick up after themselves. Instilling good habits when they are young is paramount to build good practices that will last them for a lifetime.

It’s okay to let them help around the house. Children are the best imitators in the world because they will mimic your actions. Show them that tidying up can be a fun family activity. There will be the occasional bumbling stage where they may fumble with their version of cleaning up. But be patient, and encourage them.

Soon, you will have little helpers to make the tidying up process a jiffy.

Reduce Your Clutter

The lesser things you have, the lesser clutter to manage. This may mean downsizing the things you own or display. When you have more clear open spaces, you make room for living and positive energy to flow.

You will appreciate the beauty of empty spaces more when it comes to ease of cleaning and tidying up.

Tackle Small Tasks Daily

There is a Chinese saying that one can begin to move a mountain by carrying away small stones. The key is consistency. Start with 5 to 10-minute tasks a day, tackling room by room. That way you will feel less overwhelmed by the chores, and happier when you meet your mini-goals.

For example, your towering clean laundry can look daunting when you are so caught up in work and entertaining your children. However, you can split the job into 4 tasks: sorting, ironing, folding and hanging. If you lack the time to put away your laundry, then just sort it out first. Put aside clothes that need to be ironed, folded or hanged. You can even prioritise your work clothes first, and complete the rest later.

Happy single father sitting on a floor with children toys in the playroom

Another trick is to pick as you go. See a toy on the floor, pick it up and store it right where it belongs. Spot a stain on the kitchen countertop, wipe it up immediately before it sits too long and permanently stain the surface. You get the drift.

Get into a Habit of Being Organised

Store your items categorically so that you can find them easily especially when you are doing your best to tend to your children and be on the go simultaneously. It doesn’t even have to be neat. As long as you have dedicated storage for all your items, you are already doing a good job.

Everything has its place. And the kitchen countertop is not it, nor is another other open space. It’s no secret that we tend to leave our purchases, bags and random items on the nearest open space we have: the sofa, the coffee table, the kitchen counter, and even the floor.

It doesn’t even take a day before our home gets cluttered with paper receipts, brochures and unpacked groceries. This habit of leaving things unorganised will only compound further once kids come along.

With young children at home, we tend to drop everything after a busy day just to spend time with them. So start getting into this healthy habit, and you’ll certainly reap the benefits of being organised.

Finding Your Zen in a Messy Home

Young mother taking a break drinking a cup of tea amidst the mess in the living room

Does it really matter if your home is not the perfection you envisioned it to be? The time we spend with our children is short, though those sleepless nights may seem long. Enjoy parenthood and create happy memories with your loved ones.

When you come home to a mess, take a deep breath and unwind first. The mess can wait while you sip a cup of tea. Once you’re more relaxed, you’ll be able to focus on things that really matter: Your thriving little family.

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