20 Mar 9 Tips and Tricks to De-clutter and Toddler-Proof your Home
Small kids make a big mess. You have given up the right to have a tidy house the moment you got your little tots. To keep your wits together, you’ve got no choice but to upgrade your cleaning and organizational skills to supermom level. Sorting out toys, wiping down poop, erasing crayon marks while keeping the house child-proof; you have to do it all. That being said, nobody’s born an expert, so here are the home organization and sanity-saving tips and tricks that I wished I had known sooner.
1. Let your kids make a bit of a mess!
OK, this first tip might sound counter-productive, but this is the first thing that you have to accept as a parent. Let your kids get dirty. If you restrict their behavior all the time, they’ll grow up feeling guilty. Allow them to explore and to get some dirt under their nails. Let them make mistakes; they’ll need it to become curious and creative children. Just let them know that once they are done making a mess, they’ll need to clean it up.
2. Turn your house chores into fun games
Don’t expect your one-year-old to sweep the floor, but perhaps you can give the broom to your toddler. Make simple tasks competitive by role-playing. Put a basketball ring above the trash bin or maybe create two football goals using dust pans. Teach your child the game of piling up toys. Let your child enjoy a well-sorted playroom.
3. Less is more, for toys and décor
Teach your child the value of simplicity and contentment. Let your little one know early on that play is not just about plastic toys and disposable batteries. There are a lot of ways that children can explore and enjoy themselves outside the house. Know your child’s interest and let him choose his own toys. Let him have a trusty dog. Or maybe you can teach him to value nature by letting him plant a seed or two and watch them grow.
4. Slay monsters
Your child might be scared of monsters, and that’s why he/she accumulated lots of comforting stuffed toys. Adopt their imaginative and creative mindset and concoct a monster spray. I won’t divulge my secret formula, but I trust that you can also create your own special potion (wink). Add this monster-repellent to your child’s room humidifier to ward off all those pesky monsters all night long. That way, he/she can sleep soundly and be well-behaved and less messy the next day.
5. Pool noodles and foam for little fingers
Toddler-proof just about every door by sticking some pool noodles in the corners. Pad the spot on the door where your little adventurer tends to stick his fingers.
6. Rubber band everything
Buy some thick rubber strips from your local tire dealer or hardware store. Tie them around your bookshelves, your TV or your cupboard to prevent the contents from falling and toppling over your toddler. Twist some thin rubber bands around the liquid soap pump nozzle. You don’t want your kid to empty out the soap bottle or to guzzle down some detergent.
7. Duct tape saves the day
Wrap the battery enclosure of that remote control with duct tape. You don’t want to pick up and mix up new batteries with used ones. Small children also have a tendency to swallow penny-sized batteries, and you’ll never know unless they bragg about it!
8. Sort that Lego blocks
Stepping over a Lego block is as painful as stepping on hot coals. Don’t let all that Lego lie scattered around the house. Confine all those blocks to a toolbox. Let your kid play plumber or mechanic, and tell him to pick up his “tools” once he is done playing for the day.
9. Park the cars
Create a makeshift cabinet for your kid’s small cars by sticking empty tissue boxes to the walls. Your child will love the fact that he can park his cars like a pro. It will also encourage him to clean up and to put his toys and trinkets in their proper places.
These tips are not meant to make your house pristine clean. It’s all about getting as much control over a chaotic situation as you can. Regarding safety, you can always child-proof; but well, kids will be kids. Forget perfectionism; you are a parent, not a drill sergeant. Kids grow fast, and this messy stage that you are in won’t last. How about you, do you have a cleaning and parenting tip that you would like to share?