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KeepIng House Clean with Toddlers!!!!!

HEy moms I had a question Do any of you have a house that always Seems Dirty, I mean Writing on walls Light carpet Stains, Messes, BLA BLA BLA... OMG I Can't Seem to keep the house in order but Yet I Feel like I am always on my feet Cleaning I never sit, as a matter of fact I am setting now because the kids are taking a nap and I finished Cleaning 2 bathrooms, Its getting to the point that I avoid having guest over, just because noting ever seems to look Clean, only room that looks perfect is my bedroom, people do walk in and say Your home is beautiful but I just think there lying, I can see the writing on the wall, I can see my Dinning Chairs with Stains, I mean Do we have to Kid Prof everything, Plastic on everything. Just tell me a little about your homes and if you feel the same. and just a note my kids don't take food anywhere in the house but Hey reality is reality I have a 3, 2 and 7 month old, Sometimes they Run with Sticky hands or there Sippy.

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Yah my wall look pretty colorful with marking and kichen chairs can't keep wipe down quick enough, I didn't want to have anyone over because I felt the house wasn't clean enough because of the colorful wall, that if I try to clean the paint come off and I don't have time to repaint. Well I decided to invite friend over anyway and enjoying the company and getting back to life.

My house is a disaster most of the time. I don't have company. Whenever it is unavoidable, it takes days to clean well enough and it still gets under my skin. I am learning to let it go a bit though. There are days I clean all day, then go to work. Then there are days where I just do the kitchen and spend time playing with the kids instead. I have an almost 5 year old and a 21 month old, plus a very messy, packrat for a husband. I am accepting that I just can't get to it all and work and be a good mom to the kids. I'm told this is a phase that will pass. I can't wait.

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I am 42 year old and have two boys 2 & 4 years old (no where near as busy as you). I was running myself ragged trying to keep everything clean so one day I decided to change my perspective.

1. The walls filled with markings is their art rather than a mess.
2. A clear path to walk is considered picked up.
3. If the toys are in baskets it is clean.
4. If the kids are really messy, they are really having fun.
5. If the dirty dishes stack in the sink and you can still use the faucet then it is totally under control.
6. If the kitchen counters are free of dirty dishes and wiped down then it is clean.
7. If we have clean clothes to wear the next day then the laundry is under control.
8. If we have clean clothes to wear for several days the laundry is done.

Let's face it there will always be dirty dishes, laundry, messes, etc.
However, our children will not be this precious age for very long. RIGHT NOW, we are their entire world, they want to play with us, talk to us and tell us everything. We are their best friend.

One day the floors will be picked up; the dishes clean and the walls one paint color and I will definitely miss their art work.

P.S. I also use the basket cleaning method. I use smaller baskets and keep several around the house. It is easier to pick up and I just leave them sitting around the house, on the floor, against a wall or under the end table. It looks nice and you're not killing yourself walking everywhere to put the toys away. Besides, as soon as you pick up it is like a radar goes off in a toddlers head and they come and dump it out.


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Good Morning.

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AND for the kidos... the House Farie! OMG. this so works!

FLYlady saved my sanity!

Hi M. of Three! Does seems like it's an never ending battle...but, necessary...would love to share with you about products that will do the job without endangering your precious ones...email me for more info about Safer for Your Home Products that are Eco-Friendly and you can buy direct at wholesale (why should you pay to advertise someone's elses products?? ____@____.com

Mom of three,

I am a recovering "neat-freak." I only have one child, but was a single mom for over 5 years. This was a big issue for me for a long time, but I've pretty much conquered it and live at peace now with the dust bunnies, carpet stains and fingerprints on everything. The people who are coming over to your house are not looking at the stains on the chairs or the writing on the wall. They are there to visit you and your children. If they are judging the writing on your walls, do you really need them in your life? Your life and your house will never be quite the same after your three lovely children, and why would you want it to be? Try to let go and not let it bother you so much, Mom of three...it will all be over wwwwaaaayyyyy too soon, and one day you'll actually miss the writing on the walls. (OK, maybe not, but you get my point.) Take care!

Sounds like you are doing a good job and being hard on yourself. I think people generally do understand when you have 3 little ones and if you are doing the best you can, that's all you can do! I've had to learn to be ok with that. My house has been under renovation since my daughter was 2 weeks old...there's constantly dust everywhere, but that it is out of my control...I work from home and take care of my 3 year old DD, it doesn't leave a lot of extra time for cleaning. That being said, have you checked out http://www.flylady.net? She helps you create routines that will help you keep your house clean. She helps you get rid of the CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome) in your house. Good luck! N.

I know exactly what you mean. My house is always a mess and I only have one toddler. I can't imagine 2 toddlers and a baby. As soon as I clean one thing, something else is being messed up. My daughter is sometimes helping now. Usually I either threaten her. She does't like the vaccuum, so I tell her to clean up her toys or the vaccuum is going to eat them. Or I make a game out of it. Rewards are great to. If you clean up your toys, you can watch a movie or have a special treat. Good luck.

As already mentioned, check out FlyLady. Her system is wonderful and helps you get around to those things like getting the writing off the wall.

One thing that helped me when my kids were younger was we had a family room. So I put up doggy gates and the kids, dogs, and I stayed in that room for the most part. It helped control the mess some. I don't have that option now.

Be sure to check out FlyLady. She has so many methods to help you keep your sanity. One thing that drives me crazy is we have one wall that keeps fingerprints on it. I just remove them when FlyLady tells me to :-) She really helps you get into a routine with these kinds of things.

And with 3 little ones that close in age, there are some things to be expected when you walk into your house. I remember how clean my house used to be before I had kids. Well that's because I was only there in the evenings and weekends. I've been a stay at home mom and now homeschooling mom so it's going to get messier much faster since we're actually here so many hours of the day.

You have your hands full with these three little ones. Relax and just do the best you can for the house and don't worry about what people think of your house. If they think it is easy and your not supermom enough, give them a mop and pail. But serious, enjoy and sit on the floor and play with them. Before you know it they will be grown and out the door and you can have the cleanest house in the neighborhood if you want. I know as I had three beautiful children that I sat and played with and they are in their 40's now and love to tell stories about the things and time I played with them to their children.
They all have their homes now and mine is perfectly clean now (until they come and we have fun again) and when they leave in a day I have my house back all perfect again. LOVE & ENJOY

Well we havnt had any writing on any walls except their bedroom!! Thats pretty much the worst part of the house!! I have a 1,2, and 3 yr old. Our couch has stains on them from leaky bottles which we dont allow food or drinks anywhere but the kitchen some how this just happens?? lol.. But ya i dont see how any one could keep their house spotless all the time with out having plastic on everything an floor covers! unless they are just never home.. I feel the same way im always on my feet too!! It seems i could clean all day an it looks the same as it did when i started!

I am only a mom of a 6 month old and can't seem to keep on top of all the cleaning, I don't know how much your husband helps but.. My husband has to be picked up after more than my son right now. I always have to ask him to clean up after himself and If i need a break i get the I don't want to look. so I feel your pain. at least you bedroom is clean mine is the mountin of clean clothes till i can get around to folding them. dishes pile up every time i get done with them. we live in a 2 bedroom 2 bath MH very tight. It seems impossible to keep up I wonder f I am evergoing to get there one day?

Yah my wall look pretty colorful with marking and kichen chairs can't keep wipe down quick enough, I didn't want to have anyone over because I felt the house wasn't clean enough because of the colorful wall, that if I try to clean the paint come off and I don't have time to repaint. Well I decided to invite friend over anyway and enjoying the company and getting back to life.

No, you're not alone. My house is straight, but dont even try to count the dust bunnies! I have an 8 year old and two 5 year olds and you'd think they are old enough not to get crumbs all over the floor when they eat. I think I sweep 100 times a day. Then they all have to bring down their blankets, pillows and every stuffed animal they own every morning. I have a glass table and how they manage to get food and fingerprints underneath, I'll never know. It's like they have it on their knees or something. I can waste a whole roll of paper towels cleaning my sliding glass doors and never make any progress. So you see, having kids means having a dirty house. My mother always told me she cleaned once we all went away to college. By the way, my dad always complained about his lawn. I see my husband doing the same thing. My dad said once the kids left and his lawn looked nice again, he kind of miss the bike trails on the grass. So suck it up, know yourself that your house DOES get cleaned and realize with kids, clutter, toys, crumbs and what ever else ends up on the floor is just a part of parenthood. Best of luck.


My house is a disaster most of the time. I don't have company. Whenever it is unavoidable, it takes days to clean well enough and it still gets under my skin. I am learning to let it go a bit though. There are days I clean all day, then go to work. Then there are days where I just do the kitchen and spend time playing with the kids instead. I have an almost 5 year old and a 21 month old, plus a very messy, packrat for a husband. I am accepting that I just can't get to it all and work and be a good mom to the kids. I'm told this is a phase that will pass. I can't wait.

You are not alone in feeling that your house never seems clean!!! I have a 6yr old and 1 yr old and feel as though the floors, tables, counters, etc. are always needing to be cleaned (even though I swore I just clean them???). I could only imagine with three of them!! I am also a SAHM and I sometimes wonder if that is part of my problem in that I am looking at it all day and feel as though since I am at home all day that I should be able to keep it clean - but we SAHM truly know that is impossible - our days are filled with many other duties besides cleaning. I am trying to live around the idea that our family/living room is just that - we are a family that lives in that room!!! If anyone comes over they just need to realize that there are two small children that live in this house and as long as I feel my house is not "disgusting" than it is just gonna have to be enough for now - I want to enjoy my children and not spend all my time cleaning.


I once read that trying to clean while your kids are growing up is like shoveling in a blizzard. I know exactly what your are talking about. I have a 2 and a 3 year old and it just seems like I can not keep up. Even more then that though is they are ruining everything. My kitchen chairs are stained. Stickers on the walls that I have tried to peel off and the paint came with it. Stains on the carpet, finger prints everywhere!!!!

I decided that they should be responsible for some of their mess and although it may sound twisted I invented "The Trash Monster." I can hear him coming and he loves to eat any toys that are on the floor. When we hear him we race to pick up the toys before he comes. Also, there is a new train ride at edison mall that the kids love to ride on but it is a buck a ride. So I make them do little things around the house with me to earn money. They know they need four quarters to ride the train one time. I give them each a little baggie and when they complete what they were asked to do I put quarters in their bag.

These suggestions won't keep your furniture or walls from being destroyed but I find it helps speed up the cleaning process when they pick up their things.

My house always seems dirty as well! It's usually "tidy" I have a system in place where if I know someone's coming over I can get it tidy in 10 minutes, but I mop the kitchen floor twice a week and I feel like it's always dirty. And the kitchen chairs... I'm looking forward to the kids growing up enough to not get food/crumbs,smudges all over the chairs. I vacuum twice a week as well, and try to clean the toilets/sinks once a week. Other than that, I try not to let it stress me out too much. My house will be clean when they are gone, and then I'll miss all the crud! Have you ever heard that poem... Cleaning and dusting can wait til tomorrow, for children grow up, we've learned to our sorrow, so be quiet cobwebs, dust go to sleep! I'm rocking my baby, and babies don't keep!

Good luck, and know that there's someone else nearby with a sliding glass door that you can barely see through!

I keep baskets in every room, so at least i can clean up the floor but not really put it away until another day. Or is dumped out again tomorrow. Even just miscellaneous. I also do one persons laundry at a time. No mixing and sorting. Just 1 time a week, one basket at a time.
My ex didnt know what went into staying home either. I had to pick up the toys and vacuum 1/2 hour before he came home. and wouldnt let her play with anything.

I use to drive myself CRAZY trying to keep my house clean all the time. I always thought that the people who always had a clean house had someone come in and help.
I finally realized that all of THOSE people, didn't have kids. I still clean as much as I can without making it my life. I try to clean a bit more when there is company coming over, but it is never perfect. If your friends and family have children they should understand that messes get made, and when the kids get older, you can recover chairs and repaint. For now, relax and get done what you can. The people who matter most will understand.

The only houses I have ever seen that are "clean" or "perfect" are model homes - simply because 1) they are empty, 2) they have someone come in to clean them weekly, and 3) they don't have kids in them!

I thought I had to keep a perfect house, but I learned to figure out what my definition of a perfect house is. And I had to decide what my definition of "clean" was because I was stressing about keeping it clean all the time. I figured out that the kids won't remember how clean the house looked but rather the time I spent with them. Yes, I had them help me whenever possible. At 2 & 3 they can help by picking up toys & putting them away where they belong, taking a wet cloth to wipe up spills-helping Mommy so to speak. I always thanked them and hugged them telling them how helpful they were and how much they were appreciated. And as they got older their "family assistance" responsibilities increased age appropriately.

For me "clean" came to mean mopped floors and putting stuff away. Bathrooms were thoroughly cleaned once a week, with spot cleaning as needed. I had 4 bathrooms at the time I had my toddlers, so I made sure to have them use just 2, to make it easier on me to clean them. I came to enjoy dust bunnies because it meant to me that I was spending time with my kids [and when they came up I knew then it was time to do a thorough vacuuming!LOL].

My house now is not spotless, by any means, but it is "lived in". Most things are put away, the dishes are in the dishwasher and the counters are clean. I do a thorough cleaning every 2-3 weeks, and wipe up as needed daily.

I can't imagine what the pioneer women did without dishwashers, washing machines & dryers, vacuum cleaners and all the wonderful appliances we have to help us! Can you imagine!! LOL :)

And, one more thing-when your friends or people come over and tell you you have a beautiful home, just say "Thank you", and enjoy the compliment, because probably YOU DO!! :)

Your doing well if you have 3 and keep it fairly clean! Kudos to you!!! I have 2 and work full time, so I know what it means to never have time. I hate to have a dirty house myself, so what I try to do is get the kids to bed at a decent hour and do one large chore each night. Mondays are the bathrooms. Tuesday, Laundry..Wed sweep and mop., etc. This seems to work and gives you a break on the weekend to enjoy the kids and even get to do something for yourself if your hubby is willing to watch the kids for an hour or two. Let me know how it goes! Sincerely....

I am a recovering neat freak as well. My children are 10 & 12, you would think old enough to take care of there messes. Not unless you remind them, and remind them, oh and did I say remind them. I like you hated when company came over, and said things like isn't your house beautiful, because I knew that the floor had not been mopped all day. When I was a SAHM, I now have a silly job, I swept and mopped every day, vacumm, every day, atleast 1 load of laundry, everyday. I was blessed to have a great provider, and felt like he deserved to come home to a relatively clean house. As my children got older we acquired a dog, they started playing soccer and softball, we started going on fun outtings daily, to the beach, the park, the library. They just brought home more mess. I finally bought a sign and hung it on my front door that said, "Cleaning the house while the kids are still growing, is like shoveling snow, while it is still snowing." I still cleaned every chance I got. However I took comfort in knowing that I was doing the best I could, and I saw that people knew that. A little confesion, we lost the roof of our house in 2004 to a Hurricane. When insurance people were coming to view it, or family were coming to help us get stuff together, I would go over there ahead of time and sweep and mop my tiles, and concrete where we had already ripped up the carpet, knowing that the world was only going to rain down on it again. People to this day make fun of me for my clean tile. It was my one sense of security, as we gutted the disaster the floor was clean every time I was there. I received as a gift from my grandmother a sign to hang on our new home that says, "happily ever after" She said it was her way of telling me that my childrens memories were going to be of the time I spent with them, not the time I spent with a broom in my hand, as long as I did a good job, if not they would wish I used the broom in my hand to fly away. Keep up the great work and Don't worry about the small stuff.

OMGOSH!!! I totally hear ya on that one! I sware I'm always apologizing for my house. My family ALWAYS says "C'mon! you have kids?! Are you serious?!" So that's great to hear, but STILL!! I tell my husband when he comes home " I SWARE I have NOT sat down today, but you can't tell?!" He just laughs at me. I HATE having a messy house. Now, I CAN say it's sanitized, but it doesn't look organized or cleaned up very often ... when I get it there, it quickly passes. :o( SO! That's my storey! haha I hear ya .. and I ONLY have a 3 year old and a 9 month old!

I know how you feel, but you know what if people loves you they have to understand youu have kids, and some times we make the mistake of getting all that stress out and affecting our kids when they don't need that. Let'em be kids do what you can, enjoy them, have fun and don't worry about your house been perfect. They grow sooooooo fas, and once they are gone thats it, you will miss them even if they made bib, big messes. ;)

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