News which is not just in but still bears repeating; the average Brit spends seven hours tidying up each week. What’s more, parents spend more time on household chores than they do playing with their children; according to research, a staggering four hours a day – more than 59 full days a year – on housework. 

While we know it’s easier said than done, you don’t need to spend your days in the home surrounded by seemingly endless toys, spills and mess. Yep, there are ways to reduce the effort and hours spent on keeping things tidy with these, our 4 IDEAL ways to maintain a beautiful family home. 

INVOLVE YOUR KIDS

While you wouldn’t expect your 5 month year old to pick up and hoover any time soon, you can get your toddler and older children to help out with the chores. We realise that sometimes it may be more of a hindrance than a help, but getting the little ones involved will keep them busy and teach valuable new skills.

Make cleaning fun and, you never know, that notion may stick into the teenage years. Here’s hoping. Speaking of which, when your kids get older, consider creating a chores list for the whole clan; every member of your family should have various age-appropriate cleaning responsibilities within the home. For example, your kids could be responsible for:

  • Unloading a dishwasher
  • Cleaning their bedroom
  • Clearing the dinner table
  • Taking out the rubbish
  • Folding laundry
  • Feeding a pet
  • Vacuuming their bedroom

Household chores will not only help maintain a clean and happy home, but it can teach your children responsibility, too. You could also provide your children with incentives for completing their essential weekly chores, such as providing them with a homemade treat or an extra 30 minutes of TV or internet time. 

INVEST IN THE RIGHT FURNITURE & FURNISHINGS

Spills, stains and dirt can easily accumulate when raising children. It’s a good idea, then, to invest in some durable furniture, flooring and furnishings. Hardwood floors can withstand stains and aromas much more than carpet, while leather furniture will look as good as new, year after year, and can be quickly wiped down if a child (or adult) spills a drink. Or worse. However, if you have a fabric sofa, consider covering it in a throw that can easily be washed. Finally, keep a chest in your living room to help keep those toys under control and your room tidy. 

INVEST IN THE RIGHT HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS

When you’re shopping for home-cleaning supplies, there’s naturally a temptation to use cheaper products to save a few pennies. That’s money being spent on something which tangibly brings no pleasure or improvement to your life, so who can blame you for wanting to cut corners. But the best cleaning products will significantly cut time on the scrubbing, the sweeping and the sorting. Indeed, the wrong household products can overcomplicate the cleaning process. To quickly clean up spills and stains, you should buy in the highest quality cleaning items for the task at hand. 

PREVENTION RATHER THAN CURE

You know what they say; prevention is better than cure, which is why you should invest in items that can help avoid household disarray as much as you can. For mess-free meal times, a vinyl table cloth is a good idea as food and drink spills can easily be wiped away. Since they come in a wide variety of designs and colours, you don’t have to compromise on style. A coverall bib from BIBaDO that can connect to a highchair will catch your child’s food and stop it from dropping onto the floor, which is also ideal for baby-led weaning.

SET HOUSEHOLD RULES 

It’s also crucial to set various household rules for your kids to follow, so they will know what they can and can’t do in different rooms around the home. The below rules, though seemingly draconian, can help prevent mess, ornaments breaking, damage, and wear and tear to your home:

  • Shoes must be taken off inside the home
  • No food can be consumed outside the kitchen or dining room
  • Household chores must be completed before play
  • Ball games are not allowed inside the house
  • Put things away before starting something new

DON’T STRESS & BE FLEXIBLE

Kids are messy – it’s an inevitable part of life. Some days your baby will be fussy and your toddlers will throw a tantrum – so be flexible. When it’s one of those days forgo the hoovering, forget the dusting and putting the toys away immediately, instead concentrate on your kids and their needs. It’s worth remembering that they’re only little once. They won’t forever demand your attention, nagging for a snuggle on the sofa, or for you to read them a book. There will, however, always be dishes and washing to do. Prioritise.

SHARE
Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.