10 Steps To A Cleaner House: Preventing Messes, Part 2
This post is Part 2 of Preventing Messes. Read Part 1 here.
Today, I’m sharing some more useful tips for preventing messes around the home. Any mess you can prevent is one less thing to clean up later!
When feeding babies, don’t lay sticky messy food all over their high chair trays. I have had enough children and grandchildren to know that there is no way you can feed a baby or toddler without having some mess but there are a few things you can do to help keep it under control.
- Feed gooey, extra messy things to babies yourself. Let them practice feeding themselves with the less slimy things first.
- Start teaching them to use plates or bowls as soon as possible. That doesn’t mean to give them Spaghetti O’s the first time they use a plate. Instead start with something like a cheese sandwich.
- When they first start feeding themselves, start out with things like dry Cheerios and continue to feed them the chocolate pudding yourself.
- Always fill children’s drinking glasses half full. Then, if it spills, they only spill half a glass and not a whole one. This makes easier cleanup and less waste.
- Don’t let anyone eat off of the table. How many times do your children make sandwiches and then just take them to the table to eat? If you don’t want to dirty a plate, have them at least put the sandwich on a napkin. This saves you from having to wipe down the table every time someone eats something as simple as a cookie or a sandwich.
- When you are sitting in the family room or someplace other than the kitchen, don’t place glasses with liquid in them on the floor. You are the only one that knows that the glass is there (if you remember) and the chance of a spill is nearly 100%. If you decide to allow drinks in the family room, make sure you have enough end tables and such for people to conveniently set them. If you let kids have drinks in the family room, you will almost certainly have more spills.
If you seem to be cleaning up the same messes over and over, look at what you are doing and see if there is a way to change it. For example:
- I love using talcum powder after my shower but I would always get powder all over my dark rug. It was a mess. Then I figured out if I dried myself off in the shower and powdered myself before I got out of the tub, all of the mess stayed in the white tub and would be rinsed out with the next shower.
- If your kids keep tracking mud into the house through the back door, a few well placed stepping stones might prevent mud from getting in.
Does someone spill a drink at the table every night? Do you then have to jump up run for a towel trying to get back before it spreads all over the table and down onto the floor? Often mom or dad are yelling “Why can’t you be more careful?” the whole time and it messes up the whole meal.
I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t have this problem when my kids were young and then it dawned on me — I used cotton tablecloths at every meal. When something spilled the tablecloth absorbed most of it. Even with a bad spill, I could still take my time getting a towel or rag because the tablecloth would hold until I got back. It was much easier just to toss the tablecloth into the washer than to try to wipe up a sticky spill.
- If you don’t have or want to use tablecloths, you could do what my daughter did. She rolled some small hand towels and placed them in a basket that she kept on or near the table so that they were always handy when there was a spill.
Again, you may find that it doesn’t work well for you to use all of these specific examples. The point is to try and think of something different you can do that will work for you. Every little thing that you can do to make your home function better will make your life easier.
For more easy cleaning tips to make your life easier, check out our Keeping It Clean e-books.
photo by: cookylida