If you already feel like your home’s overflowing with nappies, sleepsuits and toys, never fear. While staying on top of the clutter might seem like an impossible task, keeping your house in order is much simpler than you might think.
We’re not going to tell you to multitask, since you’re doing that enough already. And hiring a cleaner isn’t always an option if you’re trying to cut down costs. Instead, we’ve got eight handy tips and tricks to help you keep your house tidy – even with a new baby wriggling around!
8 Ways to Keep Your House Tidy with a Baby
1) Baskets, baskets, baskets
Keep a separate basket for everything – and we mean everything. From daily chores to baby tasks, you can stay organised by storing everything in its own individual basket.
First, have separate baskets for laundry, and not just darks and lights. Keep a baby washing basket for their everyday white clothes, such as socks, vests and sleepsuits. That way, you can just throw a load of washing in without having to pick through each and every item. Since you’re probably going to have to do the laundry every day with a new baby, this will really save you time.
Next, have baskets for your everyday baby jobs: a changing basket filled with nappies and other supplies; a feeding basket to hold bottles and sterilising equipment; or a bath time basket with cotton wool and towels. The possibilities are endless.
2) Batch cook
Batch cooking is a lifesaver when you just want to heat up a hot meal without the fuss. But it’s not only convenient when you’re hungry – it’ll also cut your cleaning time down. If you only have to prepare the meal once, you’ll end up using less dishes overall. Plus, you can usually heat up batch-cooked meals straight from the freezer, meaning you won’t need to bring all those pots and pans out again.
If you’re stuck for ideas, our favourite batch cooking dinners include family favourites like lasagne, cottage pie and chilli. Or there is the option of having no dishes at all – order a takeaway!
3) Independent play
Babies need constant attention and often need to be held or rocked before they’ll settle. So, if you’re struggling to get anything done, try some independent play with a baby bouncer. Babies can create their own fun, bouncy movement by moving their arms and legs, giving you the chance to get a few jobs done in the same room.
4) Share the work
If one parent is staying at home and the other is working full time, it’s not always easy to split chores 50/50. But you can still share the load with your partner by reducing the time spent between jobs.
For example, if you’re washing up and want to dry the dishes straight away, it’ll take longer than if your cups and plates have had time to drain. Instead, if your partner gets up 10 minutes earlier on a morning, they can wash last night’s dinner dishes before going to work. Then, by the time you’re up and ready, the dishes will have dried out a little, making it easier for you to pop them away.
There are lots of other quick ways to divide chores, like one person putting laundry in on a morning, so you can put it out to dry later in the afternoon. It might sound small, but doing jobs this way can save you a lot of time.
5) Involve your baby
A new baby might not be ready to handle the vacuum cleaner quite yet! But you can turn cleaning into a fun game, so you can tidy up and entertain your little one at the same time. Dance as you do the dusting, play peek-a-boo when putting clothes away or sing to your little one as you do the ironing!
6) Don’t leave the room without tidying one thing
Soft toys, baby wipes, yesterday’s coffee cup, a forgotten sock that got kicked off long ago… Things can get chaotic with a new baby around. And while there’s not one golden rule for keeping your house tidy, this tip comes pretty close: never leave the room empty-handed. Whenever you leave, pick up one item that’s out of place and put it away – you’ll soon get into the habit. Plus, by gradually tidying up, it means you won’t have to spend hours at the weekend tacking the all mess at once.
7) Let visitors help
Close friends and family will no doubt want to come and meet your new arrival. When they visit, ask them to do a few small jobs around the house in exchange for some cuddles with your baby. Or, if you don’t feel comfortable with your relatives cleaning up after you, ask them to take care of your little one for half an hour while you have a quick tidy.
8) Have realistic expectations
If you have a new baby, it’s very unlikely your home will be totally spick-and-span, so it’s time to manage your expectations. Don’t worry about the crumbs underneath the toaster, or that ever-growing ironing pile. Make sure to take some time out for you and your baby, too. After all, there’s always tomorrow!
No new parent’s home is completely spotless, but you can get things fairly shipshape with our handy guide!