This juncture in your life can arrive at any stage. You may have a baby, toddler or teen, but the time has come for you to reclaim some personal territory.
The idea is to walk into your home and experience a burst of pleasure. It’s that feeling you get when you walk into a room, and spot a piece of new furniture, and stare at it for an extended time.
That feeling is not lost, it’s only been obscured by kiddy paraphernalia, and if you’re a new mom, limited time and energy.
There’s no “one size fits all” solution, as circumstances vary from the amount of kids you have, their ages, and a wide collection of other factors. Regardless of where you are in your family journey, here are a few tips that can be adjusted to fit your unique situation and win back some control.
1. Off Limit Areas
It’s time to create a space that is just yours. Start small. Initially, it may just be a window ledge to house your favorite orchid. In time, you can upgrade to have your own bathroom or even better, your own bed. The idea is to create a space that is just yours so when the day gets a little overwhelming, you can walk into your happy place and press the reset button.
A family home comes with its share of chaos and messy floors, but it doesn’t mean you have to navigate every inch of it, every waking moment. It’s perfectly fair and unselfish to claim something that is just for you.
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In a perfect world, there is a perfect place for everything. If you are one of those moms who likes order, you will have experienced how life often has other plans. Kids love unpacking a lot more than they do packing away, so storage solutions need to be easy and flexible.
Thanks to modern day furniture designs, there are now storage solutions in almost everything. Trundle beds have drawers to hide toys, bunk beds have steps with packing space, benches can hold a secret stash, and nearly anything can be wheeled or folded away. Get smart and invest in all of the above.
If you have ample space to store the kids goodies, tidying up can be a quick toss in the direction of an attractive storage basket. If the storage containers you choose are child friendly, then little ones can unpack and pack away themselves, without difficulty or getting hurt. This will leave you free time, instead of having to step in.
3. Clear Away Clutter
Along with children come furniture, toys, push chairs, and an unimaginable amount of accessories. As quick as children grown, so do they outgrow toys, clothes and car seats to name a few. This is a great opportunity to cut back on clutter and remove items that have become obsolete.
It’s important not to be over sentimental. If the kids have outgrown thier swing set, pass it onto another home to love, and open up room for a new wonderful phase to reveal itself. By keeping the toys and entertainment for your children age appropriate, you get to clean out the old, and make space for the new.
4. Keep Ahead of The Mess
If it’s an afternoon play-date or a weekend’s worth of blanket forts, don’t let the mess pile up. An energetic burst of spot cleaning is much easier than cleaning a weeks worth of buildup. Get dad and the kids involved to lighten the load.
Going to bed and waking up in an orderly home (without having to face unwashed dishes and laundry) is a great foundation for a streamlined day. Even school lunches can be made the night before to help reduce the amount of tasks that need to get done in the morning. Plus, it gives you that room to move when you have to help your toddler find his missing shoe.
5. Get Help
Regardless if you’re a stay at home mom or a working parent, we could all do with a helping hand from time to time. If the laundry is piling up in the corner of the room, or you haven’t found 20 minutes to vacuum the carpets, delegate.
It could be hired help once every other week, or assigning the kids a task or two. A good girlfriend or parent would gladly pitch in if you asked, so ask.
6. Embrace the Kid Stuff
Has your fridge turned into a chaotic collection of this month’s latest art projects? Allocate a space for those creative pieces. It could be a wall or shelf space, where pictures are framed and proudly displayed.
Instead of seeing toys as part of an unruly mess, embrace these unavoidable elements that make up a family home. Toys can be displayed and even add to the appeal of a room. They’re especially easy to integrate into a kid’s room, where they can be rotated so kids don’t get bored of playing with the same toys. If they spend most of thier play time in a family area, have storage baskets available, or dedicate an easy to access shelf for thier favorite items.
7. Rules & Responsibility
Reward charts are a great way to get the troops in order. Give kids stars, for packing away or cleaning the bath after bath time. This is not just an excellent tool to enlist help, but it builds responsibility, independence and confidence in your children.
Set basic house rules which they need to adhere by. No glitter without supervision, dirty washing goes IN the wash basket, and no shoes on the new carpets, that sort of thing. This way, your kids understand and become the enforcers of house rules, without you having to constantly monitor and clean up after them.
8. Refurbish & Redecorate
For obvious reasons, parents steer away from light or white linen, white sofas and pretty much “white” anything while the kids are younger. This still may not be the time to bring it back, but something special will be symbolic of the return of your home, and will add that newness that you are craving.
This step doesn’t have to cost the earth. Painting a wall can change an entire space, and a few new pillows can transform a bedroom or living room.
The process of reclaiming back your home is a fun project that will grow with time, and as your children’s needs change. Take it slow so everyone has time to adjust to the new environment. This will also allow you time to soak in each pleasurable change.
Guest post written by Bianca. Bianca is the mom of an energetic 8 year old and writes about home life and travel, from her perspective. Her main focus in life is the pursuit of happiness for herself and her family, and to live the fullest life possible.