Keeping the home tidy and clean is a challenge for anyone, but for parents it becomes an almost constant battle against the kids. Some mums will feel like they're just following their children around tidying and cleaning at the back of them repeatedly in order to keep the home looking perfect.
The reality is, though, that it's not possible to have the showhome-like clean house that you might desire once you have kids. They do make a mess from time to time, but if you have the know-how, it's possible to contain this and keep the property looking as nice as possible.
If you've got young kids at home, then it's best to make sure you're decorating the property in such a way that it's not only less likely to get damaged, but far easier to maintain and repair if the worst should happen.
For example, while you may have found your dream wallpaper and you can envisage how it will bring your living room to life, it's best to consider if this is the best tactic to take when you have young children. Remember, kids are naturally curious and adventurous, and they will happily peel that expensive wallpaper off the walls without a thought about how much mummy and daddy spent on it.
Then there's the pens, pencils and crayons to consider. Kids love to think of think of themselves as artists, and almost every parent has at one point or another came into the living room to find their darling offspring has started a new exhibition in felt tip pen on the wall.
For this reason, paint can be better than wallpaper in houses with kids around. If they should happen to draw on or otherwise damage your decor, it's far easier to touch up a paint job than papering the whole wall again.
Similarly, with your flooring, it's best to consider the potential for damage that kids can cause. If it needs to be carpet, you're best to go with a dark colour, because kids spill things from time to time, and the stains can be infuriating to deal with. If you can, though, it's advisable to go with hardwood floors instead, because these are easier to wipe clean and maintain.
One top tip to keep your house clean with young kids around is to try setting aside messy areas for the kids. If your child is a budding artist - and most do love to paint - give them their own area of the kitchen to do this in. You can put down newspaper around their easel to protect the floors and walls.
By having this area to make the most of their creativity, kids will associate this part of the house with being messy and expressing themselves, and it will be far less likely that they make a mess elsewhere in the home.
If your kids do happen to make a mess at home, knowing some quick tips to fix the issues can help to reduce stress and keep you from freaking out at the damage caused. Whether it's pen and paint on the walls or spilled drinks on the carpet, dealing with these problems swiftly will help keep your home looking spick and span.
Cleaning the walls can be a tricky issue. If you've painted the walls, you don't want to use some solvent cleaner that will not only remove the stain, but also the paint itself. So whether you're dealing with felt tip pen marks, pencil or crayons, the best tip is to take some warm soapy water and a soft sponge to try to gently clean it away. Another quick fix can come in the form of baby wipes, which are surprisingly good at eradicating marks on walls.
For carpets, getting rid of stains can be a lot more problematic. A full shampoo of the carpet is the best way to deal with the issue, but you can also make use of white vinegar and baking soda to quickly eradicate stains and leave your carpet looking as good as new.
When it comes to keeping the place tidy, you should expect to relax your standards a little. Kids will make the place a bit of a mess and leave things lying around, but as long as you accept this, it shouldn't be too hard. Allow your kids areas where they play with toys to try to confine the untidiness as best you can.