10 Ways to Keep a Clean House With Young Kids


1. Don’t buy toys.  The fewer toys you have in your house, the fewer things you have to pick up off the floor.  It’s a scientific fact that toys have a greater gravitational pull than anything else and will always, always end up on the floor.

2. Don’t let your kids play with the toys that other people give them.  Convince them that toys are only for looking at; see above reason.

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3. Don’t feed your kids anything crumbly.  No cookies, bread, crackers, pretzels, cereal, or granola bars.  Especially granola bars – they get stuck to the carpet and hurt like hell when you step on them.

4. Don’t have pets. Between the hair, the slobber, and the extra poop that enters your life, you must resist every request, demand, or wheedle for a cat, dog, or rodent that your kids throw at you.

5. Don’t feed your husband.  Cleaning up the extra dishes from his meal, and the extra pots & pans from cooking his dinner after you have snacked on cheese & crackers and given the kids peanut butter sandwiches, are just not worth it – if you want to keep a clean house.

6. Vacuum every 28 minutes whether it needs it or not.

7. Never ever host play dates. The only thing worse than cleaning up after your kids, is cleaning up after other peoples kids.

8. Do not give your children crayons.  No matter how many times you tell them “ON. PAPER. ONLY!”  they will continue to color on floors, walls, and furniture.

9. Do not give your children stickers.  No matter how many time you tell them, “ON. PAPER. ONLY!” your husband will allow them to put stickers on the windows that will carry over to the floors, walls, and furniture.

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10. Do not, under any circumstances, allow your children to play outside.  Not only will they track in rain, mud, snow and dirt, but you’ll be dealing with piles of boots, gloves and hats.

Spotless house guaranteed!

But, if having your house “show ready” is not high on your priority list, and you would rather spend your time making memories with your kids than preventing them from messing up the house, perhaps these tips aren’t for you.  Personally, I think my house is good enough. For all the screaming and fighting going on, there is also peals of laughter, belly-shaking giggles, and lots of great childhood memories being made.

Related post: What Normal Looks Like 

About the writer

Lori is an artist, a writer at The Next Step, a wife, and a mom. She tries to see the humor in each challenge of raising a 5 year old and twins who are 3 - all girls.  When she stumbles along the way, she gets up and tries again. Ear plugs are her main accessory.

From Around the Web


E. Burben 3 months ago

Nothing makes the time pass more quickly and puts people in a cheerier mood than some upbeat tunes. Your kids will dance and sing their way to a tidier place. With younger children, you can play “wax museum,” where kids must freeze in place like a wax statue every time the music stops.

Cardea 4 months ago

I loved this post & I get the humor but my mom’s BF was really like this. We couldn’t play at her house or take out any toys. Away from home her kids were monsters & destroyed my room every time they came over & then left it for me to clean up. I hated to see them coming.

sophia 5 months ago

I didnt clean the house becuse I dont want to clean my room.

Hols 6 months ago

Invite mom over, she will feel compelled to clean. Problem solved.

*this may only work with my mom

Sammi 6 months ago

My grandson is 6, and lives with us. He has Autism and he loves to shred paper, or cardboard, or boxes from the pantry, and canned goods labels, and pretty much anything else he can get his hands on, oh, and labels from 2 liter soda bottles. I would have to remove every shredable item from my home. And then I could have a clean home, but an unhappy angel… Can’t have that. On the bright side, I have never had to invest in a paper shredder, or worry about identity theft from someone getting information from my trash. There is so much shredded paper in my trash, they would never be able to put anything back together!

Me 7 months ago

Uh, thy might as well be in military school!

Jen Sowden 7 months ago

All I need is to save enough money to send the husband on vacation with the kids for three weeks and spend the first 4 days cleaning, the next 4 days painting, another 4 days recovering from the work, and 3-4 days to sit in the peaceful calm of my sparkling clean house.

Marnie Chan Demeterio 7 months ago

Shit! I didn’t know my husband had other wives!

Marnie Chan Demeterio 7 months ago

I thought “Get your own spotless apartment and leave the kids with hubby” would be on the list.

Suzy Millar 7 months ago

Lol, hilarious and true. Who wants a clean house anyway?

Alicia Lucero 7 months ago

Ha! Yeah right!!

Lori V. 7 months ago

hahahahaha Angela, I can always count on you for the BEST response! Seriously, do NOT let your husband run around naked, you may end up with more kids!!

Brittney Nicole Gilmore 7 months ago

LOL I knew there was an easy, logical way to do it!

Vanessa Franklin 7 months ago

Leave the house!

Alison Wilkinson 7 months ago

Very funny! Wish i had followed a few of them…

Marilyn Graham 7 months ago

Too funny……they did mention the biggest kid if the husband…..

Giselle Avila Lujano 7 months ago

I wish…

Lauren Christine 7 months ago

Hire a cleaning lady

Kimberly Thompson 7 months ago

Love it! It’s too late on toys thing, but I think she’s on to something with the not feeding the husband thing. He makes the most mess some days!

Krysta Barnhart 7 months ago

Lol…you can tell by the comments who actually Read the post :) I have 6 kids and when they were all younger (like 11, 9, 6, 4, 2 and newborn) it was Tough…I mean, sometimes you couldn’t see the floor in the boys room! 5 years later it has improved a lot… Hang in there mamas ; )

Rachel 7 months ago

Bahahaha! Awesome.

Lindsay Sadler Keane 7 months ago

#4. I can deal with all the other crap.

Cindy Allen Gillespie 7 months ago

How about don’t have a physically and mentally demanding full time job? That would also help…

Rheanna Rocha 7 months ago

Real tips : clean up messes as they happen, have the kiddos pick up toys at the end of the day (it’s a waste of time to pick up after kids constantly all day), unload the dishwasher as soon as it’s done, laundry done and put away in completion one load at a time (we do about 3 or 4 loads a week, family of 3), sort the mail and put away immediately, sweep up the kitchen floor/wipe down kitchen/load dishes into dishwasher after all meals, everyone eats at the table to contain the mess and crumbs, and have a cleaning schedule. I vacuum, dust, and mop downstairs on Monday, upstairs on Tuesday, all bathrooms on Wednesday, really clean the kitchen on Thursday, and do bill payment, meal planning and grocery shopping on Friday. Most days I spend half an hour to an hour on those tasks.

Colleen Pitcher Warren 7 months ago


Merry Sunshine 7 months ago

Damn. Am I the only one who opened this hoping for a magic bullet of cleanliness. Sigh. Guess I’ll just continue averting my eyes from the chaos.:)

Stephanie Trujillo 7 months ago

What a waste!!!

Strawbie Wiegand 7 months ago

Get a life people.

Jen Hoover 7 months ago

Beads. Beads should be added to this list of things never to have, give, or let them use.. They spill and its game over. You’ll be finding the, for months..

Nancy 7 months ago

Or never get married and never have kids. That might work. Lol. My house is always messy and I don’t care. We try to clean one room a day to spotless and rotate it. That way each room is clean like once a week. Haha

Jane Hughes 7 months ago


Eliza Besosa 7 months ago


Kathy Conners Spinks 7 months ago

Mine too!! Grrrrrr

Maria Leticia Vazquez Alvarez 7 months ago

Put the toys, tv, kids, husband, confined into one room and order take away. Then you will only need to clean one room, or maybe just keep the door closed.

Angela Roster 7 months ago

Starting by making things go away. I’m tryyyyyying!

Scouter Betty Jean Marino 7 months ago


Allison Campbell Hyson 7 months ago


Morg Pan 7 months ago

#10 should say Don’t have kids!

Nicole Miano 7 months ago

Lol! Awesome!

Sheila Kuras-Maki 7 months ago

Sadly I began reading this hoping for real answers!!! Guess my OCD type A personality just will have to try and relax! I will need to try and embrace the messes!!!

Debora Frank 7 months ago

Got me!

Stephanie Terkelsen 7 months ago

Good tips, just wish it were that easy around here. Bathrooms are pretty much a daily thing in this place with all the boys (including my husband) running around. Laundry though can definitely work that way as long as you stick to it. Unfortunately I spend a good 30 minutes just rounding up dirty clothes and garbage (because no one can seem to figure out where the garbage can is). Then there is the animal hair. I like the way you think though. I need to figure out some way to schedule it all out so I’m not stuck spending every second trying to keep up.

Tracy Webb Simpson 7 months ago


Andrea Tynkaluk 7 months ago

Only 1 kid was easy … it’s when I multiplied that they took over lol

Alicia Alexander 7 months ago

Argh yes, I have a flexi tub and toy box for my 2yo and it’s so good just biffing everything in than trying to organize it or teach her where things individually go.

Shannon Klein 7 months ago

Um, I actually do most of these (still getting over the PTSD of a newborn) and yet my house is not clean- WTH!?

Stephanie Terkelsen 7 months ago

Seriously! The garbage can is literally 2 steps away from where he is eating a snack, yet the wrapper and empty box end up sitting on the counter. Even my 3 year old knows to throw his trash away. And Lord the trail of clothes and junk that start from the front door when he comes home from work is unbelievable!

Stephanie F-s 7 months ago

My husband is out of the house from 9am to 1am 6 days a week. So ya, it’s just me at home too. It’s tough.

Stephanie Terkelsen 7 months ago

That was my whole thinking, it’s worked so far. Though admittedly I have to stay on top of them about keeping toys in the room or it can get out of hand real fast!

Maureen Luckritz Singer 7 months ago

Well, aren’t you lucky? My husband says he goes to work, so therefore I’m left to do EVERYTHING else in this house except take out the garbage… All cooking, cleaning, dishes, laundry and child care… Oh and did I mention that he’s gone for about 12-14 hours everyday since after he finally gets off work, he goes to see his elderly mom EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT?? Somedays he doesn’t even see his kid til after she’s in bed? Oh and my dd has ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder so has major behavioral issues to boot… Try keeping your house clean then

Kelly Rodgers Kemps 7 months ago

Play dough is the devil in disguise!!!!

Linda Jayne Spray 7 months ago

I agree, just about keep on top of the day to day stuff, laundry, washing up, clean kitchen and occasional Hoover and change the bed sheets! Lol anything else is on an ever increasing to do list!

Ashley Ann Russill 7 months ago

I’m putting together a playroom now! Stoked! Made my husband build a wall in the basement for it. Of course there’ll be a rotating cycle of toys in the main part of the house but a manageable amount for when i need to cook supper! Can’t wait to get it finished!!

Angela Roster 7 months ago

Totally. I just got really behind on the dusting and organizing and unpacking. It was fine until my 2nd child was born. I don’t know why the 2nd kid threw us off so much, but she did. The kids’ stuff is the least of my concern at this point. I don’t even care if their toys are out in their rooms. I need 3 hours in each shared living space to get caught up. So that’s 12 hours of solid cleaning and organizing, and my husband and I both work full-time. Dishes and laundry are the only things done regularly around here, because while I live in eternal clutter, I will not tolerate grossness and squalor. Every weekend with no plans, I’m like, we’re gonna clean! But we can only do so much with the baby on the loose (she’s 16 months now). This is just to get things organized, pictures in frames, dusting done, etc. Not even projects I used to do like organizing music or rearranging furniture.

Angela Roster 7 months ago

My husband does the same thing. He gave the last yogurt squeeze thing to a kid and then left the empty cardboard box on the counter. He made a sandwich and got some chips and left the chip bag open. His socks are all over the bedroom including shoved in the headboard. He says, “It’s too hard to keep things clean with a toddler running around!” But I don’t see what that has to do with his own slobby habits!

Barbara Jeanne 7 months ago

Oh wow was going to say the same thing! It’s more frustrating when it’s the hubby!!

Michelle A. Cropper 7 months ago

You can’t necessarily have a “clean house” but you can make it easier on yourself as a mom. One, don’t let your kids eat any where other than the kitchen so it’s easier to clean up messes. Two, pick out your kids favorite toys and leave those out. Put the rest away in a storage space. Then switch out the toys every 3-6 months. Three, try to leave what chores you can for the end of the day. I now do the laundry during the day and try to save the dishes, vacuuming, and cleaning up for the end of the day. The really deep cleaning, like mopping the floors and cleaning the bathroom I leave for when the kids and hubby are asleep. These three things have really helped me to not be so exhausted this pregnancy.

Allison Spiva Hunt 7 months ago

I’ll give tips. Have a cleaning schedule: Monday- bathrooms, Tuesday- dust and vacuum etc. then you only spend 30/40 mins a day doing something. You have to do it every week though then it will just seem like house is always clean. May not be perfect or spotless but it will always be visitor ready. Do one load of laundry a day and it will never get too ahead of you. Pick up at end of day and have kids help.

Anna Feldhan Lemus 7 months ago


Taara Datta Donley 7 months ago

Here’s some unsolicited advice: Bins! Get storage bins and containers for everything! It makes it easier for a three year old to put everything back as well as access toys without a parents help. A bin of toys looks way cleaner than toys scattered on the floor. Just my two cents! :)

Angela Roster 7 months ago

Hmm. Here are some maybe actual helpful tips. I could use help with some. #1 and #2: When the kids aren’t home, box up and donate half the toys, particularly the ones they haven’t asked about or touched in 2 years. If you’re attached to some of the toys yourself, box them up for you and put ’em out of sight (I have stuffed animals like this.) #3: Stop giving the kids snacks away from the table (I always do that and need to stop; right now my daughter has a Sunny Day bar and is putting crumbs on the floor because I’m typing instead of feeding it to her). For the table, if the pets aren’t home, put the high chair or regular chair inside a big cardboard box, and no eating outside of the box. I might not really do this, but a tarp could work and then shake it outside? #4: Have pets, but only worry about cleaning up their bodily fluids. #5: Husband also eats in the box (and me too). #6: I need help with this one because i haven’t used the vacuum in months. #7: Have kids over to clean and give them prizes (this worked with my older nephew once but the younger one made it worse). I like to do a “let’s all pick up 10 things” game, and my son offers to pick up 25 things in exchange for my husband or me doing Where’s My Water levels for him. #8: Do sidewalk chalk instead and let them write on the fence or the garage outside (I did this with my son, and nobody could see it anyway and rain cleaned it). #9: Similar to the chalk plan, I let my son put stickers on the inside of the back door only. It seems to help to give him a much bigger space to follow the rules. #10: Don’t send them outside unattended in wet or icky conditions. Beyond that, I got nothin’.

Andrea Wolf Bievenour 7 months ago

I like *vacuum every 28 minutes hahaha! Did she mean every 28 days?

Monika Chen 7 months ago

Exactly, teach your kid to clean up after themselves and half the problem is solved. Also this isn’t the 50’s, when I cook my husband cleans up and vice versa. It’s called team work.

Rachael Carlile 7 months ago

Hahaha. Yep

Kat A Sosa 7 months ago

Hahaha I love this

Stephanie F-s 7 months ago

Probably going to be called a “sanctimom” (I am SO not) but I have a crazy toddler and my house is clean and organized. I taught him to clean up after himself and he does it. He cries if it’s bedtime and he hasn’t finished tidying up! Could be nature or nurture or a mix … but at least one kid in the world is capable.

Kellie Scarbrough 7 months ago

1. Don’t.

Alissa de Koning 7 months ago


Sahm3 7 months ago

It was a joke. Chill.

Angela Roster 7 months ago

Me too. I was like, yay, some help! I spent 2 hours last night reading comments on another Scary Mommy post while the baby slept instead of cleaning.

Angela Mills 7 months ago

Weekends he does primary care (and I sleep in) so they can bond lol.

Angela Roster 7 months ago

Now can we have an article with actual tips? Got my hopes up. I need help! Any food becomes a crumbly food when removed from a toddler’s mouth and squished around. I found egg crumbs that I didn’t know my daughter had kept in her cheek, spit out, and placed on the couch in teeny dissected bits. Our dogs normally would have taken care of that, but they’re with the in-laws since we’re going out of town in a few days.

Sam Trudgill 7 months ago

throw depression in the mix and its easy not to have a show room house!

Angela Mills 7 months ago

Me too! Or the baby mop

Angela Mills 7 months ago

While I don’t agree with the lazy label and there’s for sure some mommies with the perfect home there’s also what’s clean to one person may still be messy to another so we may actually all be on the same page and not know it… Unless you’re in a hoarders house.

Roxanne Ford 7 months ago

Haha, I have been saying that for years, OH works 17 hours 6 days a week, and has Tuesdays off, I have no spare minutes on Wednesdays as it’s spent cleaning up after him. But to be fair, I slack on a Tuesday so we can all spend time together.

Stephanie Terkelsen 7 months ago

OMG! Been there, and the kids were sharing a room! I don’t miss that at all! It always looked like a bomb went off in their room. Not to mention the looks I would get from people coming over and wondering why we spoiled them with so many toys. Had to always explain, you’re seeing the toys for two little boys crammed into one space! I even took it a step further and threw in two big dogs, a cat we weren’t supposed to have and a husband. Biggest problem there was there just wasn’t enough space to put everything!

Sarah Hutchinson 7 months ago

For me is easy. I taught my kids how to be tidy and when done playing, pick up. My two are 11 and almost 5. Rooms are always neat and orderly and they do store their items in the living space. This is how we decided to run out household and it had worked out for us :-)

Katie Lazzelle-Baily 7 months ago

How about not wasting half a day browsing Facebook. Amazing what you can get done then

Abigail Mitchell 7 months ago

Same here I started reading and I said…This can’t be serious, no toys!!

Jenny Kruschke 7 months ago

Oh man, I’d kill for a playroom/den. We live in an apartment, 1 living room, right when you come in the front door. Welcome to my mess! Haha.

Angela Mills 7 months ago

What about the husband. How do you handle that? Mine is an OTR truck driver home on weekends and I swear Monday is spent cleaning up after him more than my toddler

Rita Childress Heisey 7 months ago

My house is usually pretty clean because it’s important to me for it to be that way. That being said,what’s important to me is not always important to everyone else and I bet the things that are important to some of you reading this aren’t important to me. It’s not about “being lazy” or “having no excuse.” It’s because we are all different. Nothing wrong with that.

Amber Nic 7 months ago

Hey, more power to you! I have 4 kids and my house can be chaotic. Sometimes I’ll look at the clock and I’ll think it’s 1 pm and its 4! Time to make dinner! Lol Please don’t judge other moms because they have a different work load. :)

Jenny Kruschke 7 months ago

You can’t say you weren’t judging and then try and justify calling people lazy. Lol

Marissa Thompson Montero 7 months ago

Haha I saw this and rolled my eyes thinking it was going to give me ridiculous tips. Thanks for the laugh

Mel Cody 7 months ago

Here’s a thought ladies- all of you . IT IS DIFFERENT FOR EACH MOTHER. There is NO RIGHT or WRONG. It’s ok to not understand someone else’s perspective, but don’t expect anyone else to be as you are. Spotless or Disheveled accept that your home should work for you and your family. DON’T JUDGE EACH OTHER SO HARSHLY.
As long as it works, keep on working it:)

Dayleen Jentzen Mitchell 7 months ago

Not sure why everyone still thinks I have a showroom home geez but whatever. I stated my opinion I was entitled to. If you don’t like it then oh well. I didn’t say you needed to live your life that way. I shouldn’t have had to explain or justify myself but I did. The saddest thing about this whole experience is all the mommy bashing that is done all women do is bring each other down on their differences bottle vs breast holistic vs medicinal vegan vs meat. Get over it, people have their own opinions and lifestyles not for you to judge. For those of you who think I judged I was not I was stating how I thought this blog was weird because I don’t have a problem keeping my home clean. For those of you going to bash me on the lazy comment go for it I don’t care. What I mean by lazy is not a simply messy home but a pig sty. If you can justify that by all means go for it. Again for those having issues that I don’t work Full Time Student!! That’s means 40hrs+ weekly on classes and homework( being a stay at home mom is working whether you think it is or not just another things mothers bash on)

Cara Gordon 7 months ago

I agree with you Dayleen.. If you stay on top of it it won’t become an issue..

Jill Knapp Mercer 7 months ago

I promise if you get a full time job you won’t be confused anymore. I’m sure all of our houses would be a whole lot cleaner with an extra 40-50 hours a week! You can’t “find the time or make the time” that simply doesn’t exist. Working moms have to do that plus all of the chores, errands, visits, etc… Everyone’s situation is unique. We should all just worry about our own issues and not about comparing how great we are at motherhood (or life in general) than others.

Jenny Kruschke 7 months ago

I work from home and have a 1 year old and a 2 year old. My house is not spotless, but I’m surely not lazy. My hubby and I get cleaning done on the weekends, but I don’t HAVE 2 hours a day for dusting.
I don’t have an “excuse” for my messy home because I don’t NEED an excuse. There’s a difference between messy and dirty. My house is going to be messy most days. I still consider my house ready for company…if my company is offended by a few dirty dishes or blocks on the floor, they’re welcome to leave.

Jennifer Pigg 7 months ago

You’re right, it isn’t hard. I work, go to school, and still manage to find time to keep my house clean, spend time with my children and husband separately, and spend time as a family. My oldest cleans up after himself and helps me keep up after my ten-month-old. Oldest is four now, but has known how to dust and vacuum since he was two, because when he showed an interest, I let him do it. We turned it into a game. Do I force him to do it every day? No, I usually do it, but when he wants to, I let him. I also let him help me do dishes, cook, etc. Does he make a bigger mess than he cleans up? You better believe it. Do I ever tell him no? Not unless I’m cooking something on the stovetop, because I don’t want him to get burned. But you know what? He feels awesome because he’s my big boy helper, and we’re spending time getting things that he thinks are fun accomplished so we can all go play together when Dad gets home.

Dayleen Jentzen Mitchell 7 months ago

It’s not even that I have a showroom home I don’t know what that is!! We live in our home but we also respect it and clean it. To the person who said the “Home and Gardens” comment you know nothing about me I keep my home clean for myself and my family no one else. The people I have in my life would never judge me based on what my home looked like or didn’t look like. Also Sadie pot calling the kettle black isn’t it??!

Amber Nic 7 months ago

Lol! I have number 7 down! I have 4 children. They play together.

Ciara Nay Keyser 7 months ago

#1 Make them do it.

Tricia Kleinhardt Hartline 7 months ago


Rachel Goodeill 7 months ago


Sara Morrissey 7 months ago

Lol I saw what she got for xmas. I can imagine the mess she can make haha

Helen Russo 7 months ago

It was MUCH easier when mine was actually little. Now she’s 6 and my house is a freaking mess ALL THE TIME!

Sara Morrissey 7 months ago

Lol I work full time. (6am to 430pm) I have 2 children (4 and 2.5) my husband who works 14 hour days. And my house isn’t spotless. Homes are meant to be lived in and not looked at. If you choose to be one of those women who have a showroom house that’s fine but I won’t ever have that. I don’t have the time or energy.

Elina Matson 7 months ago

Dayleen, I’m with you here. I have 3 toddlers. Not hard for me to keep the house straightened.

Narelle Wilson Steel 7 months ago

Wow Sadie you name called with OCD? Notice that? Lol!

Jennifer Frazier 7 months ago

i agree too, shouldn’t be hard to keep clean if your not lazy, I have a 6 yo, a 2 yo and having another baby in 4 days! I keep my house spotless, when I get up I start my cleaning routine, only takes about 2-3 hours, I’m very thourough, then after I go around about every 2 hours and pick up and clean anything that is out of place and dirty. and my kids are very hyper and messy!

Sara Morrissey 7 months ago

Haha I wish. Too funny

Cristina Raposo 7 months ago

Dont buy kenetic sand…..or “dirt” like my 4yr old says.

Jen Sowden 7 months ago

Just this morning were two cans and a bottle.

Dayleen Jentzen Mitchell 7 months ago

Read all my comments we spend family time together nightly and also on the weekends either going to the zoo, local fairs, swimming or anything as a family and part of having that clean home is so I can spend time with my husband at night and not worry about cleaning. I also play with my daughter throughout the day.

Cynthia Brault Gillis 7 months ago

Lol. This would keep it clean!!

Dayleen Jentzen Mitchell 7 months ago

I did not ask you to be “on my side” you have your opinion as well as I do and I’m entitled to it.

Jason Collver 7 months ago

I agree with the article

Jen Sowden 7 months ago

I don’t have any solid chunk of time on any day of the week, until the weekend.
Most weekends are spent doing the “weekly chores” (bathrooms and changing sheets) or we go and do something together as a family.
At the end of the day, when the kids are in bed and dinner is cleaned up I just want to reconnect with my husband. I don’t get to have a proper conversation when my kids are awake, and I know I couldn’t have a proper conversation while washing the kitchen floor.

Paying attention to my family is way more important than making sure the ceiling fan blades are clean, or that every article of clothing is clean and put away.

Dayleen Jentzen Mitchell 7 months ago

I was agreeing with another persons comment. And to me sorry but I just don’t see an excuse to have a messy home. And this blog doesn’t make any sense most blogs on here I agree with but I’m sorry this one bugged me. We all had mothers we saw what they did I knew what I was signing up for.

Sadie Hayes 7 months ago

I was on your side until your “if you’re not too lazy” comment. It’s all about priorities. Some people would rather spend those two hours with their kids. For those of us who don’t suffer from OCD, maybe we don’t care if there’s a toy or two on the floor or a basket of laundry which is waiting patiently to be folded. I’m a happy mom and have a happy baby. And I don’t hang out with people who would want my home to look like a showpiece for better homes and gardens. To each her own but I wouldn’t resort to name calling.

Bri Wood 7 months ago

I was hoping for helpful tips too :(

Roxanne Ford 7 months ago

It’s not about having a dirty house all of the time, it’s a humorous blog. By picking up as you go, you are doing what all (most) mums do. The point is, it feels like we are constantly cleaning, because we are, and if we don’t want to constantly clean then we should have children who don’t play. And as for not judging then calling people lazy…? Doesn’t really work, does it?

Dayleen Jentzen Mitchell 7 months ago

I do not work all day but I am a full time student, I also run errands, visit friends and family, take my daughter to school, gymnastics, and basketball . Play with her and make time to have a few min to myself. I just find the time to get it done because even though I’m a stay at home mom I still want my husband to come home to a clean house that he works extremely hard for. It may not have been a blog for me but I’m entitled to my opinion as are you.

Desirey Morrison Blomquist 7 months ago

seems pretty easy. lol

Carrie Ann Perez 7 months ago

So if my house is not spotless. .that makes me lazy??

Mika Lawson 7 months ago

My house was cleaner when I worked full time and the kids were little. Show room clean no only cause I can’t live in a stark sterile environment. But things are always picked up. When kids were little we had the get one thing out put it away before another rule.

Hannah Poddig 7 months ago

Love this lol

Jennifer Krause 7 months ago

Perhaps this blog is not the blog for you.

Amy 7 months ago

Thank you for doing this lol. Everyone needs a friend like you! :)

Katrina Degeler 7 months ago

I wish I had 2 hours a day to clean the house….even an hour would make a huge difference….between work, taking care of the pets, running a girl scout troop, helping the kid w homework, spending some family time, and cooking dinner I still don’t even make it to bed until 11pm at the earliest.

Dayleen Jentzen Mitchell 7 months ago

Exactly. We have a routine and we follow it. I don’t even think that I clean a total of two hours a day. It’s just picking up as I go and then my daily clean. And my daughter picks up too then we pick her room up at night. That’s her play area during the day. It’s not hard if your not lazy exactly.

Marina Fernandez 7 months ago

Loved it!!!

Joey Muller 7 months ago


Carrie Ann Perez 7 months ago

Do you work full time??

Valerie Ann 7 months ago

Lol funny article – but in all honesty – I have far more trouble keeping up with dust and dirty windows than I do toys and dishes lol

Jen Sowden 7 months ago

My kids are not the issue.
It’s my husband who has no interest in putting crap back where it belongs.
It’s three more steps to the recycle bin, so he leaves recyclable material on the counter.

Nikki Sharpe 7 months ago

I have a two year old and four year old and think the same. I clean for probably two hours total a day (ten or fifteen minutes here and there) and the house stays clean. We pick up their rooms every night as part of the bedtime routine. Don’t worry, just cause you have two doesn’t mean it’s hopeless as long as you’re not lazy! Lol

Jen Sowden 7 months ago

Or glitter.

Roxanne Ford 7 months ago

And glitter! Lol

Elizabeth Kelly 7 months ago


Tonjia Harris 7 months ago

Ha!!! Very funny

Amber Thornton 7 months ago

Thought for sure burn it down was going to be on the list.

Dayleen Jentzen Mitchell 7 months ago

Trust me I am too OCD to let my house get messy and my first will be in school full time so why should there be any excuse?? But thanks for your practically “hoping I fail” comment!

Laurie Pepper Gray 7 months ago

^^^ what she said.

Meredith Lively Varner 7 months ago

Wait till the second one is mobile and then let us know how it’s going. 😉

Lori Manasco 7 months ago

Haaaaa! Too funny!

Dayleen Jentzen Mitchell 7 months ago

I just think it’s really weird. (I’m not judging anyone that has a messy, non spotless, or unorganized home so don’t even go there) but I have a daughter and one on the way, a husband, two cats, a Newfoundland (bout the biggest hairiest dog you can find) and my home is always organized, neat, clean and ready for company. I won’t say spotless there is usually a cup or two in the sink, and couple toys on the floor. To me it’s just a matter of teaching a child respect from early on when your done with a toy put it back, when you finish your plate put it in the sink. I have a daily cleaning list that usually involves dusting, vacuum and sweeping. That’s all and I do a whole home clean every weekend. It’s simple I guess I don’t understand I either find the time or make the time. I want my husband and kids to come home to a clean home and I what to be proud of it simple as that. Again not trying to offend anyone just confused as to how it’s difficult to keep a clean house.

Marianne Ryan 7 months ago

You missed off playdough. Never use playdough if you want a clean house.

Heather Sheppard Carr 7 months ago

Lol! I cringe when I was my kitchen floor knowing I’m waisting my time.

Orana 7 months ago

Oh my, #5! I hadn´t thought about other mom´s having that same reality. I cherish the days when hubs has lunch or dinner meetings outside of the house. No cooking!

Joanna Jefferis 7 months ago

number 5! hahaha! i love it.

Amanda Brown 7 months ago

I wanted helpful tips not “funny” ones blah lol guess I’ll just have a messy house

Cathy A Koehler 7 months ago

Hahaha. Don’t feed your husband and don’t let the kids play with toys!!!

Sarah Marcellus 7 months ago

I read this aloud to my 3 year old. She didn’t like it. :)

Shawnda Bodrogkozi 7 months ago

No Hassle House Cleaning by Christina Spence has become my bible. It tells you how to keep a house clean in the easiest ways possible, including recipes for great DIY cleaning products, in the least amount of time possible. Its amazing.

Cindy Swaidan 7 months ago

I was expecting “tie mops around their shoes and send them “skating throughout the house to mop” lol

Janet Ski 7 months ago

Love this!!! Lol

Amy O’Connell 7 months ago

They left out husbands and bathrooms too. They make more messes then my preteen son. Haha

Alden Marley 7 months ago

I’m just going to sell my kids on ebay and hire a housekeeper. And a pool boy.

Stephanie Terkelsen 7 months ago

Playroom + Netflix = only one room that is a disaster. Unfortunately if there is no designated playroom than the kid’s room, it ends up a disaster in there, but no one has to go in there anyway. I can deal with the pet hair and stray toy that finds its way out, but man, where the kids play is dad’s project. I will scrub toilets all day long to not have to clean up that room and, God forbid, anything that is hiding in it.

Stacy Stine 7 months ago

Haha funny read cause EVERY single one on there happens in my house ! 2 dogs, 4yr old twins and 2 13yr olds. Just finished picking up the last of the stickers that were stuck on the floor, couch, table, and everywhere else you can imagine !

Katy League 7 months ago


Rhianna Demson 7 months ago

Seems legit!

Leslie Ross 7 months ago

Seems reasonable.

Melisa Hennessy 7 months ago

I was gonna say step 1: stop caring if it’s clean.

Deanna Benson 7 months ago


Anjie Orlowski 7 months ago

Oh! Is that all? Lol

Carissa Bailey 7 months ago

I’m expecting to open this article and have it say “Want a Clean House? Don’t have kids!!”

maria smith 7 months ago

This is great! Love it! Just do your best to keep up with it and let life happen. I have good weeks or bad weeks. There’s so much that goes into housekeeping and sometimes we just can’t do it all.

Dracomom 8 months ago

Define “clean”.

My definition is- Will I eat food cooked in this kitchen? Do we all have clean clothes? Clean dishes? Clean sheets and towels? Is there a reasonably clear pathway to each piece of furniture? If I can say “YES” to each of these, and my father in law isn’t visiting from Arizona within the next 3 weeks, I’m good

Dracomom 8 months ago

For some reason, the birth of my son caused my sisters in law to give me all kinds of “boy toys” their sons had outgrown. I think this is why. It also gave my brothers the excuse to buy all the noisy toys their boys were too old for…
LEGOS have a magnetic attraction to our living room carpet. I can no longer vacuum this rug without first sweeping (with a broom!) to ensure the cat hasn’t hidden some vitally important light saber or helmet where no sane person would ever expect it to be. I can’t afford to buy another $50 set to replace it!
Food stays in the kitchen (mostly) because of the ANT summer, when my son was 3. He had a habit of dropping cookies, sandwiches, etc into his pockets for later- the remnants were found in the couch cushions, under the rug, and even in the VCR. The 6-leggers thought this was a resort hotel and I freaked. Fortunately Matt is not fond of bugs, so the threat of the ants returning reminds him to follow this rule.

Lisa 9 months ago

I stuck a $10 bill to the wall. If it’s gone when I get home, we were robbed. If it’s still there, the house looked like that when I left in the morning.

Josh Ransom 10 months ago

I am sorry, but I don’t get it. You can keep a clean house and still be a good involved parent. We have 3 kids under 8 and our house is always clean. And its insulting to guys to to blame him for a mess. Not all guys are like that.

terri 12 months ago

I have numbers 1,2,4,7,8,9 and ten down but really need to work on number 3. Vacuuming all day is exhausting.

Mini Clean 1 year ago

I know the point that we always wanted to keep our home clean. However, I think too much of not giving our children is like depriving them of being a kid. Maybe, its also good to have item 10 once in a while. :)

Joe 2 years ago

Dumbest article ever…Vacuum every 28 minutes? Don’t feed your husband? No pets, no toys, no crayons, no stickers and no playing outside…
Why don’t you just suggest living a life of solitude in a bubble somewhere and refuse any contact with the outside world.
Having a family and following any of those rules is impossible….unless you’re an awful parent.

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Mercy 2 years ago

No, worse is fabric paint. I thought it was hidden but my 4 year old found it and now my balcony has a red splash, her best jeans have red spots, and my bedroom floor has glittery spots that just won’t come off. Yep, she found and got into it twice. Time to tie it to the ceiling.

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Dennie 2 years ago

A messy home is a happy home. Clean the house once they starting asking for the car keys.

Lynn from For Love or Funny 2 years ago

I’ve discovered the secret to a clean house: a basement! That’s where we keep all the toys, etc. Alas, the dog never goes into the basement so the rest of the house is still covered in dog fur.

Michelle Villemaire 2 years ago

Love it! I would like to add one more item: Drop ’em off at someone else’s house. If only grandma lived closer…

tammy 2 years ago

when i first read your post, i was like, what planet are you on!! but hey its brought a smile to my face.
we are to expect kids to be kids but we can use the opportunity to train them on house keeping, get them to do it and offer them a treat.

Beth 2 years ago

Love this! I read #1 and thought, “We don’t buy the toys, other people do.” Then I read #2. Brilliant.

Toni 2 years ago

I really thought I was going to get some miraculous cure for my messy house, but I got even better – laughter! I always feel guilty having a messy house but the joy of having creative, happy children usually washes it all away…at least until the doorbell rings! Love it, thanks for making me realize I’m not alone and that I’m doing it right! Who needs a kitchen floor that’s not sticky!!

TK 2 years ago

When I saw your post title, I thought – What?? Now, I get it…haha!

Amber 2 years ago

You know, I was just saying to a friend today how much cleaner my house would be if I didn’t have kids, a cat, and a husband.

I feel like I’m constantly surrounded by toys and crumbs.

Valerie 2 years ago

and don’t forget Play dough. It is from the devil. NOT allowed in my house..

Tina @ Ribenamusings 2 years ago

Now I knew where I was going wrong after the second dog but they are just so irresistable! Now I have 4 – the trick is to convince the child (granted mine is 19 but still so very gullible) that as they wanted them they must be responsible for garden duties. That leaves me cleaning the house after the dogs constantly but I am thinking I may have got the better end of the deal…..

Shelley @ThatGirlShelley 2 years ago

Lol:) You forgot glitter! The only thing worse than stickers and crayons.

Sandy 2 years ago

My dog is a built in wet-dry vacuum, scarfing up spilled food and drink. She also licks kids faces as needed.

I think I’ll keep her.

Amanda 2 years ago

Word. The one command our dog actually listens to is “Cleanup”.

Hana 2 years ago

I always try to remind myself that we do not live in a museum AND we don’t have a live-in housekeeper. So mess is going to happen. Life w/kids is messy!

Allison Auerbach Hill 2 years ago

So THAT's what I'm doing wrong.

lesbomom 2 years ago

Hahaha this was funny

lesbomom 2 years ago

That’s awesome!

Mama and the City 2 years ago

My husband tells me I’m Monica, from Friends. I could make them eat over the sink if necessary. Lol.

Samantha 2 years ago

I leave my house untidy on purpose… when people come to visit me, it makes them feel less horrible about how dirty their houses are! You’re welcome, friends! :)

MomChalant 2 years ago

I agree – no toy buying overload. Kids like useless crap around the house anyways, like paper towel rolls, water bottles, pens, random books. Those kinds of things you can just throw away at the end of every day.

I learned that’s much better than buying 32859375 toys the hard way : )

grownandflown 2 years ago

Lori, a full and complete list except I take the opposite view of #4. We have always had one or two (three would be simply too many!) chocolate labs as pets. They eat everything so, in balance, clean up more than they contribute to the mess. They adore being underneath the kitchen table when we eat and sometimes crumbs float miraculously right into their open mouths!

Kate @ zMOMbie.com 2 years ago

Oh, it also helps that I have non-shedding dogs.

Kate @ zMOMbie.com 2 years ago

See, I actually find that #4 greatly helps with #3. I couldn’t keep this places clean from milk drips, crumbs, and spills without the dogs. Anytime something needs cleaned up, I call for “Clean-up Aisle 5” and the dogs come and take care of it for me. Sometimes they even lick the kiddo’s fingers clean for me. :)

Kristen Mae at Abandoning Pretense 2 years ago

I was white-knuckling the hell out of number four for six years… But it turns out my dog is one of the cleaner house members. The order is: Me, 3yo daughter, pet snake, dog, 7yo son, husband. Well, to be honest, the son and husband tie.

I always tell myself I’m going to vacuum more frequently, but… THE CANISTER!!!! I CURSE WHOEVER INVENTED THE CANISTER.

Amanda 2 years ago

I had a friend of a friend who wouldn’t even let anyone bring in a potted plant while her kids were little because of the extra work it would create.

My house is always covered with a thin layer of dog & cat hair, but since I’ve rejected every request for a new pet for the last 2 1/2 years, I think I’m doing pretty well!

Jill 2 years ago

Now I know what the problem is and how to solve it. Say goodbye to the cats, kid, stickers, toys, husband and say hello to a clean house!

Venassa 2 years ago

I can’t believe I never thought of all this before!
As long as the mess is semi-manageable, I’ll deal. But I swear I sweep every 28 minutes and there’s still sand everywhere.

Amanda 2 years ago

My house is always a little messy at least. If my house is messy and my kid is happy though, I can deal with a little mess!

momofeveryone 2 years ago


Debbie 2 years ago

Good job Lori. When my kids were small I was one that was always picking up the house. Take it from me it is not worth it. Like you say, making those memories is wonderful.

I love seeing the little finger prints on the sliding glass door or even the TV. They grow up fast enough and there is always time to have a clean house. Thanks for sharing

Anita @ Losing Austin 2 years ago

Crap, I’ve been doing it wrong!

But actually, our one big tip is to have a regularly scheduled time when people come over- every Friday night for us- so we MUST get the house clean. Then, the weekend is better, and we don’t worry about it again till the next Friday, but because we get it truly clean and show ready that once a week, it never gets as bad anymore. Except when we cancel that Friday night and then catching up is a beast!

JDaniel4’s Mom 2 years ago

I so need to only offer food picnic style on our deck. It would really make the crumb issue disappear. My son would go for it, but my husband might protest.

VanillaZambrana 2 years ago

I thought this article would be one item only:

1. Burn it to the ground.

The end.

Angela Johnson 2 years ago

11.) Have the children run naked, lessens the eff ton of laundry. This will not work on your husband, he will just get funny ideas.

Joy 2 years ago

Seriously. Why didn’t I think of that?? :) Nice job!

Amy – Funny is Family 2 years ago

If a messy house is an indication of memories being made, I am WINNING. Based on the situation in my car, we are doing some serious memory making there, too.

Janine Huldie 2 years ago

Lori, you couldn’t have said it better and this is probably why my house is a disaster 9 times out of 10, but as my husband says, “Are they having fun?” Well, yes they are!!!

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes 2 years ago

Don’t feed em… now you tell me…

The Woman Formerly Known as Beautiful 2 years ago

Who wants to make memories when one can recline upon a spotless divan directly in the firing line of a ray of sunshine streaming through spotless windows and not be able to see NOT EVEN ONE TEENY TINY DUST MOTE? Eat that for breakfast, muthaf#@kahs!

Mom Off Meth 2 years ago

My husband, (who I am separated from, but still lives here) puts too much food into his mouth at each bite, so half of it falls on the floor, because he stands up when he eats. And he walks away.

I have four kids. I rarely ever let anyone past the entry way.