Kids and Adults: Integrating Your Family into Your Home

Having children changes your life irrevocably. No more going out whenever you want to, no more swearing to your heart’s content, no more living on Pot Noodle for a week when you’re a bit short on cash. Perhaps the biggest change is the unremitting clutter that suddenly takes up a surprisingly large part of your home.

For those of us who are unremittingly fastidious, the mess generated by a child can be hard to deal with. It sounds like such a small thing, but if you find comfort in having a tidy house with a place for everything and everything in its place, you can actually find yourself feeling a bit displaced in your own home. It is important, then, to find ways of integrating all this clutter into your home that allows you to have a reasonably tidy house at the end of the day.

Obviously, you will need to rethink your life and your expectations a little. Your home will never be what it was before you added baby to the mixture, and you do have to be prepared to resign yourself to that fact. Between the added items such as toys, nappies, and other baby paraphernalia, and a reduction in free time which you might previously have used to clean and tidy, your expectations need to be lowered to suit your new life. But there are things you

can do to make things neater, without sacrificing hours of your time each day.

One thing to remember is that time is going to be of the essence. You can install a daily tidying routine, but you need to make sure it takes as little time as possible as you will be low on both spare minutes and energy. In those terms, integrating the solutions into your daily cleaning routine is an excellent idea as it will cut down on time and allow you to make the baby part of your household.

Ikea and other furniture shops sell footstools and ottomans with storage space inside that make excellent toy boxes, allowing you to keep toys in the living room and yet have a fully adult-ready room after putting them away.

Keeping some nappies and wipes downstairs is instrumental, but you don’t want them cluttering everything up. If you can clear a cupboard in the kitchen, you can keep some essentials downstairs without sacrificing any of your tidiness. Alternatively, some cute cupboards with doors or sideboards allow you some storage where you can shove things out of the way and leave them for the morning.

Tidy every evening, and make a routine of it; the baby goes to bed, and you spend five to ten minutes chucking toys and other bits and bobs out of sight before relaxing in a room that is ready for adults to chill out in without eyesore clutter or a sense of things left unfinished. Run the hoover, and voilà: a room you can recover from the day in.

Babies change everything about your life, but with some forethought and carefully selected furniture you can keep your house reasonably clutter-free and feel calm and at home after baby bedtime.

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