Everyone will understand that a home with a young family isn’t going to look like a Conde Nast showhome.

If you’re a natural clean freak trying to balance a home environment you love and your cherished little ones, know you’re not alone. Here are some excellent tips from moms who have been there, done that to help you balance the natural exploration of childhood with a clean, hygienic home…

Wipe it up

Baby wipes aren’t just for big people to use! They’re a surprisingly smart way to start teaching your little ones to stay clean while making it simple and fun. Soap, hot water, taps and brushes/sponges are all a little cumbersome for young one’s small hands, and can be more messy than the original mess if they get it wrong. As wipe come pre-moistened with baby-safe cleansers, and can be neatly thrown away when done, they’re a great way to teach little kids to wipe up sticky fingers and even spills without worrying about their safety.

Cooking (and cleaning)

One of the biggest shocks mentioned by teens and young adults when it comes time to flee the nest is their lack of basic skills. No one wants to cramp their kid’s style and make them mini minions, but your future adults will actually thank you for giving them a head start in life with some basic household knowledge. Get the kids involved when it comes to basic cooking skills, cleaning skills and common DIY tasks… while it may take a little longer with a young ‘helper’, you’ll be setting them up for a great life way ahead of their peers. Plus having an eager young pair of legs to run for the cloths you forgot, or hand you the screws, will help you out too.

Make toy wrangling a game

If you’ve stubbed your toe on an abandoned toy one too many times, it’s time to work smarter, not harder! Make a pre-bedtime game of packing stuff away, and teach them great habits at the same time. A few colourful totes, and maybe a reward for getting it done, should be all the incentive you need- and it’s one more chore off your hands, too!

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Getting the whole family involved in cleaning not only teaches young ones great future habits, but takes some of the load off your shoulders too.