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Clean And Jerk

How To Keep Your House Tidy With A New Baby

If you just had a kid and you’re an A-type personality who needs things clean all the time, you’re in big trouble. You’re going to need a shload of energy to make sure your home is up to snuff with a new human in the house. Particularly when that new human produces insane quantities of laundry and chaos, no matter where they happen to land, much like Keith Moon.

But there are strategies to deal with your new rockstar. None of which include arrest or doping them up with horse tranquilizers. Here are some things to consider.

Manage Expectations

You’ll be doing yourself a massive favor if you ratchet back your definition of clean. If the place is tidied but not gleaming, you’re doing just great. There will be zero shits given from most visitors.

If you are currently a slob, you now have a fine excuse for your slovenly ways. But beware that they aren’t compounded. People will only reserve judgement until they catch a soiled diaper on the bottom of their shoe. That’s when child services might get involved.

Share The Load

You’re a good dude — you were going to do this anyway, right? Sure you were. The trick is to divide and conquer, and don’t necessarily do it 50/50. If your partner starts the laundry in the morning, maybe you dry and fold in the evening. If you’re a master kitchen cleaner, maybe she gets the bathrooms, or vice versa.

Be fair and honest about your burdens as a couple and own the stuff you really care about. Can’t stand a cluttered entryway? Guess who’s picking up the shoes and coats? That’s you, captain boot bin.

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Never Leave A Room Empty Handed

Here’s a super easy tidy house tip: are you leaving the living room to get something from the kitchen? Quick, take a look around. That empty baby bottle can go with you. So can that plate. And that paddle game. And the remote control. The paddle game, and the remote control … and those matches. The paddle game, and the remote control, and those matches, and the lamp.

Okay. Maybe that’s overstated. You don’t have to be a jerk about it.

Involve The Kid

Your baby doesn’t give two craps about where they are. They just want to be around you. That’s super awesome for keeping a house clean. Because while you’re washing dishes and wiping off the counters, you can chat with them or practice your Tarantino dialogue.

You can even make a game out of certain tasks. There’s nothing like a warm pile of laundry for relaxing and playing peek-a-boo. Yeah the folding may take a bit longer, but it’ll be the best folding you’ve ever done, save for that one poker hand you played with Kenny Rogers.

Multitask

You know how you’re binging Luke Cage while your kid takes a nap? Don’t lose that time to loafing. Do a quick dusting of your immediate area while the shows on. Or if you’re lucky enough to dig on a sporting event, take commercial time to tidy. If the place looks better after the game than it did when you started watching, guess who’s going to start winning the “I need the NFL Sunday Ticket,” argument? Oh, just a guy named You.

A Few More Tips

There’s plenty more that will help make your life easier. Here’s a small sampling:

  • Create a daily cleaning schedule
  • Vacuum before nap time. The white noise might just put your kid to sleep.
  • Accept help whenever offered
  • Get into freezer cooking
  • Keep hands free for chores by wearing the kid in the house

The fact is that you have a ton of leeway during this time. Take advantage of the new parent pass for a little while. Besides, this is your life now. Better get used to it.