As the parent of a young child, I am constantly amazed at how quickly my son is growing, learning, and becoming his own person. As rewarding it is to nurture and care for little ones, there are many challenges that come along with it. One of the struggles I face on a daily basis is keeping our home looking clean and presentable. It can seem like an uphill battle when you have kids drawing on the walls, catastrophes at every meal, and toys galore. However, there are ways to ensure that your home is looking great that won’t take up all of your time or cost you a fortune. These tips are for the parents who want to be able to maintain a lovely home, despite the chaos that may be going on inside.

Declutter

A few years ago, the release of the book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” encouraged countless families to get rid of the items in their lives that were not bringing them joy. The recent release of the show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” on Netflix has revived this movement. The very first episode features a family with two young children, demonstrating that it IS possible to live with less in all phases of life. When you have fewer items to organize and clean, and everything has its place, cleaning will become much more manageable.

Rather than deciding what you want to get rid of, take the opposite approach and think about the things you definitely want to keep. Don’t hold onto something because you spend a lot of money on it, allowing it to continue to cause guilt and unhappiness in your life. Try recouping some of the money spent by selling valuable items on eBay or a local consignment shop.

Decor

Trying to protect your pristine home decor from your rambunctious kids is tall order. Instead, invest in furniture and decor pieces that cater to a kid-friendly environment. Fabric baskets are chic and practical, the perfect storage solution kids’ toys and other miscellaneous items. Another creative idea is to use a large ottoman instead of a conventional coffee table. A soft surface with no corners is safe and functional with

When it comes to furniture, look for darker pieces that are durable and made of fabrics and materials that are easy to clean. But be mindful not to fill up the room with too much. Open space will enhance the overall feel of the room, as well as give your kids an area to get a little rowdy.

Paint

Do you have scuff marks on your doors or Magic Marker masterpieces on the walls? There’s nothing that a fresh new coat of paint can’t fix. If you’ve been wanting to update the look of your home on a small budget, new paint color is a great way to achieve that.

Light colored walls will make your home look more open and spacious. Think outside of the cream/beige color schemes and opt for a light gray or blue. Light colored walls also pair well with dark colored furniture, automatically making them more resistant to young kids.

Another option to consider is outdoor paint, which will enhance the curbside appeal of your house and increase the overall value. The exterior is the first thing guests and potential buyers will see, so leave them with a great first impression!

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Fixtures

When you don’t have the budget for a full renovation, a quick and easy way to give your home a new look is by updating a few fixtures. Things like door knobs, light fixtures, and light switch plates are easy to do it yourself and can make a big difference throughout the house. Finding a common theme will make the house more cohesive and elevate the design element of your home.

The kitchen and bathrooms are rooms in which new fixtures can make a big impact. Knobs, handles, drawer pulls, and faucets are budget-friendly details that will give your home a high-end and sophisticated appearance.

Greenery

An easy way to add color and life into your home is through adding plants. Ferns, succulents, and bamboo are all low-maintenance plants that add a lot of character to a room. You can opt for a vase of cut flowers to liven up your home. If they are well taken care of, cut flowers can last many weeks!

Hang up planters in a well-lit area as an easy decorative piece and to keep out of reach of little hands. Or enlist the help of your kids and teach them how to take care of the plants. This is a great way to teach responsibility and determine if they are ready to look after a pet. If you want to take the next step, start a small garden indoors or in your backyard. You can cultivate your very own flower, herb, or vegetable garden.

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