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Tell Cif how has your home changed since having children? £250 voucher prize draw NOW CLOSED

(215 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 15-Nov-13 09:37:04

Cif have asked to find out if Mumsnetters have changed their homes since having children.

Here's what Cif have to say, "We all know that children see the home as a playground, and playgrounds get dirty. But we also understand how difficult it can be to clean up after your child, so we want to help make that process as easy as possible."

So, have you changed your home since having children? Have you rearranged it to keep more valuable breakables out of reach? Have you rearranged your living spaces to make room for their toys? Or perhaps you have you stopped buying more expensive furniture in fear of your child spilling their drink on it? Maybe it has been a more gradual and unintentional change?

Whatever it is, we would love to hear about how your home has changed since having children.

Everyone who adds their thoughts to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £250 Love2Shop voucher.

Thanks and good luck,


CrewElla Fri 15-Nov-13 12:01:02

How I used to be judgmental when I went over to someone's house and there were nappies and wipes about everywhere and the clean laundry was just in a pile waiting for folding.

Now that I have 2 little ones I have baskets containing nappies, nappies sacs, wipe, & sudocrem in 3 different rooms and every morning there is a heap of laundry waiting to be ironed &/or folded. I've had to get used to have a disorderly home: books and toys about, crumbs on the carpet, and never caught up on laundry.

AnnaConda Fri 15-Nov-13 14:38:39

Yes, the bottomless laundry basket... <sighs>

General standard of housework nose-diving. Buying rugs to cover stains on the carpets that couldn't be got out. Accepting that you had to negotiate your way across the carpet carefully with slippers on to avoid being injured by small plastic toys. Yes, to delaying buying new furniture till dc and friends were old enough not to damage it.

'tis all good fun though...

LaTrucha Fri 15-Nov-13 14:47:20

A lot more toys.

A lot more hoovering.

I also care a lot less! I'd rather give them my time than spend it keeping the house looking tidy.

ScienceRocks Fri 15-Nov-13 14:52:44

I try and keep the house clean, even if it isn't the tidiest now we have DCs. I found it all a bit much once I went back to work so I have a cleaner a couple of hours a week so I can spend more time with the DCs and less cleaning.

We have replaced the downstairs carpet with hard floors, which are much easier to clean, toys have boxes they can be chucked in, rather than particular places as that kind if storage system never seems to work for us.

We didn't do any childproofing, but did move a few things around to make it safer.

sleeplessbunny Fri 15-Nov-13 15:01:07

Basically my housekeeping standards have just got progressively lower. I don't think they have levelled out yet. I don't see the point of tidying up too often: it is a mess again as soon as my back is turned so why bother? I can tolerate a lot more mess than I used to be able to. I also now only do "proper" cleaning (i.e. hoovering/floor washing type stuff) once a week whether it needs it or not. I used to do it whenever the carpets/rooms were looking bad but when that got to more than once a day I had to draw the line. There are better things to do in life MN

SummerSevern Fri 15-Nov-13 15:26:36

I can't move in my lounge for baby toys. Which is ridiculous seeing as she is only 4mo.
I've brought storage boxes for nappies, wipes, muslins, bibs etc and scattered them around our most used rooms, so there are always some to hand.

clubnail Fri 15-Nov-13 15:41:19

We became much more minimal for ourselves - got rid of all non-essentials. Room was needed for crawling and climbing. Feels better, too, less cluttered, and easier to clean. There are a lot of toys instead, but it feels nicer - nicer clutter!

supergreenuk Fri 15-Nov-13 16:08:36

Carpets are grubby and furniture that were precious purchases to make home together are now tatty and shabby.
We re decorated areas of the house fairly recently and you wouldn't know it now.
Finger prints everywhere particularly on the front of the oven. Wipe away one day and the next they are there again.

We moved our coffee table from being a centre piece to the edge and its now more of a snack/drawing table.

Amapoleon Fri 15-Nov-13 16:10:13

More clutter, more piles of washing, tattier furniture but a happier home.

mercibucket Fri 15-Nov-13 16:17:24

all those

no ornaments no glass no carpets

lots of toys lots of washing lots of crayons

Sunshineonsea Fri 15-Nov-13 16:30:59

I tend to clean up when Dc are in bed or in school as it's near on impossible to clean whilst entertaining them and they make more mess as I'm tidying
However my house is now a home smile

WowOoo Fri 15-Nov-13 16:37:27

Our home has changed gradually since having children. We looked at photos of our old house before and it's minimalist in comparison to how we live now.

Wooden floors downstairs, got rid of a load of our books to make way for the kids' books and toys.
I have to go through stuff once every couple of months - they grow out of toys, clothes and books so quickly.
I'm happy that my children are of the age now where I can say to them 'You make a mess: you clean it up or help me to clean it up'.

Wheresthecoffee Fri 15-Nov-13 17:05:49

It's definitely messier! Our living room is currently arranged with baby safety in mind (LO is one) so baskets of toys have replaced candles,flowers etc by the fire place.

We are in need of a new sofa, but I'm reluctant to replace it any time soon!

Babycarmen Fri 15-Nov-13 17:09:19

We finally got our living room back to 'normal' (free from toys etc) when my daughter was about 4 and a half! The I got pregnant with DD2 (Shes now nearly 2) and its back to a kid zone again! Toys everywhere and all our nice ornaments have gone! Our living room looks so bare now. I can't wait til she's a bit older so we can get it to how we like it again.
We did try the other week and got repaid with 2 broken candle holders hmm
Also, our lovely dining table has now got a lovely cheap plastic table cover on it. The joys of children :D

BellaVida Fri 15-Nov-13 17:14:06

I think we have come to a reluctant acceptance that we now rarely (if ever) see the whole house 100% clean and tidy. As fast as you sort one room, they make a mess of another. No sooner do you clear a surface, than empty packets and cups materialise again.

It has been a gradual process with the birth of each child and the overwhelming accumulation of all the paraphernalia that they need. Plus, we tend to hold on to the old stuff as hand-me-downs or 'just in case'. All our wardrobes and cupboards are constantly full.

In terms of the house itself, floors, furniture and surfaces are generally functional and wipeable. It is a long time since we had anything breakable or of great value within toddler height.

The worst thing for me is the interminable spread of teeny pieces of Lego and Playmobil throughout virtually every room. I started out by carefully picking it all up- now I just let bits merrily rattle up the hoover! Oh, how the might have fallen ;-)

CaramelisedOnion Fri 15-Nov-13 17:21:37

I only have one child so I don't think it has changed things massively...obviously there is more clearing out to do as he grows out of clothes and toys, but I have quite a small house so we try to keep "stuff" to a minimum. I did baby led weaning so in the beginning that was a messy toe but now he is 2 and a pretty tidy eater.

That being said I am about to start potty training so I suspect that will mean some extra cleaning!


I may not be so happy go lucky in a fee weeks.

CheeseTMouse Fri 15-Nov-13 17:22:43

We are about to get rid of the (admittedly rarely used) sofa bed in our living room to make room for a playmat and so what was quite a nice living space has become very primary coloured! We don't have oodles of space but all the baby bits and pieces seem to have proliferated and there is a pile of toys in the living room.

LackaDAISYcal Fri 15-Nov-13 17:29:26

Before children...

pathologically tidy!

books on the shelves ordered by height (tall ones at the egde to short ones in the middle),
CDs in alphabetical order,
underwear folded and kept separate in the drawer,
drawers and wardrobes generally ordered,
everything except towels ironed,
kitchen clean and tidy and shoes in lovely neat rows.
beautiful toilet/bathroom; all fragranced and lovely
tasteful artwork adorning the walls
Medicine kit consisted of a packet of plasters and some paracetomol

After children...

piles of stuff on every conceivable surface,
books thrown up in any random order, and even (the horror) on their side. My lovely book collection resigned to storage to make way for Aliens love Underpants, The Gruffalo and Charlie Higson
CDs? what are those? currently in bags in the under stairs cupboard as there is never time to listen to them anymore) Shelves being slowly over taken by disney/pixar/WB DVDs
the inly thing separating my underwear is some IKEA dividers; other than that its' all in together; knickers with bras and socks with tights
Never iron anything (DH does how work shirts and thats it)
Can't see the kitchen under the lunchboxes and piles of homemade diva lamps, ornaments, and makings
permawee smell in the toilet, constant soggy bathmat and towels in the bathroom.
Can't see the walls for planners, party invites, drawings, calendars etc etc etc
medicine kit gradually taking ove rthe whole house

and the toys....<sobs>

I would clean my house, if I could actually find it <sigh>

BlackberrySeason Fri 15-Nov-13 17:31:51

I have become much more concerned about food hygiene - we were always careful, but now I'm ultra careful blush

NotAFeminist Fri 15-Nov-13 17:33:36

Each morning when my little one wakes up, I have to put a sheet on the radiator in his room so he doesn't play with it/chew on it. I have to move his library books onto the window ledge so he doesn't eat them, too. And move his cot right up against the wall so he doesn't get stuck behind it when he's walking about. And then move it away from the wall when he sleeps so he doesn't bang his head!

Having a dog also, I now hoover the house twice a week so LO doesn't eat bits/bits of outside the dog brings in/dog hair... I have to put a sheet down each time I feed my son or I'd have to hoover a lot more often than that!!

Stair gates everywhere so he doesn't fall down the stairs/can keep him in his room. We generally try to keep the toys to his room because of DH's xbox and keyboard and laptop and general tech and wires in the living room so the living room is generally the most tidiest!

We only have one child atm so it's not so bad right now. I just tidy up before each nap/bed time but I don't mind him getting his toys everywhere if it makes him happy smile

crazykat Fri 15-Nov-13 17:40:27

We have leather sofas and will have until the children are much older as fabric was a nightmare for my parents to keep clean and I'm an only child.

Anything valuable or breakable has been up high or in cupboards since dd1 started crawling. We also have locks on the electric cupboard, DVD cupboard the cupboard with important papers in and all the kitchen cupboards/drawers. It's much easier than constantly having to say no and put everything back in the cupboards - looking at you ds2.

We've replaced all carpets downstairs with vinyl or wood floors with dark rugs in family rooms to soften it a bit. We used to have a lovely carpet which was ruined within two weeks of dd1 starting to feed herself despite having messy mats all round her highchair.

Most of these were changes we expected to have to make along with the never ending piles of washing/ironing and not as much time to clean. We didn't anticipate having to change the type of paint we used on the walls to silk or wipe-clean as matt finish paint gets ruined.

Another big change was the type of cleaning products I use. Since having children I don't have time to scrub the bath for ages so I use products which work relatively quick.

Preciousbane Fri 15-Nov-13 17:54:28

Handprints on stuff, a toddler handprint in jam is obvious. The handprints that creep up on you over time are more annoying. I didn't realise dc had to run their hand along the wall when going up and down stairs for instance.Also the hand rings and finger marks on the windows and tv, why do they have to touch everything?

That is the most irritating change for me.

whattodoo Fri 15-Nov-13 18:24:00

Everything has a glittery sparkle on it!

There's far more clutter about, but equally every available space is turned into storage.

Furniture is more practical than beautiful, and I wouldn't have dreamed of using a wipe clean table cloth before!

ShatnersBassoon Fri 15-Nov-13 18:25:08

We're through the grubby handprints everywhere and living room full of toys stage. It seemed to last a long time though.

The bathroom seems to be the problem area these days. Toothpaste smears all over the sink, unflushed toilet, hand towel dropped on the floor.

Morebiscuitsplease Fri 15-Nov-13 18:25:40

Messy, you tidy/clean one area, meanwhile another area gets untidy. It is rather like shovelling snow in an blizzard.

Zombie films, box sets and CDs are in the dumping ground spare room and in their place are toy story, baby Einstein and the sticky kids.
Lots more toys, a lot less ornaments.
Chaotic, loud and early mornings have replaced a chilled out lie in.
A nice tidy home has been ransacked by the dc, there are toys everywhere, sticky unidentified objects are often found underfoot and there is always a wet patch on the bathroom floor, thanks dts.

Dolallytats Fri 15-Nov-13 18:38:30

It's messier and the sticky handprints on almost every wall drives me mad! There is toothpaste wiped on the wall in the bathroom-no matter how many times I wipe it, it reappears the next day!

There are toys everywhere and my poor, beautiful cushions have stains all over them sad

Apart from that it's pretty much the same, I never was particularly houseproud (although I becoming more of a neat freak the older I get, could this be because I can't have it as the children are still so young?!?)

speedyboots Fri 15-Nov-13 18:48:48

We got a cleaner! I'm justifying it by thinking of it as extra time I get to enjoy with DS. She comes once a fortnight and does big things such as cleaning windows and a really thorough clean in the bathroom. There still always seems to be something that needs doing though. We moved when DS was four months so tried to childproof the new place when we moved. We'll see if it was effective when he starts crawling!

Erm, my house looks like a bomb has hit it half the time and there are sticky fingerprints everywhere!!

To say that my cleaning regime has had to be upped is an understatement! X

missorinoco Fri 15-Nov-13 18:59:22

It has been a gradual change, precipitated by babies turning into toddlers, then to "helpful" children - bye bye crockery en route to the sink....

All breakables up high or long gone. I put hot drinks out of toddler reach on auto pilot now, even after they have gone to bed. The play room living room has Ikea storage behind the sofa, and is full of toys and books. The DVD collection is more along the lines of Peppa Pig and Dora than any decent box set.

I shall redecorate when they are over 10, and probably revise that figure when.

The kitchen walls get the occasional wash, then a repaint in the same colour when I gave up. I had toddler handprints in tomato sauce on my walls, as he used the wall to steady himself en route to the sink. Really Is should write have, it is a recurring theme.

PuggyMum Fri 15-Nov-13 19:15:05

Still very early days here as my little girl is only 8 weeks old but I have quickly realised that short bursts of cleaning is all I can do at the moment.

Today I mopped the kitchen floor and cleaned the skirting boards. I actually used the cif bathroom spray on them.

I've recently bought a dyson handheld and it's been a god send with 3 dogs. A quick Hoover each day has stopped me from going insane.

I keep the guest bathroom spotless but our en suite needs a full clean next time someone offers to hold the baby for me!

LovesBeingHereAgain Fri 15-Nov-13 19:20:34

I no longer have a spare room, or need a lock on tge bathroom door. I have lots of toys everywhere and nothing stays tidy. I don't have tge money I need to do what I would like. I can't put my coffee table where I would like too.

On tge otherhand I have lots of lovely art work, plenty of toys to play with in tge bath and can colour wherever I like.

Gemd81 Fri 15-Nov-13 19:21:13

Yes house is a tip i can just about make downstairs presentable but upstairs is a mess. All breakables up high, all surfaces wiped down and hoovered at the end of every day. I have a toddler and 8 month old and am feeding them both on a carpeted living room so as you can imagine after the teatime third meal of the day theres a lot of crumbs on the floor - so bring on the summer where we can have loads of picnics and BBQs!
Then theres the whole bathroom hygiene situation with the potty i need to get the antibacterial wipes on it at the end of the night. The one area i feel rather guilty about is i cant get on top of the washing so changing the bed sheets tends to only get done every 2nd or even 3rd week - i know the shame! confusedconfused

SteamWisher Fri 15-Nov-13 19:21:43

Yes big changes. Toys everywhere despite our best efforts and the place is never quite as clean as I want it to be. I've now switched to cleaning little and often as opposed to a weekly blitz. Bathroom gets a wipe down a couple of times a week, kitchen we just about keep on top off by cleaning daily and living areas get vacuumed twice a week. However five minutes after I've done something, it's all a mess again!

Reastie Fri 15-Nov-13 19:22:14

Our home is quite a tip since having DD. We now have a hard floor in the hall and dining room as DD threw food all over the carpet and ruined it. We don't have many ornaments and breakable ones are very high so she can't reach. My standards have lowered with cleaning as I turn my back for a minute and she has got jam/marmite etc everywhere. I tidy ALOT more than pre DD but yet my house is messier. I give up!

The house seems in a constant state of mess.
We have replaced our dining room carpet for hard flooring in anticipation of weaning.
Our dining table is pushed up against the wall to make way for the massive jumperoo, bouncy chairs etc.
Our kitchen work tops no longer have coffee machine and smoothie maker pride of place. Now home to steriliser, bottle warmer etc.
our lounge is now home to a million muslins, a change mat and a nappy box.
my spare room is now a baby's room.
My bathroom no longer has candles and expensive bubble bath but a baby bath that I have to find a home for when ever I want a bath.
I think my house has been well and truly taken over by baby DS and he's not even moving yet, But he's worth it!

JacqueslePeacock Fri 15-Nov-13 19:28:17

There are toys absolutely everywhere and the high-level shelves are cluttered with breakables.

I'm desperate to replace the hall carpet but am waiting until potty training is over....

Pajimjams Fri 15-Nov-13 19:33:07

Yes to keeping furniture longer as its not worth buying anything new yet!
Yes to piles of laundry!
Also shoes and coats piled up by back door
Cuddly toys on every bed, sofa, surface
Random bits of paper everywhere!

Has nobody else mentioned cleaning everything, as you come across it, with baby wipes?

gazzalw Fri 15-Nov-13 19:53:29

No matter how much we tidy up there's mess and if it's not toys's crumbs. As my SIL said once during a melt-down 'it's relentless'. DW is a bit of a minimalist and spends her entire life trying to get rid of clutter but as soon as she ships off outgrown clothes/toys/books to the charity shop others seem to replace them.

Oh and as the children grow up the cuddly toys and minute bits of lego etc...seem to be replaced by discarded clothes and shoes and multiple chargers left plugged in and doing nothing in particular.....

Ohhelpohnoitsa Fri 15-Nov-13 19:54:57

I fall somewhere in the middle of eveyone above. I pledged that even when we had dcs, we wouldnt leave stuff all over the house out of place, and we do try to stick to that. Nappies are changed in the nursery, food is eaten in the kitchen, play doh etc only at the kitchen table, ironing pile tucked away etc. I cant stand things out of place, even now with 3 dcs. However......... the dining room (once upon a time think Bo Concept) is now a toy warehouse and we fight a constant tidying battle. We do live in a clean and relatively tidy (but far less tidy) house but it isn't perfect - cupboards are often a place to shove stuff, windows are always a mess and the washing is rarely down to zero. We use litres of cleaning products, thousands of baby wipes (for everything) and spend too long tidying up the same things . time for a toy cull. Everyone here is happy when things are minimised and organised. the dcs love being able to find their favourite toys without searching through mountains of stuff. The biggest change here is that dh now does A LOT of the clearing away, emptying dishwasher, washing & ironing. I'd say he now does the lion's share. I entertain dcs. Evryone is happy and it works for now. I think being flexible and changing as the dcs grow is majorly important. Some things have slipped - I never iron duvet covers now & that used to be a real luxury for me, nice crisp bedlinen. I dont entertain faff like having hanging baskets or bedding plants anymore . Simplify where possible to free up time.

gazzalw Fri 15-Nov-13 20:00:33

Oh and there's a constant pile of stuff on the stairs to be taken up - but which everyone overlooks apart from DW!

gazzalw Fri 15-Nov-13 20:01:03

And the 'to do' pile is never-ending because the children always need something...

Ohhelpohnoitsa Fri 15-Nov-13 20:02:48

grin grin grin grin grin "like shivelling sniw in a blizzard" TOO RIGHT!!, grin grin grin grin grin

Ohhelpohnoitsa Fri 15-Nov-13 20:10:30

"shOvelling snOW"

moojie Fri 15-Nov-13 20:15:27

My house has changed beyond recognition. Before children I would clean once a week and everything would stay where it was out whilst we were at work all week.

Now keeping the place clean and tidy is a daily challenge. I cook a lot more so the kitchen is always needing a wipe over.

HootyMcOwlface Fri 15-Nov-13 20:24:06

Clutter everywhere. I was so exhausted this evening I just opened DS(1)'s toy box and let him help himself. So now he's in bed I'm looking at the god awful mess he made.

He can reach most of the surfaces in the living room except the mantlepiece, so we have some really bizarre stuff resting there until it makes its way back to its rightful home.

lolapops1 Fri 15-Nov-13 20:24:24

Well I have to admit that cleaning isn't my top priority anymore. The house certainly looks well lived in. I have got to a point where I don't really care how the house looks. Dust never killed anyone did it???
I hoover a couple of times a week,clean the floors possibly every fortnight and bathroom and kitchen the same.
Could think of a million other things to do than clean.
As long as myself and my child aren't unhealthy from it who cares???

CMOTDibbler Fri 15-Nov-13 20:26:51

Its the washing that amazes me. And now the filthy rugby boots/trainers/riding boots/wellies that inhabit the hall, shedding grass and mud

mawbroon Fri 15-Nov-13 20:36:11

I have massively lowered my standards. <kidding myself, ha ha, like I had standards before.....>

No point in decorating until they are a bit bigger and don't scuff the walls when they come in and throw muddy boots down on the floor. Also, I don't mind having loads of kids round. If they make a mess then well, it's fine, none of it was pristine anyway!

Keeping it neat and tidy is like farting against thunder.

ILoveAFullFridge Fri 15-Nov-13 20:41:33

TBH my home is now pretty much as I imagined it would eventually be before I had dc. Messier and more disorganised than I had imagined, but that was because I always had an illusion (delusion!) that I would wake up one morning to my true tidy, organised self. I have finally come to terms with the fact that I am, in fact, messy and disorganised, and having children is never going to improve that.

When my community MW came round to complete my booking-in appointment, he looked round our clean, tidy, cream house and gently laughed at us. He said that it wouldn't last long when the baby arrived. Unfortunately, he was right.

We have lost our dining room (now full of toys), our spare room has become DDs bedroom (we don't have overnight visitors very often any more). Before DCs we only used our en-suite bathroom, now the family bathroom is full of toys and needs regular cleaning.

We can't afford new carpets and the ones we have are 15 years old. They have been doodled on, poohed on and sicked on. They are now cream with a hint of grey.

There are discarded socks everywhere.

GetKnitted Fri 15-Nov-13 21:21:02

We no longer have a book case with alternate shelves given over to object d'art. We have a rotating table cloth, it goes something like this: on the table, dinner time, off the table and in the wash, out of the wash and on the table (and repeat)

We've never been very tidy people but since kids arrived, to keep my sanity and stop from drowning under a tide of plastic crap, I am now much tidier than before and make sure everything is put away every night before bed. Also employed a cleaner to help me keep on top of the onslaught of grime, crumbs and sticky handprints everywhere. So or resell doing a lot more cleaning and tidying for very little to show for it....

Fabric sofas replaced by leather, carpets only in the bedrooms, no ornaments or precious things on show!
I have banned the dogs from the family rooms as crawling babies and muddy feet and hair just don't mix and it was far too much work to keep cleaning the floors.
Now I wash them maybe once a fortnight and they are barely dirty as we don't wear shoes indoors and I have a fab hand held dyson which I use (hourly) for crumb busting!
I am more conscious of handwashing and germs since having dc so probably clean more but accept more clutter/mess. We built big storage cupboards for toys and craft stuff so at night most things are usually hidden away which is good. I can't really relax in a room full of toys!

DziezkoDisco Fri 15-Nov-13 21:39:59

I use much less cleaning products, opting for the ones that leave little or no residue. More and more worried by the links between asthma and air borne pollutants etc

ChaffinchOfDoom Fri 15-Nov-13 22:03:23

the house is totally reorganised now we have kids.. breakables and things that matter are moved waaaay up high.. lots of big toy boxes in different rooms - love my habitat basket one the best, was a bargain, what is amazing is the amount of stuff 2 kids need - 2 pairs wellies, 2 umbrellas, 2 pair gloves, 2 scarves, 2 bobble hats. It all needs to go somewhere, let alone 2 school shoes, 2 trainers.. 2 clogs for swimming.
We have a sofa in front of a glass cabinet, not worth ever moving it as the dratted thing would be smashed to smithereens in minutes if I dared.

the rule of thumb is if it's breakable, smashable, spillable, destroyable, then it will happen. So if you love the thing, bubble wrap it and hide in the attic grin

badgersoup Fri 15-Nov-13 22:12:08

I am not so meticulous about making beds which is annoying as I hate getting into an unmade bed. However, when getting myself and DS ready in the morning, making the bed isn't top of my priorities. I don't own an iron and haven't ironed anything in years. Just gets tumble dried and hung up. No time for that. I use cleaning wipes to save time round the house which I never did before as I thought they were too expensive. Now I use them as they are convenient and save time.

maxmissie Fri 15-Nov-13 22:20:35

Our house has changed quite a bit since the kids arrived. I was always tidy beforehand so having children has tested this but we have somehow managed! Breakable things are out of the way in our dresser or on shelves.

We've bought storage units/boxes/baskets/tubs for the kids stuff, some of which is in our living room/dining room (mostly games, books, stationery and craft stuff) but it hasn't taken over as lots of their stuff is in their bedrooms. It's easier to accommodate their stuff now they're older as it's smaller than their baby toys.

The biggest change is the amount of stuff everywhere; clothes, shoes, bits of paper, marbles, just stuff!

Blu Fri 15-Nov-13 22:52:19

We deliberately bought leather sofas for the wipe-clean-ability.

And have waited before decorating the hall because of the hand prints. Which is as well because being parents robs us of the money and time to do the house up in any way.

It's years and years since we used baby wipes for nappy changes, but they became a way of life that has stuck. This year I have used wipes on camping trips, including to clean tent floor and pots and pans, to get splashes of tar off my car, to clean the leather sofas and to wipe down the car dash board and hard surfaces.

HoneyDragon Fri 15-Nov-13 23:26:02

The floor and table surfaces are always kept clean. Everywhere else is a disaster zone of clutter and unexpected smear.

KeepTryin Fri 15-Nov-13 23:44:20

Lots of plastic! Especially in kitchen! Baby bowls, plates, snack storage, utensils!!

fireandblood Fri 15-Nov-13 23:53:31

It is no longer a house it is now a home! and one with far more cleaning required

NicNak71 Sat 16-Nov-13 00:22:40

I have removed anything precious that I really don't want broken and I've accepted that most other things will get destroyed - I now own candles with teeth marks in them!
My vacuum cleaner is liable to burn out from over use and most of the day I seem to have a cloth or sponge in my hand.
The entire house seems to have been taken over with toys or stray shoes.

trolleycoin Sat 16-Nov-13 00:41:24

There are more shoes in the hallway than ever.
Potty and toilet trainer seat in downstairs loo.
The living room looks like a toy shop: the lovely colour scheme is now littered with coloured plastic toys; the fridge is covered in rotas, poems, paintings and sticker charts; little tiny fingerprints on the tv.
Stairgates at top and bottom of stairs, gate separates open plan rooms.
Sideboard locked and the top is where we store endless supplies of nappies, cream, wipes, nappy sacks etc etc.
Double the amount of stuff in the medicine cupboard.
Twice as much washing!
Throws on the sofa.

Wouldn't swap them though!

I never got the need for nappies, potties etc to be everywhere, but I suspect that has a lot to do with having a 4 year gap, since by the time DC2 came along DC1 could be out of direct line of sight for long enough to change a nappy.

We did childproof for DC1 but poor DC2 spent her early years in a building site and knew better than to play with tools from a very early age.

Changes? Mostly those associated with doubling the population of the house. Stuff. Everywhere. Sports kit, riding kit, coats, wellies, innumerable shoes (some long outgrown blush), and the laundry. It's my blind spot. I loathe and detest putting clean laundry away, and we don't really have enough or good enough space to put it all away, so the default answer to "where is my....." is "in a pile". The skill is in predicting which pile.

Star1986 Sat 16-Nov-13 02:06:42

All i can say is there is no time to brush my hair let alonr do anything!! The constant nappy changes, to feeds, manouvering around the house like a robot picking up toys, to washing and ironing its endless. All in all though its a blessing having my two gems, atleast i get some form of entertainment.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Sat 16-Nov-13 06:15:21

It didn't used to matter if I didn't vacuum the house for a couple of weeks - the carpets still looked clean. Now, if I vacuum the house, as soon as I return to the room I started in it could do with being vacuumed again.
Our kitchen chairs have fabric covered seats which are now ingrained with cornflakes, porridge, macaroni cheese etc.
There are toys, books and baby equipment everywhere. (I've given up putting them away in the daytime.) there are even toys in the shower.
We don't have any valuables to keep out of reach, but I've hidden all the cleaning products out of reach.

majjsu Sat 16-Nov-13 06:20:21

I used to be house proud, with my LO no more. Toys are everywhere, we do lots of messy play/crafts. All our ornaments were put in a box under the stairs. We have quite a few marks on walls. Life has changed and I am happy with that.

DorisShutt Sat 16-Nov-13 07:31:53

Storage for toys is impossible! As soon as you have it sorted, the toys change and nothing fits anywhere.

Cleaning certainly becomes more relaxed; when my son was first crawling, every mark was wiped immediately. Now he's three, it all gets done at the end of the day. Does mean I have to use more intensive products (Cif cream to remove welded on crumbs!) but much less stressful!

He's not been too bad with ornaments, but then I don't have many. However, we have put off buying new things until he's older; the living room carpet is looking a little tired, and I'd be thinking about replacing it, but have made the conscious decision to leave it until he's older.

My house is actually cleaner now than before I had children. I try to keep the carpets vacuumed and the kitchen and bathroom wiped down.

There are fewer things out now, as my children have extendable arms and can reach anything.

We just have a corner in the living room for toys so no real encroachment.

Our sofas are almost falling apart and quite sticky and our TV is ancient. No point in replacing these things until they grow up.

We actually hoover more, because the baby eats everything she finds and walked in stones/crumbs/general dirt aren't great for her diet. Our living room looks like a toy store and my books are close to getting kicked off the bookshelf to make way for more DVDs and general crap that doesn't have a home.

Anything we buy we make sure it's machine washable/wipeable. When we brought new floors we had two under two and decided to go for hard floors thoughout with (of course machine washable!) rugs. Best decision ever! Cannot imagine how grimey carpets would've been!
We have wipeable sofas too - fabric just wouldn't have survived a day!

nobalance Sat 16-Nov-13 11:41:47

Things have gradually moved out of reach - sometimes I think we need a lit more storage at head height, but then I would never reach it and the children would probably find a way to climb up! Toys have appeared in most rooms, but can be tidied out of sight at the end of the day in the living room. We now have a baby cage taking up space in our kitchen.

BooRooandTiggerToo Sat 16-Nov-13 11:50:26

Since having children I have realised that a clean practical house id far better than the fancy impractical homes I found see in magazines and on TV. Life for us as a family is about being able to access toys, nappies, wipes etc. who cares if they are on show? As long as the surfaces, bathroom, kitchen etc are clean does it matter than every room comes with a selection of toys? a juice cup or a half eaten slice of toast?

Turnipvontrapp Sat 16-Nov-13 12:16:19

It's noisier and muddier but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Have wooden floors downstairs and leather sofas which help as football boots and carpets do not mix well!

Spirael Sat 16-Nov-13 13:00:38

More storage solutions so we can hide away things we don't want small hands to get hold of.

The various games consoles and movie players are now shut in a cabinet with a child lock on, to prevent them having anything 'posted' into them. We also have a nice big box where, of an evening, we can throw all the toys so that the lounge is vaguely returned to an adult space!

Ruby6918 Sat 16-Nov-13 14:02:23

ive learnt that there is a difference between dirty and untidy, before kids things were clean organised and very tidy, after kids its clean somewwhat organised and often untidy! I have spent so much of my life chasing the dream that i can keep on top of everything, but with a busy life and teens and a grandson, ive decided that its ok to have a lived in home. My house is still clean, but sometimes its a bit cluttered and untidy, i have my bedroom which is my personal space and its very tidy but i can retreat there and enjoy that, my grandson is two so anything of any value is up higher than it used to be!, trying to have a house like something on the tv is a pipe dream, id rather have smiles and a bit of a mess

darkdays Sat 16-Nov-13 14:21:22

My house is much cleaner and tidier (excluding toys on floor). However most things are high up and staircases are a must, as are closed doors. I'm nowhere near as lazy as I used to be in regards to housework!

DeathByLaundry Sat 16-Nov-13 14:36:29

My home has changed a lot. It was never pristine but now it's dire!

We have extra coat racks so our hall is a jacket alley. There are pen and crayon marks on every surface. The toys are supposed to be contained in big baskets but they inevitably spill out into the rooms.

There's just as much dog hair but now it's mixed in with paint and yogurt.

peronel Sat 16-Nov-13 15:08:24

Our house is now a messy, relaxed home full of brightly coloured toys, paintings and models. I love it!

firawla Sat 16-Nov-13 16:13:04

I've totally childproofed since ds1 was about 6 months, we just don't have breakable stuff down low - it's not worth it with 3 active boys aged 5 and under. I'm thinking eventually when the youngest gets to about 6, we can start putting that stuff back!

The other main change is that we do have a whole room dedicated as a playroom, if we had no kids Im not sure what we would have used that as - office or something, but its the reason we bought this house so they could have space to play. our garden is also made very child friendly it has loads of play equipment all over it.

ouryve Sat 16-Nov-13 16:14:34

All breakables have been put away. Or broken!

Which is no bad thing, as we generally have so much more stuff. We replaced a wooden garage with a brick and block one so that we'd have somewhere to put some of that stuff.

melmo26 Sat 16-Nov-13 16:19:50

I clean and tidy every morning but still always have mess. Having 4 dds 5 and under is not easy when it comes to mess and cleanliness. The dining room is taken up with dd3 stuff, the livingroom has all dd4 baby stuff. Dd1 & 2 are meant to keep all toys in their room but always end up everywhere else.
We removed all breakables when dd1 started rolling around and have never taken it all out. We also got rid of the coffee table as dds kept hurting themselves on it.our house has more toys than furniture.
Also would defo say a leather sofa is vital with kids

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 16-Nov-13 17:34:11

It is much cleaner! Since becoming a parent I have learned to stay on top of the housework; when it was just me, there was always time to do it, so it never got done. Now my time is limited, Friday mornings see me blitz the house-bathroom, kitchen, floors.
Other than that, my main struggle is against tiny plastic toys that get stuck in the vacuum cleaner. Tupperware boxes that can contain these seem to breed, but never seem to have lids!
There are books all over the floor in the living room, and a basket of laundry perpetually waiting to be ironed/folded and put away.
Shoes come off in my house, so that minimizes muddy footprints, although there is always the "oh I forgot my book bag!" moment, when ds goes rushing back up the stairs, leaving a trail of (I hope) mud.
I seem to clean the toilet daily, and have those flushable bleach wipes by the loo..Why can't boys aim??

NumTumRedRum Sat 16-Nov-13 18:09:54

I now have wall and furniture art to rival Banksy. I cannot see my fridge for crappy novelty magnets and pictures, invites and school letters. I have a lot of plastic plates and bowls and no china. I have learned not to examine the carpet too closely or mind the mystery marks on the wall. I like to fortune tell using the toothpaste stains in the sink. I live in a home. And it certainly looks lived in!

Pistillate Sat 16-Nov-13 19:52:22

I didn't have my own home before having children, so I can't really compare.... However having children has taught me to run a home, whereas previously I worked full time and was out a lot, so didn't really need to run a home, It was just somewhere to crash really.

squishdelish Sat 16-Nov-13 20:06:34

Actually, having children has made my home tidier and cleaner!

My flat was a pigsty pre-DC, I never ever cleaned, I'd throw the dishes away rather than wash up. Really. I was that bad.

Now, though it is certainly 'lived in' - its clean. I make sure the floor is hoovered, the washing up is done, all that.

Expensive furniture has never featured here, so can't answer that one. I do have a very very nice rug, a pure wool stripy one from Ikea that was originally very expensive by my standards but I got for a tenner off the car booty which the DC are programmed to stop at the edge of when wearing shoes grin Somehow, its managed 3 years with no major stains despite being in the living room!

Boggler Sat 16-Nov-13 20:22:26

I always liked to clean the whole house top to bottom on the same day, just got stuck in and got it done but since having children I never ever get enough time to do it so I have to do it piecemeal and so I never get the whole house gleaming at the same time. I really miss that, and I've found it hard to adjust to having tidy bits but not everywhere iykwim. I've also had to rethink my beautifully put together home, cream sofas and luxury fabrics look amazing but if they can't be wiped or put in the washing machine - forget it. The biggest change though is the sheer amount of washing/ironing that has to be done these little people sure create a lot of laundry.

tinypumpkin Sat 16-Nov-13 20:38:51

Mess and dirt! I used to be house proud but I can never keep on top of the tidying and cleaning. More stuff and people undoing my efforts means things are way more untidy that I would like. I have storage and clear out toys etc so I do try and not let it get crazy.

spleenyone Sat 16-Nov-13 20:42:06

My sitting room now resembles a primary school classroom, but I wouldn't have it any other way!

epowell74 Sat 16-Nov-13 22:09:56

My word things have changed since the boys have arrived. I was never a 'Mrs Bouquet' but house was clean and tidy probably due to the fact my husband has OCD. But my life has certainly changed. Just the little things like:
* Checking the toilet seat for boy wee before I sit down for a wee.
* Trying not to swear when someone cuts me up in the car. Amazing how quickly another word will slip out
* How much sleep I don't have now and lie ins on the weekend
* Being careful when walking down stairs as Lego and toy cars are always hazardous
* doing a 9-5 job then coming home to homework. Really who uses algebra in their daily jobs .... erm not me. Percentages yes Algebra no.
This is just for starters.

elliepen Sat 16-Nov-13 22:52:25

Parenthood means a lot more sweeping and a lot more mopping (LO adores licking the floors and rolling around in a general sweeping manner)

It doesn't help that I possess an uncanny inability to multi-task. The house is full of heaving laundry, constantly used bibs and unwashed dishes.

Locks on cupboards and in drawers, guards on the coffee table and a lot of panic attacks as I have a climber. Silence means Havoc

oh and lest i forget... Motherhood is the dragon revealer!!!

I could go on and on but I just remembered something's on the stove

BumpyPhee Sun 17-Nov-13 00:43:35

Our biggest problem since bringing our son home has been to keep the cats off of his things. A kids playgym, changing mat, bouncy chair, moses basket, etc is a nice comfy bed for a cat. Its a constant battle to keep everything clean and fur free!

SetFiretotheRain Sun 17-Nov-13 01:13:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kateandme Sun 17-Nov-13 03:18:54

accept mess!!no matter what you do or what you tell yourself youlll do there will be a moment of anger after youve done a really great tidy.again.and again you come back two minutes later and its a mess again.its then you have to count to ten and realise these are kids this is what they do.and its there personalitys all over my house.
get a chest for toys.
when picking furniture colour neverr again go for something that marks or stains easily.
keeping certian foods out of reach.
buying dishes with the knowledge they might get dropped.
grouped piles of stuff
keeping important files out theway

Iwaswatchingthat Sun 17-Nov-13 07:10:44

When we had dd1 our house remained pretty similar apart from a baby gym, bouncer and basket of toys in the lounge. Her room also stayed neat and tidy, toys in baskets on shelves etc. She napped and slept well so I had plenty of time to whizz round our little house.

Then when dd2 was born we moved to a much bigger house, then extended it. We now have a playroom full of their stuff and we seem to have expanded exploded into our home.

Unless we are very disciplined and keep on top of the tidying up and cleaning up it becomes a real mess.

I sometimes regret moving and miss my easy to clean house. But this one is more of a family home!

Tyranasaurus Sun 17-Nov-13 07:39:19

I have stopped buying as nice things, I was going to buy a fairly expensive rug then I saw a friend's child potty training and went to Ikea instead.

I'm also less motivated to tidy since it seems to undo itself instantly

spababe Sun 17-Nov-13 07:47:36

piles and piles of laundry
marks on surfaces I wouldn't expect to have marks o n them
daily (if not more) thorough cleaning of the bathroom (2 boys!!!!)

MrsDoomsPatterson Sun 17-Nov-13 08:49:12

Lego cars in the shower. Moshi Monsters everywhere. Unmade bed from my teenager - but I wouldn't have it any other way (Perhaps I would like the bed made though).

RubySparks Sun 17-Nov-13 09:41:20

It is unrecognisable! Really... We had a two bedroom cottage then had two children, boy and girl so needed an extra bedroom. We couldn't really afford to move so extended instead. Every room in the house was affected. We moved the kitchen into the extension, moved the bathroom upstairs, opened two doorways to new extension, put in a new heating system and new doors and windows. We even put in a new staircase, nothing is in the same place as it it used to be! The back garden has also been completely transformed.

We are finally nearly finished apart from some repainting. So the kids were the least of the problem when it came to mess in the house. They are teens now and the house is cleaner than its ever been but I so wish we were starting from where we are now, having a baby in the house now would be so much easier.

telsa Sun 17-Nov-13 12:03:08

It is unrecognisable. My most precious things are up high, but several of them are broken anyway. There is plastic clutter everywhere. All cupboards are full to bursting. We had to give up one of our studies for a bedroom. Now the other must go, which means it is impossible to work fro home, apart from with a laptop in the living room. We always had 1000s of books, now we have a massive children's collection too. Just have to live amongst the mess and hope we can find a path to the door each day.

Chulita Sun 17-Nov-13 12:10:26

I have no precious things on display and we recently got rid of all the chairs in the living room except the sofa and bought a few soft play items instead. With the winters being so cold and wet, we'd rather have a messy house but happy children than a tidy house with frustrated children. At some point in the distant future (probably around the same time I get a full night's sleep) I'll keep the living room tidy again but until then, let chaos reign!

Brandnewmamma Sun 17-Nov-13 15:55:20

It's only early days but my once cream, minimalist home now filled with a nikki tippitoes gym, bouncer.. The cd in the played teaches you where your nose is. When I run out of shower gel, baby bath will do!

It is happier though.. Full of visitors and cute baby clothes.

Once baby is up and about I am going to high wall storage to display my stuff or it could be a disaster!

Tikkamasala Sun 17-Nov-13 16:10:36

Breakable out of reach, definitely! Also agree with the never ending laundry basket...

To put it plainly, its a shit pit.
It used to be so lovely <sobs>
Fingerprints everywhere. Sticky stuff. Crumbs. Its a losing battle.

AndHarry Sun 17-Nov-13 17:04:10

Most of our dining room is given over to space for the children's toys. We've tried to keep our sitting room as a more grown up space but inevitably there's some creepage. My sofas are looking rather battered as various things have been spilled on them and DS likes to use the cushions for acrobatics or to build bear caves.

There seem to be toys everywhere. Yesterday I did have a mini strop and relocated all the toys I found in my bedroom into the children's rooms. I don't like having no adult space but it's a losing battle: every time I have a sort-out and take boot-loads of toys and clothes to a charity shop it seems that yet more 'stuff' comes flooding in.

Where do i even start?!

Pre-children, my house was tidy, all the furniture was bought because I liked it and thought it looked good in my house, and not necessarily practical. I love white and this was reflected in my decor. Everything had its place and space was plentiful.

Fast forward to now and I am in despair. 4 young DCs and because I spend a fortune on a full time nanny, i cant really justify a cleaner so I spend ages doing housework. I ebayed all my collectibles and others bits to free up space, most of my furniture is dark as as not to show up stains and i weep if i look at my carpet, thinking of all the spilt food etc. my lounge has been taken over by the children's toys and i have to adjust my expectations of tidiness drastically.

That said, i do think i do a good job of keeping the house relatively presentable and I know that when the DCs are older, i will regain some of my house back - i think..

Pinklilies24 Sun 17-Nov-13 20:03:17

I never realised how much stuff comes with having a baby! Every space in my living room and kitchen is now taken up with baby things. I also have learnt that even though my ds is only 21 weeks he seems to make so much mess. It baffles me how!

Finding toys in random places is also another hazard. Rattles in the bathroom, packet of baby wipes under my pillow, bottle lids everywhere! The list is endless! All good fun though smile

Dancealot Sun 17-Nov-13 20:22:08

I love our post-children home. Before children it was very tidy, clean and quite minimalistic. Now there are lots of toys, lots more colour and many more finger marks! We are still tidy though and have lots of storage for toys in our lounge and their bedrooms. Everything gets tidied away every night, ready to be pulled out again the next day.

We had to get rid of our coffee table when DS started climbing (when he was about 1 year old), and our living room is now half playroom with toy cupboards, kitchen and train track permanently out (it only goes away when I hoover and then comes straight back out!). There seem to be dirty marks on the carpet ALL THE TIME, sometimes juice, sometimes weetabix, sometimes miscellaneous muck.

We're buying our first proper home at the moment and hoping to move in early next year, and being 'child-friendly' is at the top of our house requirements. The conservatory will become a playroom, we'll put down wipe clean floors where we can and have a lot of work to do to make the garden safe (fill in pond and make steps less precarious!).

It has been a gradual change, but I can't remember what it was like having a home that wasn't touched by children, and I wouldn't want it any other way smile

Kipsy Sun 17-Nov-13 21:34:37

Our house is actually cleaner than it was pre-kids!
Yes, more cluttered maybe, but cleaner.
We now have slip-covered sofas, children's art displayed in every room, toys in every room, step-stools everywhere, all unused plug points covered, no water-filled vases, no candles, 10 times more children's books and DVDs than adult, safer non-bio organic cleaning agents, more thorough cleaning of kitchens and bathrooms, professional cleaning, tidier gardens, swings etc in the garden, laundry drying all day everyday, washing loads consisting entirely of pink items grin

DifferentNow Sun 17-Nov-13 21:37:04

The change has been gradual but I suppose I've just become a bit less precious about my home in general.

I have less 'stuff' than I might if I didn't have children because I can't bear clutter and there's enough of that with all the children's things.

It also looks a bit shabbier than I would like as I am putting off things like redecorating and replacing large items like the sofa until my littlest one is a bit bigger and less likely to spill things/draw/wee etc on it.

sapfu Sun 17-Nov-13 21:38:11

Dear Cif,

you now have a stupid name and should still be called Jif.

That is all.

Yours sulkily,

Mrs UnableToMoveWithTheTiimes

<eats Marathon bar>

sapfu - you are right. It is one of the reasons I don't buy Cif. I don't buy Snickers either.

Or Starburst.

sapfu Sun 17-Nov-13 22:01:40

MrsCakes I applaud you. And seriously, I don't buy Jif because they spell it wrongly on the bottle, and if they can't spell it, how do I know they can make it, HOW? I do, however, buy own brand lemon flavoured scratchy cleaner goop because it does work, but I will not have this so called 'cif' in my home.

As if.

<yearns for fruit polos and spangles>

I feel like I should pronounce Cif with an EU accent. sad.

I still struggle with BT being BT and not British Telecom.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sun 17-Nov-13 22:08:43

Lots more toys - more storage (mostly ikea) to store them.

Now they are at school we have lots more stuff arriving home on a daily basis - letters, models, pictures etc which tends to just accumulate in places blush

I make sure that the kitchen and bathrooms are clean and tidy - due to the obvious hygiene issues but the rest of the house certainly is more cluttered than it was pre-dc. Cleanliness-wise I hope standards have remained the same.

justmuddlingalong Sun 17-Nov-13 22:29:48

Clean and tidy round at night, daily toy explosion, clean and tidy round at night infinitum confused

I stopped piling as much stuff on the stairs after DS slipped on a pile of magazines.

itsnothingoriginal Sun 17-Nov-13 22:36:40

We bought a house which needs updating but we're 'living' with the tired decor until the kids get to a point that drinks don't get spilled every 5 mins and crayon will hopefully be on paper and not the walls!

My DH has OCD so having kids with all the mess and clutter this engenders has been a challenge. We get through A LOT of kitchen wipes in our house - it just about keeps DH sane!

michelleblane Sun 17-Nov-13 23:48:16

I've always been fairly relaxed about the state of the house. Being on a farm I'm used to muddy wellies and paw prints everywhere. The addition of children brought masses of toys, washing, nappies, mats, bibs, clothes, crayons, books paper.
I had good sturdy boxes in each room that toys could easily be piled into. I tried to train the children by making a game of putting crayons and pencils back in the container and tidying toys. (partly successful). I found that a little handheld vac was brilliant. It meant without cetting out the main hoover/dyson, I could quickly get rid of crumbs and spills. It was always charged. I didn't have stair gates and cupboard locks and other child safety gadgets. I was just very careful to show my little ones what was safe and what was not!. Some friends spent all the time sterilising their children's toys and all surfaces, making me feel really bad about my standards........their children always seemed to have coughs, colds of sticking inhalers up their noses or worrying about their nut allergies. I'm pleased to say my children are as healthy as anything so a bit of dirt didn't hurt!

joanofarchitrave Sun 17-Nov-13 23:53:57

I'm a lot tidier than I was pre-children; the knee-deep piles of clothes I used to wade through fairly cheerfully and the washing up left to the weekend had to change or we would all have drowned. I now WOTH full-time and my husband is a SAHP. He is a good systems chap so the house just functions better, there is far more of 'a place for everything' even if we aren't quite at 'and everything in its place'.

I just wish I'd known how badly Calpol stains before I utterly ruined ds's bedroom carpet. He's never forgiven me for ripping it up.

rowingdowntheriver Mon 18-Nov-13 07:29:36

It's noisier, messier, busier and more fun!

LaVitaBellissima Mon 18-Nov-13 08:14:16

I have to say I am so glad we have a leather sofa, at least it is easy to clean. Having spent a lot of time lately potty training, I am also very happy that we have wooden floors, otherwise I think we would of had some large expenses coming up!

The never ending washing and ironing gets me down though sad

Cherryjellybean Mon 18-Nov-13 08:50:30

We have everything breakable on a higher level now, the chest in our lounge that used to have blankets in is now full of toys. I have got used to regularly cleaning the inside of the patio doors because of finger prints. The house generally gets dirtier quicker

Geckos48 Mon 18-Nov-13 11:50:00

No more carpets, just big rugs that we can take out and beat...

We haven't that many 'child proof' gadgets as we believe that life should be about assessing and learning danger, but we have a shoe holder over the doorway of the kitchen cupboard which has all the nasty chemicals in it. We are a lot cleaner since we had children, totally changed from a student-y lifestyle to a full on parent lifestyle!

We have a big bed that we can all jump in together, we have a big dining room table we can all eat meals at.

We just soldier on really, making sure that things are just right for us.

lalamumto3 Mon 18-Nov-13 13:55:53

I now think carefully about how furniture will clean, so leather sofas as wipe cleanable, wood and tiled floors down stairs as again easy to clean. Rugs as easy to replace if they get ruined.

milliemoon Mon 18-Nov-13 19:31:24

I've tried to keep the lounge and kitchen as clutter free and minimalist as possible as it all gets a bit too much for me with all the toys scattered everywhere. If there is our stuff everywhere as well as my son's it looks chaotic!

BitchinInTheKitchen Mon 18-Nov-13 21:26:49

We have more stair gates!

We have fewer breakable decorative things out, eg. fewer glass vases.

We have given up on coffee tables now because we need the extra space for toys to be set up in the middle of the room.

When we moved we didn't bother replacing our good quality sofas, we just bought cheaper ones and plan to replace them in a few years after all the potty training/accidents are behind us.

We use shelves to keep things out of reach now, they have function now, rather than just being a nice space to put photo frames on.

Wantapony Tue 19-Nov-13 12:08:37

We have nothing of particular sentimental or financial value any more in our home and have become quite minimalist. Most of our living is out of the kitchen and we have a big kitchen table, which is used for everything from homework, to sitting and having coffee with a friend, to eating meals. The daily battle is against muddy shoes and paws and I use those antibac wet wipes to try and keep all surfaces hygienic, but it is a happy home :-)

Justtrying Tue 19-Nov-13 12:29:59

Since dd arrived 2.5 years ago a lot has had to change. Locks on kitchen cupboards where bottles and cleaning materials are stored. Things being put higher and higher so she can't reach them. Delaying buying a new three piece suite until she is older. Cream carpet in living room is regularly spot cleaned and chocolate and juice etc restricted to the kitchen where we have tiles. We really need a new bathroom carpet but again this is on hold, however spilt calpol and the toothpaste that dd thought she was so clever brushing into the carpet with her toothbrush just won't come out.

Dining room has a corner used for storing toys, at bedtime they all get put away to try and keep the rest of the house tidy. Would love a play room so at the end off the day can just close the door.

We no longer light candles in the evening and are very careful if we light the gas fire, relying instead on the central heating.

10thingsihateaboutpoo Tue 19-Nov-13 18:57:52

Weirdly despite all the toys/baby paraphenalia we have less stuff as I quickly realised that the house is so much easier to keep clean and tidy if we have less clutter!

amrobe Tue 19-Nov-13 19:54:51

My home has changed in that we have had to accommodate all the toys my children have. When we are in need of a new sofa, as much as I would like a good quality one I probably wouldn't get a very expensive one as with young children it's too risky! I haven't rearranged my photos and ornaments, my now 3 year old just had to learn not to touch them, there was alot of "no" going on when she was first on the move, which was actually exhausting but I didn't want to have to move things that I wanted to have on display.

openerofjars Tue 19-Nov-13 20:04:53

Because we went from being dissolute post-student, late 20-somethings to parenthood, we have a much tidier and nicer house now than before kids because we can't just leave it minging with unfinished DIY jobs.

Organising storage, regular cleaning and nice decor make it fairer on the DC and easier to keep clean. Oh, and moving into a house that some fool had previously decided looked nice with cream carpets everywhere except the living room and dining room does mean that if we don't want it to look gross we have to Hoover more than we would previously have done.

That said, we are terrible at decluttering and seem to be filling the spare room with piles of crap at a terrifying speed, so if anyone can work out how to stop creating piles of things that need mending interspersed with paperwork and DS's artwork, please clue us in. We do know deep down that we really shouldn't be keeping bank statements in a disused baby bath. confused

Pistillate Tue 19-Nov-13 23:13:58

Openerofjars grin [greets one of own kind] grin

Hopezibah Wed 20-Nov-13 00:12:25

We never seem to be in a state of tidiness since having kids. there is almost no point because it just gets messy again within minutes!

My friend once said keeping a house clean and tidy with kids is like painting the Golden Gate bridge. By the time you've finished, you need to start all over again. Don't think I could have summed it up better myself.

prakattack Wed 20-Nov-13 09:00:18

We used to have an open-plan kitchen/ diner/ lounge, and a separate cosy lounge for TV-watching... we now have an open-plan family room, and a playroom!! Says it all really... toys everywhere, can't walk round barefoot due to risk of serious injury from Lego bricks or die-cast trains. The kids have officially taken over!
So yes, we've moved furniture around, moved breakable things away into cupboards, created more toy space, sacrificed our own space...
I wouldn't have it any other way though... honest...

I never get the whole house clean anymore. The mess just migrates from room to room. Generally I try to keep the downstairs presentable but that in itself is a full time job, and by presentable I mean relatively tidy if you ignore all the toys, the massive red and yellow plastic "fence" which protects the TV/DVD unit and of course the huge and sturdy fire guard.

The level of storage has proliferated too; I think I am solely responsible for this area's sales of Ikea's Expedit unit and have warned DH that I fully expect our entire house to have floor to ceiling shelves wall to wall in every room by the time DS starts school. There is just so much stuff, the only way to have any semblance of control is to have tubs for the stuff on many, many shelves. It is like living in a scattered, chaotic library.

The worst thing though is the laundry. It never stops, ever. When there were two of us I did one, maybe two, washes a week but now it is almost every day. I emptied the wash basket on Sunday and had a quiet gloat to myself, turned my back for ten minutes and it was half full again. I have given up on any scheduled ironing entirely and will iron stuff as needed if I have to.

DS has not even started walking yet, so I am expecting the situation to get much much worse before it gets better!

kelzw84 Wed 20-Nov-13 10:15:19

never did childproofing with my kids. moved things around and fron them being tiny have said whats dangerous.
house is always messy with washing overflowing and ironing pile plus toys everywhere.
only cleaning tidying up i do in the day now are the kids rooms everywhere elsexi leave until their in bed.
i truely believe as long as house is clean and not a tip then it doesnt really matter.. making memories and having fun with the children is whats more importent.

i have friends who dont have kids who sometimes pop over and always ask why im happy for toys to be everywhere.. reply is always the same.. if the kids are happy and playing then toys can be anywhere and everywhere its their home to.

grape999 Wed 20-Nov-13 11:03:31

We have just moved - the first move with children. I am amazed at how many pieces of paper we have - from basic scribbles, through to stories - we seem to have kept them all. It's hard to thrown them out now, but has to be done.
Aside from that, tidiness is the issue. Pre-kids, no one is at home during the day, and when we were at home, we were generally tidy. Complete opposite now, and it takes a bit of getting used to!

Kveta Wed 20-Nov-13 13:50:29

our downstairs has become a wipe-clean toy pit, and upstairs is just generally a disaster area (no change there then).

it's the bath toys in the bathroom that always get me - I never had them as a child, so seeing our bathroom full of brightly coloured crap stuff is always a bit astonishing!

VerySmallSqueak Wed 20-Nov-13 16:38:42

We are perpetually changing to accommodate perpetually changing needs.

From storing baby stuff,to storing dolls and doll prams,to storing Sylvanians...

Our house is messier,dirtier (as in stained) but we keep it warmer as a result of children.

It's the little stuff drives me mad.Jewellery,moshis,DS games.....

And finding cake underneath the settee cushions two days after they were given it.

Bubbles85 Wed 20-Nov-13 17:22:50

Well I am currently pregnant and expecting a child at Christmas. My house has already changed a lot. The new baby needs so many things and they have already taken over our second bedroom (and we only have two). I expect the changes will continue as the baby gets older, although I wouldn't have it any other way. smile

Flatasawitchestit Thu 21-Nov-13 10:41:03

I have to say that even with three children my house is pretty tidy and in order. I do work shifts as a midwife so am generally quite a busy person but I tend to find time and we work together as a team.

I encourage the two older (11 & 7) to clean their own rooms, and I generally run the Hoover around their rooms twice a week. Downstairs is small, but we manage. Me and other half generally share chores.

He loads / unloads dishwasher after dinner. He sweeps and mops whilst I'm with the children doing homework / playing. I do laundry and lunchboxes. I cook and if I'm home generally cook our meal in the morning, as it saves doing it in the afternoon with a tired baby. I also batch cook.

General tidying is just done daily, here and there and the place is kept in order. I couldn't live in a mess. I hate clutter. But I don't compromise time with my children, its about balance.

BornToFolk Thu 21-Nov-13 11:37:50

My carpets are dirtier! Especially the dining room. In addition to dropped food, DS also likes to do craft at the dining table so there are frequently bits of paper, play-doh, glitter etc sprinkled on the carpet too.

However, in general it's tidier. I was a bit lazier with housework before I had DS as I knew I had all the time in the world to get things tidied and clean! Now, my free time is precious and I don't want to spend it doing housework so I try and keep on top of things as I go.

Also, once DS was cruising round the furniture, I made sure that things like my knitting equipment were tidied away and it's a habit I've kept to.

Someone remarked the other day that my living room looked like Lego did the interior design! All the bookcases are covered in models that DS has made and his collection of mini-figures. I don't really notice it anymore! It's all neatly on shelves and like a previous poster said, it's his house too, he's entitled to have his stuff around.

LegoCaltrops Thu 21-Nov-13 12:05:37

Well, I'm learning about best methods to remove sick smell from upholstery. We got rid of the last sofa as it was minging, thankfully the new one has removable covers.

Every room, all sharp corners have been covered. All cupboards have catches. Stairgates at top & bottom, & a gate to the kitchen. (DD is possibly the nosiest toddler in the world, & fast, so everything has to be out of reach. Our living room is basically a big playpen.)

Carpets/rugs more stained. Can't get rid of them & just have hard floors though, as DD (toddler) slips in socks, won't keep her slippers on. She'll learn... then we'll just have laminate downstairs.

Bottomless laundry baskets. Impossible to get it all done in winter as we've no tumble drier.

iwantavuvezela Thu 21-Nov-13 12:07:36

Yes our house has changed since having a child. There is a lot more stuff around! I used to love the minimalist approach, vase with flowers on a coffee table, books - well that has all changed. I have large baskets holding toys; the table is a collection of pens and paper and craft stuff that gets swept aside for eating, and then manages to re-accumlate as soon as we have eater.
Washing is always around, no matter how much i do or pack away it magically appears again in mounds.
I have lost caring about "damage" or "spills" - and know that things will get used/damaged - throw in a kitten and some sharp claws on the furniture and you get the picture.

However I do think our home is warm and inviting. I keep it manageable by having places and baskets and spaces for things to go/be dumped in. I know that these child years are not forever, and in a few years time, all this will be replaced and I will miss it ... so i relax about the chaos and stuff that constantly comes into the house

Geniene Thu 21-Nov-13 12:59:01

Our house has changed alot, we have moved rooms around and swapped thier uses to make it more practical. The room with the lovely soft bouncy carpet is now the quiet room, I.e the room which the children only use when they are clean and wanting to chil out and watch a movie or play a game with us.
The rooms with the hard floors are the playroom and dining room, this works well because any spills are easily cleaned up with no stress, the children can play and be independent with their food at meal and snack times.
The kitchen has no breakables or pollutants at low level.
The walls - LOST CAUSE! Nothing I can do about those, grubby fingerprints, marks from toys being scraped and cars being driven up the wall (as well as me, haha).

But apart from that our home has changed because it's loud, lively and lots of fun!! I love it smile

babybythesea Thu 21-Nov-13 18:36:31

I saw a thing recently which had "Cleaning your house with the children still in it is like eating biscuits while brushing your teeth!"

I agree. I try to have a routine where each room has a day of the week on which it gets a thorough clean, as well as trying to tidy up as I go, cleaning certain things daily (kitchen worktops etc). The key word is trying!

We moved a couple of years ago and the new house had horrible carpets - we've not yet bothered to replace them thinking that with young children any new carpets will be messed up pretty fast - either that, or I will spend the entire time worrying.

My general approach is to take a step back and think about what I want my kids to remember when they look back on their childhood. Do I want them to remember being allowed to do craft projects, and creating complex imaginative games which involve toys strewn all over the shop, or do I want them to remember me nagging them about tidying up? There are certain games we do clear up - gives us a chance to talk about taking care of your toys. But on the whole, the mess and chaos will (eventually) pass. By then, so will their childhoods have gone. There will be a time when I can be neat and clean - it's just not now!!

Lilpickle08 Thu 21-Nov-13 19:27:08

We haven't bought anything new since the kids have been born (6 years) although we are in dire need of new things, we don't really see the point until they are a little older!

We have a brown leather sofa which we have been looking to replace - have been eyeing up some lovely comfy fabric sofas of late, but then thinking well really, what's the point? So we are back to thinking about a new sofa, but it'll probably be leather (and wipe clean!) again!

Everything looks grubby in the house, despite redecorating a couple of years ago. All the walls have grubby prints on them, cupboards are scratched and/or adorned with stickers, and the lounge is overrun with toys despite the kids having the loft to play in!

We have basically realised the house is not going to be 'our own' for a few more years at least. Still at least it looks 'lived in'...!

ElsieMumofOne Thu 21-Nov-13 21:13:28

Since having a child, and since he has began walking exploring being meddlesome etc...I've realised the wonder of storage. I love storage bags, storage cubes, under bed boxes. We have so many clothes in those space saver bags.
Nothing is bought without wondering what high place it can go into. Do we really need it anyway? How much cleaning will it need?
Also, nothing that can stain or get watermarked and nothing that can't be improved with a few stickers is worth putting in the home anyway.

leanneth Thu 21-Nov-13 21:49:20

It is now perfectly normal to have toys/a cup of juice/ random objects on the floor in every room/hallway/stairway!

ViviDeBeauvoir Fri 22-Nov-13 00:17:53

With DD I didn't have to childproof anything as she listened to me when I told her not to touch things. I also had time to clean.
When DS1 came along I had to rewrite my parenting manual and childproof EVERYTHING! This is the child whose nursery had to change their child proof locks as he worked them all out confused grin
Time to clean became limited so all those different wipes were handy (one pack in each room) and carpet cleaner became a household staple after never needing it before.
Now DS2 is here and enjoys eating bits of fluff off the floor I am more on top of the cleaning than ever! (Despite having less time) bye bye carpet cleaning sprays - hello actual carpet cleaning machine. Bye bye old vacuum cleaner - hello life changing henry Hoover (DS1 (2) has vacuumed the lounge EVERY day since I got him grin )
Instead of a shelf of cleaning products, I now have a cupboard. A whole cupboard. <sigh>

mummy81 Fri 22-Nov-13 07:10:51

Having two under three my previously spotless walls are covered in various foodstuffs and my living room is full of toys will a little more dust then used to be present.

StaceyStar Fri 22-Nov-13 07:13:40

With two girls I have tried to keep it clean but tidy is another matter. I use to have a flat with a few but stylish things, now my house is busting of clutter, I find socks down the side of my sofa, random shoes in the hallway and coats on the bainasteirs. I have completely given up asking my teenager to tidy her room and just hope it doesn't cause any Heath problems!!!
And I've no idea why I choose cream sofas!!!

Mamafratelli Fri 22-Nov-13 09:57:45

My house used to be quite minimalist. Now it is full of toys, teddies, school books, dirty handprints and a trail of crumbs that Hansel would be proud of. Saying that it is also full of much more fun and laughter and feels much more like home.

MoiraScarff Fri 22-Nov-13 10:09:28

My little boy is only 6 months so not moving around yet, but he has started eating solid food - we have permanently installed a giant wipe-clean tablecloth on the floor under the dining table and immediate surrounds to catch the worst. I clean it after every meal so it's not too revolting! Other than that the house is generally less clean than it used to be pre-kids I'm afraid - no time for clean bathrooms these days - I'm hoping for a bathroom fairy for Xmas!

eag1710 Fri 22-Nov-13 10:18:24

Our young son broke a marble coffee table (bought pre-kids) and it was beyond repair. Solution? Replace it with two sturdy but inexpensive wooden kids' tables from Ikea - they were on a twofer sale.

We let him help put them together and even sign his name on the bottom of them! Now no worries about damage and they can be moved easily to serve as a kids' crafts table or an adult side table - however they are needed.

TJ1952 Fri 22-Nov-13 15:37:13

I was always telling my children to make their own children - my grandchildren - clean up their own mess and to stop doing it for them. However how things have changed...........I have custody of two of my grandsons aged 7 and 12 and my home has changed considerably since becoming their guardians. I have given up my own bedroom and sleep in the box room so that the boys have more room for their 'stuff'....I tidy up around them, whilst their feet are up watching tv.......I used to have such a nice tidy home and now its like a hurricane has blown through the place..........there never used to be finger prints on my paintwork, or bits or wallpaper torn off the bedroom walls and my bathroom floor was NEVER wet with little boys pee. I used to be able to sit down in the evenings in peace and quiet to watch my soaps and occasionally I used to have a life and go out and play bingo with my friends.....but for all that mess, and for all that noise....I wouldn't swap my life for millions and I don't think I will ever let the boys leave home cos I love them to the moon and back.

celestialbows Fri 22-Nov-13 16:06:20

Oh gosh, some very strange things have happened, I have become much more tidy but the cleanliness is less apparent...
I have to have everything organised and in it's own space to help the day run smoothly but I don't have the time, Energy or physical strength to keep the same cleaning standards. Under the fridge and behind the sofa are mysteries to me now. I have disabilities which have degenerated following pregnancies and I can't move furniture and it's not Dh's priority!
The other big change is the toys in the lounge! I never dreamed I'd have so many toys in the lounge but it's so much easier than having to Carry toys around the house. The same with nappies and wipes.
Toilet training seats in the loo, locks on the kitchen cupboards and no longer leaving razors on the side of the bath.

MammyI Fri 22-Nov-13 18:54:37

We have quite literally changed our home and replaced our small semi for a bigger version. We just found as the children grew, the toys and the equipment increased, and inevitably the space needed with a growing family was greater. It took a while but we've got used to the fact that our possessions are getting gradually destroyed... stains on carpets, spills on sofas, fingerprints on walls (Cif, by the way, is great for getting rid of these!!). We have definitely put off replacing items, and in the new house, the 70s patterned carpet in the play room will probably be there for some time as it is just fantastic for hiding stains!! But of course, with all that said, I would never change it and think there is nothing better than a "lived-in" house, it gives it "character" (at least that's what I'm calling it!).

poorbutrich Fri 22-Nov-13 19:14:21

Since we've had a son, everything is further from the floor than it used to be. It doesn't seem to stop him putting his sticky hands on everything and our books, cups and other objects all seem to have a mysterious banana stain on them (even when he's not been eating bananas). As an avid newspaper reader, I tend to find that if I leave the room for a moment, the newspaper is crumpled and in thousands of pieces on the floor.

llewejk Fri 22-Nov-13 21:08:49

Stairgates. Perspex to cover the tv unit to stop little hands on the dvd player etc. These are our two big changes to the home.

We have banned shoes in the house so at least we don't have to constantly hoover.

More washing has to be done, but I have always ironed the bare minimum.

We now understand the lounge will always be covered in toys and the tv fingerprints :-)

Uzma01 Sat 23-Nov-13 09:13:20

We moved some breakable objects out of the way, rearranged the living room furniture countless times for our two children.

In terms of cleaning - I did let things slide for a long time, opting to play with the kids than spend time always cleaning or tidying up. I bought an ottoman - to hide some toys & an extra seating area. Plus I get the kids to help tidy things away - training them up early!

Nowadays it's mainly the kitchen & living room that have regular cleans with the other rooms the once weekly treatment. Clothes get folded up and put away, the ones that need ironing get piled up until I see the pile getting too big or the kids are running out of clean clothes!

Cathiee97 Sat 23-Nov-13 10:17:21

Well, a lot of things have changed in our house.
There are now covers on the sofa to protect it from juice stains and all of the breakables have been moved to top shelves. We have had to get rid of the coffee table in fear of the baby banging his head and now have to hold drinks or put them in the kitchen . The whole living room has been shuffled round to fit the baby's toys in and i've had to buy a steam mop to be able to clean the floor properly but still be able to let the baby go back on it straight away.

CheeseStrawWars Sat 23-Nov-13 10:31:05

Blue-tac all over the walls to display kids' art, lots more investment in storage boxes of one sort or another, and a continuing battle against the forces of chaos... I tend to get properly on top of things every six months or so, and in between is just a slippery slide into clutter and mess. Once upon a time, I could clean pretty much the whole house in a couple of hours; now it takes me that long to do one room!

treaclesoda Sat 23-Nov-13 11:28:29

Its the stuff. There's just so much stuff. Stuff everywhere. And its all got sticky fingerprints on it!

Wibblytummy Sat 23-Nov-13 11:36:25

Have had to take a deep breath and get used to a disorderly house. As long as I know its clean underneath then I can cope better with the clutter and chaos! Also the dresser once used for displaying pretty things is now the toy quarantine!

attachmentmummy Sat 23-Nov-13 11:45:24

We veer between utter chaos and clutter-free organisation - daily, if not hourly! We have invested in lots of 'storage solutions' for all the toys, clothes, nappies etc etc, and in theory have clearly defined living and play spaces.

Then the children get up and start the day-long process of getting things out, ostensibly to play with but more often than not just to deposit all over the floor, the sofa, the tables, everywhere!

In theory, we ALL tidy up as we go, but that doesn't always work out as well as it might, so by the end of the day it looks like a bomb has hit. But ultimately, at the end of the day, we're all happy and I care more about them having fun than having a tidy house!

Spottybra Sat 23-Nov-13 11:49:51

Have just sat down for 5 mins and seen this after moving our huge corner settee and cleaning underneath it.

I have picked up Lego, dice, connect 4 discs, fairies, cars, pencils and a trump cushion as well as cleaning up biscuits, crumbs, crisps, cornflakes and other things that I'm not even sure what it once might have been. I do this once a month.

Changing the beds used to be a Friday night job. Quick and easy. Now my two dc like to be rolled over laying on the bottom sheet as I pull it off so it takes ages and has been moved to a Saturday morning.

Instead of the nice expensive floor in the bathroom we have cheap Lino until ds aims properly and dd is toilet trained.

My lovely slate tiles have been broken too many times in the kitchen, and its now a hard oak floor. As is the hallway because no matter how many times the carpet was cleaned it still smelt of dog.

I used to have a million cleaning products for different jobs. Now I only have an antibacterial spray, a window spray, a limescale remover and bleach. They also have moved from under the sink to a top cupboard the dc cannot reach.

Two of the bedrooms had lovely cream carpets when we moved in. Now they are covered in rugs. The one in ds's room because of stains, one in our room because workmen trashed it.

There may be a layer of dust on windowsills, it gets done when it gets done. Maybe once a week.

No matter how many times I clean the tv, it is still covered in little finger marks and handprints.

Ds's newly painted walls are covered in stickers and writing.he is 4. I should be happy he wants to practice writing. His room. Everytime I clean the walls the colour gets duller. Never again will I let him choose matt orange walls. It's a permanent sunset.

Dd will scribble on any wall given half a chance. She is 2. Even though she knows its wrong.

On the plus side, they love baking so friends always know there is cake here!

Yes to wearing slippers too, otherwise it hurts when you step a toy.

SaltySeaBird Sat 23-Nov-13 11:54:36

We have a lot of brightly coloured plastic tat that we never had before! Our nice décor is now complimented by primary colours and mess spilling out everywhere.

We have a lot more cleaning products under the sink and spend a lot more time wiping up trails from sticky fingers and mopping the floor so actually the house is cleaner. Just more cluttered! We do try to contain it all in a big toy chest but it is a never ending battle.

DragonPaws Sat 23-Nov-13 12:26:01

Handprints on the wall up the stairs. Carpet cleaner always available for spillages. Bits of playdoh stuck to the carpet and glitter all over the house. Random pieces of jigsaw being hoovered up. Our cat is twice the size due to hovering up discarded bits of food.

When we changed our sofa a few years ago we got leather so it would be easier to keep clean. Also a new rule just for children - shoes off when come in house. Dining room has changed from a dining room to a play room/ toy storage area with a table and chairs squashed in the corner.

choccyp1g Sat 23-Nov-13 12:38:01

Before DS it LOOKED nice, but was quite dirty and dusty on top of cupboards etc.
Nowadays it is cluttered with STUFF, but much cleaner overall.

ReluctantBeing Sat 23-Nov-13 14:25:56

We put away all precious things, like my crystals. They have only recently emerged from the loft, and ds is seven!

Ida3456 Sat 23-Nov-13 14:41:18

My house has a lot more stuff. What used to be a nicely decorated, tidy house has become a home for lots and lots of brightly coloured stuff. We have built in cupboards to try and cram it away...

The living room carpet is also got a lot more stains on!

I'd like to say the house looks homely and lived in, as opposed to looking like a jumble sale is in progress. But when I think back to my immaculate pre-children house I really miss the clear, clean spaces.

flash2ash Sat 23-Nov-13 16:49:07

Good storage has been invaluable; Ikea drawer sets for the toys in the conservatory, a leather storage box from Argos for the toys in the living room and storage under the bed for toys in the bedroom. All the toys go back before bedtime so the house looks pre children in the evenings!

I vacuum bag clothes every 6 mths so that they don't clutter wardrobes. Cleaning takes place 2 or 3 times a day so investment in a handheld vacuum cleaner and a steam mop has been essential.

Clearly the house is never going to look like it used to but at least at times you can walk around without stepping on bits of lego!

clairer86 Sat 23-Nov-13 17:21:28

How has my home changed since having my kids?
Firstly since having them it now takes me several attempts round the block to remember that that was where I was going in the first place. Then when I do finally manage to make it back there I can only assume we have been robbed. Clothes, dishes and toys have often been thrown about the place although the offending theives never seem to have a desire for electrical equipment as the TV, DVD player and laptop have never been stolen. Instead their kleptomania seems geared towards the chocolate bars, juice and my car keys (which always turn up....usually in the door that I unlocked on the way into the house...).
Prior to having childrenI also have a vague recollection of having a piece of furniture called a "bed" although it's been so long since I've seen it that I can't remember if it was a figment of my imagination. My relationship with my washing machine has become increasingly close though (to the point where sometimes I find myself forgetting that it's not the least I've had half an hour to myself without being pestered to change the channel to Nick-Jnr though!). And when my youngest was 6 months old and we were looking to move house the deciding factor that clinched it for us was the built in dishwasher (and dear God that is the most amazing invention created by man!).
Any other ways my house has changed since having children....? Well the bathroom has become the main meeting room (although no-one ever notifies me beforehand that the meetings are always scheduled during my bath time), and the cupboard under the stairs is now the only place where I can managed to ram a chocolate bar down my throat before a child has reached me to find out what I'm eating and if they can have some.

joeyhanmum Sat 23-Nov-13 18:04:07

We have been renovating our since since we moved when I was 7 months pregnant. Trying to get rid of the dust has been the hardest thing! Wasn't so bad when our daughter was immobile, but now of course she commando shuffles everywhere, so frantically trying to baby proof and keep dirt to a minimum on the floors.

Still, we have a Labrador, so at this time of year, it's not just dust but muddy paw prints everywhere too aarrrggghhh!! :-)

IceNoSlice Sat 23-Nov-13 18:27:10

We cleared out a lot of stuff we owned that just weren't being used - eBay, charity shop, gave away or binned. This left space that is now taken up with kiddy clutter - toys, high chair, pushchair, trike...

IKEA storage units have made it super easy to clear up toys.

Cleaning is a lot easier when there is nothing 'out' on surfaces, sideboard etc. And I like the duster, antibacterial and floor wipes.

Far more clutter (toys), more washing, but on the whole cleaner - I hate any dog hair being on the floor as the DCs roll around and it gets all over their clothes. I tend to vacuum daily in spurts rather than twice a week more thoroughly.

The house never looks tidy - but it looks lived in. This has been a real problem for DH who hates clutter and visible disorganisation.

mummyofcutetwo Sat 23-Nov-13 20:21:48

Breakable things have gradually got higher and higher. The fact that DS2 at 20 months can climb up just about anything means that nothing is safe now - not even the tops of bookcases...

We have all the inevitable sticky finger marks, stained carpets, mountains of laundry etc but the one thing I wasn't quite prepared for was opening the dishwasher to find brightly coloured plastic toys. I find it's the easiest way to keep stacking cups and bits of Lego clean (how do they get so sticky?), but it's still a surprise to see them - even though it's me who's put them there.

The tumble dryer is a different matter though. I find all sorts of things in there courtesy of DS2 - from keys to shoes to chopsticks. Keeps me on my toes!

BlastOff Sat 23-Nov-13 20:28:13

Our house is a tip. But we weren't even that tidy pre children, if I'm honest. We're probably less tidy but more clean now, but there is always something better to be doing than cleaning drudgery in my opinion.

Also other obvious changes like child proof locks and blind pulls, and stair gates.

The thing that really needs doing is repainting all the scuffed walls etc

Our house looks like a toy shop that someone has broken into and thoroughly searched for hidden treasure.

2kidsintow Sat 23-Nov-13 20:58:45

We knocked 2 rooms through to make more family space. The double doors were perfect for the doorway bouncer that both DDs loved bouncing in.

We had fireguards (and still have one even though DD2 is now 9) and stair gates everywhere. It was a big moment when we got rid of the stair gates.

Friends of mine have a 'no kids stuff downstairs' rule. If they did bring stuff down in the day to be played with then it would all be put away in the end of the day. My house: plastic tubs of toys in front of a built in storage cupboard. Eventually we had to give over the storage cupboard to DD2 whose bedroom is much smaller than her sister's.

They are older now and their toys/possessions are getting smaller and easier to store.
We still opt for leather sofas instead of fabric as they are easier to keep clean. smile

fourmonthstogo Sat 23-Nov-13 21:13:24

Piles and piles of washing, she seems to have more than twice as much as dh and I together. From choice, I would have a hard floor where we eat, by which I mean dd eating, but can't afford to renovate yet!The real change is my car though, breadstick and rice cake crumbs everywhere. And footprints. I used to be so carproud, but now I really couldn't care less!

AliceinWinterWonderland Sat 23-Nov-13 22:42:27

More clutter, more "stuff", much more childproofing and safety features, dirty fingerprints and handprints, muddy footprints that seem to reappear within minutes of the last batch being cleaned away. Endless piles of laundry (but at least no more cloth nappies drying all over the house all the time!), more and more children's television than grownup and children's dvds.

We're more likely to be singing a Wiggles song as we're driving along than the latest pop tune. I couldn't tell you what songs are on the charts right now - unless of course it's featured on CBeebies. grin We see more fishfingers and spag bol than we used to, as they are the DCs favourites, and much less steak.

Furniture is secondhand and carpet is stained. No point in getting nice and new until the DCs are older and less likely to muck it up. We knew we would be having DCs, so we just didn't buy expensive furniture or carpeting. And patterns on the sofa to hide any stains. grin

There are children's drawings all over the place, toys all over, and I'm pretty sure there's still glitter embedded in the grooves of the wooden table from making paper snowflakes last Christmas.

Shakey1500 Sat 23-Nov-13 22:54:08

After 200+ posts I realise I am the ONLY one who sped read the title and wondered why on earth "*Cliff*" would be interested in how my home has changed......

blush confused grin

pussinwellyboots Sat 23-Nov-13 23:29:16

The main thing that helps us to.keeYoup.the chaos a little bit tamed is lots of toy storage. That said I have definitely lowered my standards and there's plenty of dust behind things. The sofas and carpet are old but very functional and there is little point in changing these with young children around. Mounting the TV out of reach has reduced stress as I would have been permanently cleaning it and rescuing children from the top of it!

katiewalters Sun 24-Nov-13 09:45:32

I have a 4year old and 21week old. The front room has been rearranged so there's more space for the toy boxes. We buy darker furniture and not as expensive furniture. We have a first aid kit, which we didn't have before. We have locks on cupboards, we have to keep certain items out of reach and once you have tidied up each day, in no time at all it's messy again

OPeaches Sun 24-Nov-13 09:58:59

I have less furniture. Surfaces = mess! We got rid of the coffee table and side tables as try were just used to pile things on. We also have a lot of baskets, e.g. Three nice ikea wooden baskets that fit neatly under the tv unit/sideboard thing we have. DS's room has lovely storage from GLTC, it's basically shelves with canvas baskets for toys. DD's room has the cheaper ikea version.

I've also just resigned myself to lowering my standards. Pre-DC there's no way I would have put up with the stained living room carpet, but now I look at it and think what's the point of replacing it, they'll just ruin it again.

gingercat12 Sun 24-Nov-13 10:48:05

It is more like our child rearranged our house. I have never been house proud, but now I solely focus on the basics. Make sure all surfaces are clean and nobody falls over in anything. Even with just one child you become very organised in terms of cleaning.

DS has just suggested we put all his toys (which totally overrun the house) into the loft, so that the Christmas decorations and toys can fit in. (DH must have put him up to it, so that we could lose half the toys accidentally.)

I used to make wonderful handmade Christmas decoration. Currently DS is colouring a purple angel and a pink Rudolph. Definitely a change for the better.

We'll only ever have our furniture re-upholstered when DS leaves home.

The change was not gradual. It was more like when a bus runs you over.

LucyBucy Sun 24-Nov-13 10:52:19

Our house once had a Heal's chic look about it... now it looks more like the Tikkabilla studio, but messier.

Maiyakat Sun 24-Nov-13 14:29:08

Trying to keep everything out of reach - how can someone so little stretch so far?!!

Ilovetoread Sun 24-Nov-13 19:42:59

Messier, more washing, drying, pickingup, cooking, shopping...
Then as they get older (as mine have: 9, 10, 12) even more messy, messy, messy, even more washing/ drying/cooking/ shopping/ picking-up & everything is MUCH MUCH bigger. Oh how did my lovely home of 13 years ago ever come to this never ending tip! confused

Lilliana Sun 24-Nov-13 20:31:33

I clean more but the house is messier.
Toys and kids books have replaced dvd's, adult books and nice clear spaces
Everything is moved higher at regular intervals
I hoover and sweep/mop far more regularly

Wouldn't change a thing grin

manfalou Mon 25-Nov-13 09:54:30

We havnt changed things in terms of re-arranging furniture or moving items, the kids have just learned what they can and can't touch. There's MUCH more 'stuff' around... Toys, Baskets of baby essentials stashes in various places. Having a 7 month old and 3 month old means we have a lot of big items in places making it look really cluttered (Jumperoo, baby walker, bouncer chair, horrid huge train track in the living room) but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Re-decorating is an absoloute waste of time as dirty handprints appear in seconds... We need a new sofa but won't buy one until the youngest is 3. Our current one is leather so great for wiping kiddy stuff off of.

DrankSangriaInThePark Mon 25-Nov-13 10:31:03

Having a child has been good for me, because I was a total slut of a cleaner before.

My house has always been untidy (I like to call it lived in) but now although it's untidy still, it is a different sort of untidy. A sort of teeny-tiny-animally-thingies-all-over-the-place untidy.

We did do a swap round when dd was born, and the biggest bedroom became hers (to accommodate the hideously primary coloured ginormous plastic tat that came with her.) (hmm, on reflection, maybe the teeny-tiny-animal-thingies are not so bad)

I don't think I'll ever sleep soundly again if I haven't got a babywipe in the house though. I don't wipe babies with them anymore, but I use them for a quick whizz round the bathroom taps, flush etc.

I will not lie on my deathbed thinking I should have mopped more, that's for sure. grin But I do mop more than I did.

mum2eci Mon 25-Nov-13 11:11:00

Pre-kids i used to be quite obsessive about housework and loved to have a clean and tidy house. Now with 3 kids i realise that a tidy house is not that important after all, there will be plenty of time to clean up when my kids have grown up and flown the nest. Time is precious and you can never get it back :-)

Belgianchox Mon 25-Nov-13 13:31:05

Mess everywhere, lots of little pieces of lego and the like littering every available surface. Things got much worse when the balance tipped in favour of the kids when 2 became 3.... Not as spic and span as I'd like, but I'm becoming more accepting of this, no one wishes they'd done more housework on their deathbed do they?

moomoo1967 Mon 25-Nov-13 21:25:58

To be truthful i was very glad of the chance to have a clearout before my daughter was born. I guess I'm lucky in that my daughter has always been ok and not really gone for anything but then when she was smaller she was at nursery so was only at home two days a week.

janeyh31 Mon 25-Nov-13 22:28:16

Children have meant a lot more mess, chaos & noise but I wouldn't have it any other way :0)

lorka Tue 26-Nov-13 10:39:28

I could stir it with a stick!! smile

MaryannM Tue 26-Nov-13 14:25:33

I was amazed at how much stuff children have! At first our house was just cluttered with stuff but now we have a big wooden toy box down stairs and one upstairs, it's not just for toys, just all the kids stuff so it's all packed away and we can have our space back albeit for just a few hours at night when the kids are asleep.

Our home is actually cleaner since having kids, before they came along, we would tidy whenever/if ever we had the chance. But since kids came along, there are only certain windows of opportunity to clean and tidy, so I grab them when I can.

We do now have flooring instead of carpet and slobbery handprints everywhere!

Lent1l Tue 26-Nov-13 14:59:11

Our house is a home now we have a little one and I am a lot less precious about everything being in its "right" place than I was before. Now so long as toys are all in the box at night, and things are straightened slightly then does it really matter that there are fingerprints here and there or lip marks on a window from where she was blowing kisses to the squirrel? I'll clean it tomorrow when I have 5 minutes.

I do quick cleans, taking 5 minutes here and there to attack something as I have 5 minutes, rather than the mass clean I used to do on an almsot weekly basis where I would do the house top to bottom, getting into every little corner, nook and cranny. Now I clean as I go.

DoctorGilbertson Tue 26-Nov-13 19:08:24

The big change for me pre- and post- children is the change from living in shared houses to living with a family. In the space of a few years I find myself living in a home with a family instead of on my own in a room. The shift in my home isn't so much to do with stuff than to do with the children themselves.

But I am sure that I have said it before but I am sure I LOVED the Cif renovar tus cosas advert that was on huge billboards around Buenos Aires with a pair of old trainers on - half having been cleaned with cif. I probably buy cream cleaner more than I did before children too.

Yes, that's it. Post children my home has more cleaning products in it.

Storage is much more of a consideration- and having to be ruthless about getting rid of unused/outgrown stuff.

Cleaning- same standards but less time! So anything that makes it quicker is good. Cover sofas with throws as they get filthy and can at least be washed!

Not enough time for 'extra' jobs- e.g. windows or oven. Not ever.

star1000 Wed 27-Nov-13 12:31:31

I now have padding permanently in place around my fireplace to protect both the edges and little ones falling on the corners. My glass coffee table now lives in the corner of the room rather than in the middle. My lounge now looks like a playroom although I aim to put more in their bedrooms as they get older.
I can non longer keep vases of flowers down low or any of my things lying around.
I have to be a lot more organised and clean up a lot more since having children - it's a never ending job!!

serendipity1980 Wed 27-Nov-13 13:52:38

Since having children our house is definitely more messy, as soon as I tidy it seems to get messy again! We have moved furniture to make room for their toys but as they get older we are hoping to move more toys to their bedrooms so that we can reclaim some space.
However, I wouldn't change anything - I love our children smile

BooMeowson Wed 27-Nov-13 14:26:13

My baby is only 7 months old so our home will soon change when he starts crawling and walking etc. But for now the main change in the stuff... the stuff... our living room is now a giant play pen and he is only small!

We have pets so keeping on top of hairs when he spends a lot of time on the floor is a challenge.

SolomanDaisy Thu 28-Nov-13 10:32:10

I spend a lot more time cleaning and tidying now. I'm naturally quite untidy, but it's not safe with toddlers around.

I started off moving valuables higher and higher as he crawled then walked, then realised he could climb and there was no point.

MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 29-Nov-13 09:38:01

Hi everyone,

Thanks for adding your comments to the thread. Congratulations to ChaffinchOfDoom who has won the prize draw for a £250 Love2Shop voucher!

LackaDAISYcal Fri 29-Nov-13 23:38:27

WEll Done to Chaffinch smile

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