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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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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