You’ve spent the last few years investing in nice things for the house, and have finally decided that it looks great. And then you go and start a family. That is the very definition of a disaster area waiting to happen!
Don’t panic, though. There are a few things you can do to protect you best furniture and ornaments, other than removing them permanently! Today, I’m going to talk you through some ideas of how you can keep your best furniture in great shape when you have kids.
Have strict food rules
Kids will eat anywhere you allow them to, so you have to lay down the law pretty quickly if you want to keep things in good shape. Also, think about the example that you set them. If they have to eat at the table every day, only to see you tucking into a take-out on the couch, then that’s hardly fair, is it? The earlier you start your dining rules, and the more you follow them yourself, the easier they will be to uphold.
Clean after every meal
Don’t let the dust settle on those dirty plates – and remember that you need to clean a radius of around five miles when kids eat their food. It’s going to be messy, and there’s nothing you can do about it. But clean up quickly afterward and it will be so much easier. Nobody enjoys scrubbing the hardest material known to humanity – dried cereal- off the table.
Get them involved
Kids love to lend a hand, although only when you clearly don’t want them to. However, you should use this enthusiasm to try and encourage them into clearing up their stuff. For example, if they come in while you are cutting the veggies for tonight’s dinner, just say you have finished and that it’s time to clear up the toys. They’ll help you – for a bit. But, it will hopefully get them into better habits.
Act fast on big stains
It’s hard to keep an eye on what all of your children are doing. But, a good way to get around it is to encourage them to report to you when they make any spillage or use a pen in the wrong place. That way, you can get on the phone to your local upholstery cleaning service straight away, and reduce the impact of the stain. If you go down this route, it’s important to praise your kids when they report to you. If you get cross, they will stop doing it, so try and keep a happy atmosphere, even if your $10,000 couch has been painted pink.
Cover when necessary
Finally, cover everything that you value. Put simply, you won’t stop your kids from being messy, no matter how much you try. It’s just a case of limiting the damage they cause – and sturdy covers for your tables, chairs and furniture are the only way to make sure!
OK, so that’s all from me – now over to you. Got any tips you can share with us? We’d all love to hear them, so don’t be shy!