by Annelies Van de Velde
I Love You…….But Don’t Destroy The House!
As a parent, you’ve probably made some changes to the house to make it safer for your kids. But while there are lots of guidelines on protecting your children from dangers in the house, have you also thought about protecting your house from your kids?.
They may be cute little things, but they definitely know how to make a mess! Here are five handy tips to help your house cope with kids.
#1 – Flooring:
Lots of houses in the UK are carpeted, but while they create a very cosy interior, they also stain easily. As your children will come into contact so much with the flooring in your house, it better be stain-resistant!.
Harder floors fair much better with muddy feet and spilled drinks as they are easier to wipe clean, but they are not always as cosy. For the best of both worlds, wood flooring will create a warm, stain-resistant surface your kids can be kids on all day long.
It is softer and safer than hard tiles and healthier than carpets as well. If you’re worried about cost, wood-effect laminate floors work a treat as well and are even easier to clean. Finally, doormats on the outside and inside of every outside-facing door are a must in any grommet-filled house!
#2 – Sofas:
Kids love sofas and sofas love stains, particularly fabric sofas! You can buy some slip-covers which will help to protect them, but if these aren’t really your thing, consider changing leather sofas.
These are much easier to wipe clean and look very stylish too. Another durable and stylish alternative are microfiber sofas, which are practically stain-proof and super-easy to clean. Made from the tiniest manmade fibre (100 times finer than a human hair), these can be made to look and feel like suede, velvet or cotton – so you have a large choice of designs! A good example is the Brooklyn sofa from Furniture Village.
#3 – Walls:
If you have light-coloured walls and they are not protected against dirty, sticky hands; they can soon become very grimy. One option is to use darker colours in the rooms your kids often run around in, but that might not be to your taste.
Therefore, easy to clean and stain-resistant paints may be a better option and these are available from several manufacturers. An example isCrown’s Easyclean Emulsion ,which comes in a range of colours. But whatever you do, don’t leave your paint gear unattended when re-painting your walls!
#4 – Hidden dangers:
Apart from protecting your house from stains, you can also prevent them from happening! Don’t leave anything lying around the house that could be used as a ‘weapon of house destruction’. Big offenders are pens, pencils, chocolate, jam, and make up (especially lipstick). Make sure you move anything that can cause killer stains out of reach from the kids and supervise them during colouring sessions.
#5 – Storage:
To prevent your efforts getting lost in a sea of stuff, you’ll need to get clever with storage too. Kids tend to have an awful lot of toys, clothes and accessories which can quickly clutter the house and create an un-pleasant environment.
First, get rid of anything you don’t need by taking it to charity shops, or selling it at car boot sales or on eBay. This could be unwanted toys, but also anything you or your partner don’t need or haven’t used in a long time. Be ruthless!
Once you know how much storage you really need, the next step is to give everything you do keep a home so your hallways and floors stay clear. If you have managed to sell some bits, you may have a budget to purchase more storage. Find some un-used spaces, such as landings or room corners to put the extra storage and store away. Repeat this process at least once a year, to avoid it all getting out of hand again.
Finally, creating a room just for your kids will also help to keep the rest of the house more tidy and clutter-free.