As anyone who's ever had to look after children will tell you, without tidying techniques the kiddiewinks will win the they-make-a-mess-and-you-tidy battle hands-down. I don't want to make out that our house is perfectly ordered at all times: it isn't....but I do want you to know that there are ways to make your life much easier when it comes to keeping on top of the messiness that family life, bags, dirty laundry, toys, books, games, wet towels......the list goes on and on, doesn't it?

Images via BBC

When we first started having children, I soon realised that, unless I wanted to spend my entire life either picking up after the family, or feeling miserable at the mess that might ensue if I didn't, I needed to make sure everyone got in on the act so that keeping our home shipshape became a family job. 

Image via Health

A key part of helping our family run smoothly is building in tidying routines. One of the spin-off benefits, aside from the security of the same-ness that routines build into our children's lives, is that it makes it much less stressful to keep on top of the mess that children seem to magically breed wherever they go.

So, my first tip for keeping on top of children's chaos is this:

Don't Try To Do It On Your Own

Get everyone to help as part of the daily, for example, when we have our evening meal together, I cook, and the others take it in turns to lay the table, clear the table, load the dishwasher and wipe the surfaces. It works so well, even littlies can get in on the act. When patterns are established for every day, there's never ever moaning. It just becomes part of their world, which makes your job MUCH easier....with more time for the best bits like cuddling and playing and baking and reading the full pleasures of Modern Country life.

Image via: Frugal Law Student

Think about stressful times of your day and see whether building in a routine could help, whether that's first thing after school or bath-time....and do let us know how you get on...