5 Ways to Create an “Oops” Friendly Home

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They are cute and funny and amazing…and messy!!  We love our kiddos, but their tendency to make a mess in almost any room of the house is just a fact of life.  There is no way around it, so you might as well prepare for it.  Check out these great tips from Jennifer Gervens of “Sweet T Make Three” to “oops” proof your home so you and your little ones can PLAY ON!

“Oops!” Few words get me up and moving faster at our house. Spilled milk, artwork on the walls, overflowing toilets – all common issues in homes containing mini-humans.

Let’s face it, y’all. We love our kids, but their messes are things we’d rather not have to deal with. Below are a few tips to keep the messes corralled instead of the kids.

1. Furniture covers: Remember that plastic furniture cover your grandma had? The one that stuck to your legs in a sweaty mess every time you visited her in the summer? Well, never fear! Believe it or not, today’s furniture covers are inexpensive, comfortable, and fashionable. Available in a range of fabrics, colors, and designs, these covers make it easy to erase the stickiest messes from your cushions. Just zip them off and throw them in the washing machine. Some companies even make furniture with the removable cover included. Every square inch of fabric comes off of my couch and goes in the washing machine. It’s three years old and still looks brand new (If you squint a little bit and ignore the part that the cat clawed).

2. Outdoor fabrics: Outdoor fabrics are amazing for homes with families. Stain, water, and mildew resistant, they’re great for anything from throw pillows to floor cushions to tablecloths. They also dry very quickly. They’re a little more expensive than their standard counterparts, but it’s totally worth it to keep from having to replace Kool-aid stained throw pillows again, and again, and again. If you keep an eye out, you can find great deals on outdoor fabrics and products made from them. I got my outdoor throw pillows for just $1.50 each! You can also look for outdoor fabrics featuring built-in protection that makes the easier to clean and keeps them cleaner between cleanings, like  Phifertex® designed fabrics by Phifer Incorporated.

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3. Scrubbable paint: Most people don’t think about their walls very often, at least not until Sweet-ums decides to scribble her newest masterpiece in the foyer. Many have budget-priced matte or flat paint and often those beauties have had to stay there until it’s time to paint again. Happily, the paint industry has been thinking about your walls, and over the years have developed ever-more scribble-resistant paints. Grab a high-quality paint in a satin or even semi-gloss sheen, and your little Michelangelo’s landscapes will be history with the wipe of a damp rag (or maybe a certain “magic” sponge). Consider Davis Frost paints, which include added protection, right out of the can, to keep them cleaner and fresher for the life of the pain.

4. Kid-friendly flooring: Bamboo is one of the best flooring surfaces for families with kids. It’s beautiful, as well as being cheaper than hardwood, and more durable than laminate (In fact, some species of bamboo are harder than popular wood floorings.).

Dealing with carpet instead? Many companies make carpet treatments that are water and stain repellent. You simply spray it onto the carpet and let it dry.

Another option to consider is tile flooring, especially for areas that are likely to be the messiest, like kitchens and bathrooms.  The Florida Tile product line features a variety of beautiful designs, with options for every décor and added protection that keeps them cleaner.

Not a fan of chemical treatments? You can also protect high traffic areas with colorful rag rugs. These inexpensive rugs can be found in nearly any department store and tend to be inexpensive. You can even make your own out of old t-shirts. Best of all, they fit in the washing machine for easy clean-up.

5. Consider your surface materials: In your fight against the “oops,” it’s important than having the right cleaning supplies on hand. Dish detergent, white vinegar, glass cleaner, erasing sponges, and a pile of absorbent rags will take care of the vast majority of everyday messes. However, having the right materials can also help.

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We can always use an extra bit of oomph, especially when illnesses come to call. With this in mind, manufacturers work with Microban to designs products for your home that have microbe-resistant technology built right in! You can find everything from soap dishes to door hardware to carpet. Best of all, they’re extra-durable (Durability is the name of the game when it comes to defeating the “oops!”). You still have to clean, of course, but anti-microbial products can definitely help you relax when it comes to keeping your home oops-friendly.

These are just a few of the ideas and products that I use to protect my home for (and sometimes from) the ones that I love the most. Put these ideas to use, and the next time you hear “oops!” from the next room, you can rest assured that it won’t be absolutely disastrous.

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