How to Get Out of the House Clean when You’ve Got Small Kids


I’ll always remember when my daughter was a toddler it was rare for her not to have some sort of ring of food around her mouth and one day after coming back from seeing a clients, her nanny showed me a video she’d made of Niamh, and what stood out to me was her clean face!

When my kids were babies and toddlers, they were also notorious for having mucky little banana hands,  and of course, when really young, those lovely little milk burps down your shoulder when you didn’t realise.

As an image consultant, people have this expectation that I’ll be well dressed!  In fact, they are judging me, way more than I’d ever judge them on their attire.  Being a working mum I had to find a way to be able to get up and dressed for work, and still get out of the house clean (rather than discovering when I was with a client that I was covered in smears of banana or some other foreign foodstuffs).

Easiest Ever Style Tip for Mothers

So what did I do? I put my dress gown back over my clothes after dressing in the morning. Then, just as I was leaving the house, I’d whip it off before getting in the car.

It seriously is the easiest way to stay clean while you get your kids up and fed before you go to work!

How to get Out of the door clean when you've got babies or toddlers in your care

I like a patterned robe like this one (source here – lots of different colour options to choose from) as small stains are less obvious!

Do you have any tips to help you get out the door and look great?


How to get out of the house clean when you have small kids

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  • That is a great idea. My youngest is now eleven so I don't have the same messy hand issue, but the school morning thing is always busy so I always get fully dressed and ready before I even leave my bedroom of a morning. Then I only have to worry about others.

  • What a great idea. With a 3 month old with reflux, this might just work:).

  • I never thought of that! Actually I do have a similar problem, not with kids, but with dogs. My flat-coated retriever ( characteristic for the race) is so excited every time he sees me, that he is just bouncing up and down. I know, I should have schooled him better, but I have not had the heart to spoil his happiness. So I end up cleaning my clothes all the time :).

  • Cosmo – my dressing gown is full length so nothing gets on my clothes!

    Meg – at least they're past this stage now.

    notSupermum – share it with the needy!

    NutriStyle – you are in the perfect position to try this out.

    Metscan – I have the dog hair issue when I take my dogs to the vet, so then I wear a raincoat (even when it's sunny, the vet thinks I'm mad), or very old clothes.

  • I do something similar, except I actually wear just my dressing gown, avoiding getting dressed until the very last minute.

    Food I could always explain away at work, it was the snail trails at small person's nose level around my trouser legs that were the ickiest!

    Mine are 13 and 9 now, and it's not so much of a problem, although I still leave dressing until the last job!

  • Brilliant! Like Tat, I just usually stayec in my robe, as we call it, long as possible. I would do my makeup and hair and lay everything out but put on the actual clothes minutes before stepping into the car. My niece has a three year old and 1 year old twins, if she wasn't always in jeans I might let her in on this tip!

  • Tat and Tessa – I like to do it the other way round so that I don't have a last minute rush trying to get myself and the kids out the door, that last minute rush is always running back to get something the kids forgot.

  • I had a manager who used to show up at work with a big wet spot on her chest. Just as she was leaving her dog would jump up for a goodbye nuzzle.

    I would just stay in the robe till immediately before leaving. But once I turned up at work with a perfect peanut butter hand on the back of my skirt.

  • So simple and yet so brilliant. What a great idea (if I had children, I would follow this advice) to tell my sisters.

  • This is exactly what I do (when I am organized enough not to be getting dressed at the last minute) I thought I was the only one! Nothing has the overall coverage of a full length dressing gown.

  • I would try this but knowing me I would forget to take the dressing gown off and turn up to work still wearing it.

  • When my daughter was a toddler, both my husband and I were practicing law. My husband would go to the office very early in the morning so that he could get in a full 12-hour day before picking up our daughter from daycare. It was impossible for me to shower and dress properly with a toddler running around. So I finally gave up. I would throw on gym clothes and get her fed and ready, drop her off at daycare, drive to my office, which had a gym in the building, take my shower and get dressed for my own 12-hour day (generally skipping the workout). The toddler is a teenager now, and I no longer practice law. But the robe idea could be very useful in keeping the cat hair off of me.

  • I shower, do my makeup and hair early in the morning, but don't get dressed until minutes before we walk out the door. I live in and love my black knit Natori robe, and I wish I'd bought two because now I can't find it again.

  • chicamericaine – cat and dog hair can be as bad as toddler prints and often really hard to get off your clothes!

    rb – i think I'd be late everywhere if I didn't get dressed when I got up!

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