Kids have a way of making the biggest messes in the shortest amount of time. What was once your nicely decorated home now looks like a scene from a horror movie. Here are some ground rules to help you keep your house from being completely destroyed.

Crayons & Markers Are for Paper Only

This is something that you have to strictly enforce. Younger children are notorious for wanting to express themselves on your walls, TV, or anything that’s convenient. There are products that only work on special paper if this continues to be a problem in your home. You might want to consider keeping these implements under lock and key unless you can supervise your little artists. It can be extremely difficult to clean some types of crayons and markers from your walls without having to repaint.

One thing that might help with this rule is to have a designated art area. You can set up a table that has paper and coloring supplies. You can then let your child know that they should leave the supplies there and not take them elsewhere.

No Throwing Things Around the House

Having a no throwing things inside or around the outside of your home policy, can help save you a lot of money from having to replace whatever ends up broken as a result of things being thrown around. If a baseball is carelessly thrown, for example, it could hit a window and break it. This would make it so that you’d have to get a replacement window. A few other things that could easily be broken as well include light fixtures and picture frames.

To help your kids follow this rule, you should keep all balls outside. Not only that, but it might be beneficial to use a consequence system to help your kids to develop a habit of having respect for the home by not throwing things. For example, you could make it so that any toys that are thrown inside are taken away for the rest of the day.

Put Your Things Away

Toys, dirty clothes, backpacks, and shoes can make your home look like a disaster area. Create a place for all of your kids’ things to be stored. This will encourage them to put their things away without you having to threaten to throw it away. Many parents make the mistake of looking the other way when it comes to their kids’ rooms. However, bins, hooks, and cubbies that are the right height for your kids can make it easier for you to teach them this skill.

Furniture Is Not for Jumping On

Your kids may find your furniture to be an enticing place to practice their acrobatic skills. Although it may be a cute thing for them to do at first, don’t encourage it. It can lead to your furniture being broken or even your kids getting hurt. Even the best behaved kids will sometimes forget about not being allowed to jump on your furniture. You may hear the bed rails crack next time your child decides to bounce on the bed. Remind him or her that jumping should be reserved to the trampoline or some other approved method.

Having kids can leave your home a little the worse for wear. You can mitigate some of the destruction by creating rules and creating a child-friendly play area.