My Perfect Mess

Messes make memories! See how your perfect mess could win you $500 and new floors in this post sponsored by STAINMASTER®.

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Every Saturday when I was growing up, my parents would get everyone up out of bed early to clean the entire house. Sure, we had chores throughout the week, but Saturday was the time to really dig in and do the heavy duty, deep cleaning. As much as I appreciated growing up in a house that was always sparkling clean, there were definitely some instances that I felt we maybe cut a really fun activity like baking cookies a little short to make sure we had enough time to clear the mess away.

You know what I learned over the years, though? There’s nothing wrong with messy! In fact, some of the best memories are made when we give ourselves a little grace and embrace the messiness that comes with creating moments that stay in our hearts and minds forever. For example, the first time I made a gingerbread house with Ayva, there was frosting, sugar, graham cracker crumbs, and candy EVERYWHERE! I remember how happy I felt to see the joy on her face and hear her outrageous giggles as the sprinkles rolled all over the place and we scrambled to get a handle on them.

Since then, we’ve had tons of messy moments that has brought our family closer, and made deposits into our memory bank. There was the time we tried (and failed) to master paper mache, art projects that require paint and glitter, the science experiments that didn’t go quite as expected, and yes, baking cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. Instead of being concerned about the mess we were making, I decided to be grateful for the quality family time and the laughs.

It’s not always that easy to not stress the mess, I get it. Sometimes you’re pressed for time, and you’re doing your best to squeeze some family fun in. A big mess adds to the strain, and can actually take away from a pleasant experience. Here are three tips to help you make your perfect mess, and get it cleaned up quickly.

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How to Clean a Mess Quickly

Take a few minutes to set up.

I keep rolls of paper handy to cover the tables (and the floors if needed) whenever we’re going to do a messy project. Right after the holidays, when wrapping paper is on clearance, I stock up. For less than a few cents each time we want to get a little dirty, I save a ton of time on cleanup!

Group similar messes together.

Break your project up into different stations. For example, instead of allowing the entire kitchen to be cookie central, make one counter the mixing station, another counter the dough station, and maybe move sprinkles to the dining room or living room on a table covered with paper. Sometimes different messes require different methods of cleaning (i.e. wet cloth vs. dry cloth), and stations will definitely help.

Make cleaning up part of the fun.

Two words. Turbo clean. Whenever we finish up a messy project, I set a timer for 5 minutes, and everyone rushes around to get everything straightened up. You’d be surprised at how efficient little kids can be when they’re racing against a clock!

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STAINMASTER® and #MyPerfectMess

What’s your definition of a perfect mess? What kind of wonderful, messy memories are you making in your home? STAINMASTER® makes flooring products that stand up to the wear and tear of everyday life, and they want to encourage you to be comfortable in your home. They have launched their My Perfect Mess campaign, to encourage you to show them how beautiful and perfect your messy lives can be! In addition to inspiring other families to embrace the perfect messiness, three lucky winners will receive free flooring for a room in their home plus a $500 retail gift card! To enter, share your own perfect mess on social media using the #MyPerfectMess hashtag and tagging @STAINMASTER. Head over to the #MyPerfectMess contest page for more details! The contest ends on November 18th, 2016 at 11:59 PM ET , so make sure you capture your perfect mess soon!