Cleaning Your House When You Have Kids
I totally identify with a meme circulating on social media where Mom is folding laundry and placing it in a drawer. Right behind her, a toddler is pulling clothing out and throwing it on the floor.
Cleaning your house when you have kids can often feel like taking two steps forward and three steps back, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. A few simple strategies can help you manage the mess, even when it seems your kids are out to cause chaos.
Start by minimizing. Too much stuff always leads to extra clutter. When you’ve whittled your possessions down to a manageable amount, it’s easier to find homes for everything. Kids are more likely to put things away when they know exactly where those things are supposed to go. Try labeling bins and cupboards with words or pictures.
Involve the Wee Ones
Young children love to help out. Yes, it takes longer to finish the job when you have a little shadow, but teaching them when they are young is always your best bet. The skills they learn as they sweep up their cheerios will benefit them greatly later in life.
Listen to music, sing songs and make up games or other silly ways to get the job done. Find ways to have fun while you work together. You’ll create memories and your kids will stay on task with a lot less grumbling.
Create routines and stick to them, when possible. If you assign tasks, follow them through to completion. Make sure your children know what you expect and praise them when they have been successful. Teens, in particular, might complain about a chore schedule, but prefer it over being surprised with unexpected work.
Take time to teach and practice specific chores with your child. When they are ready to try it on their own, print a list and laminate it. Kids can check off each item, with a dry erase marker, as they build independence. Hang a “Clean-Up after Meals” list on the refrigerator. Show them the “Before Screens” list when they ask for the iPad. Put instructions for Cleaning the Bathroom wherever you keep the Toilet Duck. As a bonus, pointing to the checklist can take the onus off you, as the nagging parent.
Teach your little ones to pick up each mess before making a new one. Model for them. Tidy the kitchen after each meal and wipe up spills as they happen. A few minutes, here and there, throughout the day can seem a whole lot less daunting than several hours on the weekend.
It’s almost guaranteed that when you are finished mopping the floors, someone will spill an entire glass of sticky sweet juice. Sometimes, before you finish cleaning the bathroom, you find a new disaster in the hall.
Once in a while, it’s okay to kick back, grab a cup of coffee and be thankful Martha Stewart isn’t coming to visit. These years aren’t going to last forever and one day, you’ll miss the messes these little hands are making.
In these busy times, a quality home cleaning service can really be a value-added experience, giving you more time with the family. Why not schedule yourself a ‘break’ once or twice a month? Call Maid Sense Cleaning Service 604.897.8787
Just the other day, I overheard a conversation in the furniture store. He asked whether she thought the couch was comfortable. Her response? “It’s perfect! It’ll hold at least four loads of laundry.”