Having kids in the house is akin to allowing miniature tornadoes roam through your home freely. It’s hardly unusual for parents to finish cleaning one area of the home and move on to another spot only to come back and find what you had already cleaned has been completely undone! The endless cycle can be frustrating and exhausting!
One way to combat this is to help your little ones get involved in keeping the house cleaner. Smaller kids and even young elementary-school aged kids are usually reluctant to help clean up. They want to play with the toys and books because it is fun, but cleaning up is so boring!
If you are overwhelmed by the mess in your kid’s room (or your living room, dining room and wherever else the clutter is dragged) your kids probably are too! Here are a few ways you can simplify the cleaning process, so you and your little ones can enjoy a cleaner home with less work!
Rotate toys: This is probably one of the best ways to keep house cleaning to a minimum. Purchase a few bins and fill each bin with different toys. Bring out one bin of toys for a week or a month and then switch it out with another bin. The benefits of this trick include fewer toys available to leave everywhere and your kids are much less likely to get bored with toys when they keep getting “new” ones to play with every couple of weeks.
Declutter: Get rid of the junk. The less you have, the less you have to clean. Toss out broken toys, donate toys your kids have outgrown or do not play with, and ditch the board games that are missing a bunch of pieces. If you have not found the missing pieces by now, you probably never will! Do not forget to go through your books. Toss those that have lots of missing pages and books you never look at anymore. You could donate them to the library or a local shelter.
Make cleaning easier: When you organize, your kid’s play area, sit on the floor and look at the room from your child’s perspective. They are much shorter than you are and it is going to be harder for them to keep clean and tidy if you organize from your height or skill set. Keep it as simple as possible. One bin for most toys and another for stuffed animals will make it easier for your kids to know what item goes wear.
Easy-to-carry-totes: If your kids are old enough to help with more difficult cleaning, (like helping with the bathroom, washing the floor etc.) consider creating an easy-to-carry tote so they have everything they need with them. A small bucket with a spray bottle containing vinegar-water or other green cleaning product, some rags and a sponge will ensure your kids don’t stop their cleaning to find something they need every five seconds. Use eco-friendly cleaning solution to keep your kids safe while at work.
Make it fun: House cleaning is hardly fun for anyone (even adults)! Ramping up the fun factor will help your little ones stay engaged. Make cleaning fun by turning on some tunes, putting together cleaning “outfits,” making after-chore snacks or turning it into a game. You may even encouraging your kid’s imagination by pretending to clean a castle or an amusement park.
Making cleaning a little easier for your tots will help create a good habit as your kids grow, and you’ll have less to do!