Cleaning with kids isn’t a challenge. It’s mission impossible!
There’s a knot in my stomach that won’t go away. It appears every time I look around when I see the home in disarray. Toys everywhere, packets of eaten cookies/candy on the floor, and, God forbid, candy stuck to the wooden floor.
I have never been a very clean person myself. When I was young and carefree, my mom insisted the only thing I needed to do was focus on my studies. This meant I never had chores to do at home. For all I know, there was a fairy that lived at home who kept our home magically clean at every given moment. So any cleaning and organizing I learned on my own.
Lucky for my husband and kids, I inherited my mother’s genes and traits, so I’m hard working and have a strong desire to have a beautiful home.
Disclaimer: Use below tips for a clean home depending on your stress levels for the day! Using the first six together constantly might have the side effect of loss of sanity.
- Be Prompt
This is for those ‘we are just coming over for a visit’ times. (The Hunchback of Notredame and PT Usha have nothing on me!) The one main secret to having a clutter-free home is possible only when you’re picking up after everyone constantly. That, of course, means staying bent down. Drag a box around as you throw things in as they hit the ground.
- Keep Bed Sheets Handy
Spread them around the house. At the end of the day, just wrap up them up, tie a knot at the top, and pile them in a corner. This is especially good for Legos.
- Be Ignorant
When I approach a room which is a mess (especially after a party or playdate), I close my eyes for fear of turning into mean mom, give the needed instructions to the kids, and have them guide me back to a clean room.
- Use Messes For Conflict Resolution
This is a great idea I got from a friend. Now, when my kids fight, it becomes clean up time and they have to clean up EVERYTHING around the house.
- Boxes With Lids In Every Room
My three year old picks things up and just scatters them around. For no reason. I’m serious! There is absolutely no reason. And these aren’t even toys! She picks up something from its shelf, walks five steps, and drops it. For such messes, I have boxes in each room. At the end of the week, I just sort it all back for the vicious circle to begin again. I even got a LARGE cardboard box recently. Now, the kids use that to pretend they’re in a boat with all their stuff in it. So…works for toys, too.
- One in One Out
With the attention span that lasts all of ten minutes when they’re enjoying themselves, it isn’t long before they move onto their next play. Ensure that they put back what they are playing with the minute they are done. Though, that means you will probably be following them around and might as well do it yourself. So, good luck with that!
- Make Peace With it
Not long ago, I made peace with the mess. It wasn’t easy. But I came around. I now look at things not just as clutter but as things that have stories. Let’s face it, the kids aren’t going anywhere and neither are you. The messes will last only ’til they are around or follow your lead and start cleaning up themselves.
The most important thing to remember is that clutter is a sign they the kids have been playing and using their imagination. I have the most beautiful pillows that were used for everything other than decoration: for spaceships, cards, intergalactic wars even!
Kids will only be little once. Would you rather spend your time clearing clutter or spend that time playing with the kids?