Thursday, February 26, 2015

Clean up, kids!

I won't lie, I love a clean house. A clean house = happy me. Clutter free surfaces, not too much stuff around and everything put back into place- that's my love language. But you know who is the opposite? Who has admitted to liking 'lots of stuff', has a tendency to leave things out and lovestshotchkes? My very own five year old! So I could nag her or just pick up after her but because this mama does not do that we've had to make cleaning up simple and a little fun. Although our house can be in a sincere state of disarray sometimes, here are just a few tips that I've found works for us. 

First off, they're never too small to begin cleaning up… okay under a year maybe is off limits but I think it's best to begin early… at least packing up toys and books and putting clothes in hampers…. but then again, conversely, I think it's never too late to begin as well. 

Everything has a home
Toys go here, books go there, these are for C's room, these are A's, you get the point. When they know what belongs where, it's easier for them to find it when they're looking for it too. Also, we used to put all C's toys in a huge toy chest. Now that's way more empty (and in A's room) and we use furniture like this instead with compartments for things-- big and little. 

Also, my kids have lots of toys so ever so often, we take a huge chunk of stuff to the basement and rotate them. That way, there's not too much boredom. 

Not too much stuff around
Less is definitely more in this case. The less stuff there is, the easier it is put things back in its place. As a rule, we keep counters and table tops pretty clean so if something is there, it's easy to spot it (play a little bit of the blame game) and then put it back.

Ready, Set, Go
This one works especially well in times where people are coming over and you're running late… We've ALL been there.  Set a time and everybody race around like they're certifiable trying to get the house clean and beat the clock at the same time. Lots of giggles usually ensue. And I may or may not play this game by myself when my kids aren't around.

Routine Stuff

My kids, like myself (and my D), thrive on routine so this one worked really well. A pretty little sign taped up in her room so that she could follow her routine and mama doesn't have to really go in her room and pick up after her. You can also just use pictures for the kids who don't read yet.

So there you have it. Yes, my house is sometimes messy and sometimes shiny. More than all of that though. I want my kids to clean up after themselves since I think it's a good life skill to have. I don't want them to think their parents will always be picking up after them.  I want them to go to other houses and pick up after themselves when they're done as well.  They're 5 and 2, there are long, sometimes messy years ahead. But all I can hope to do is be a good example, keep my cool and remember that a messy house never hurt anyone. 

Linking with with Annie and Nat for Thoughts on Thursday and
with Salma, Raj and Nisha for Three Things Thursday (although I have four tips listed- just call me a rebel without a cause)
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  1. I totally agree. I think routine makes it easier for everyone ;)

  2. Great tips! I totally agree about using small bins instead of a large toy box. Otherwise they wind up throwing everything on the ground looking for one or two toys to play with.

  3. Oh girl you and I speak the same language. To much clutter and toys laying around physically makes my eyes twitch. Great post with easy simple ideas.

  4. Great tips! I agree that it's never to late to start. I love that chart/routine idea. Happy to have you linking up, we love rebels :)

  5. Ahhh, I have only discovered just how much happiness there is in rolling up the sleeves and decluttering/organizing etc. Great ideas for getting the kids involved - and thanks for the bonus '4th' tip!


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