Sometimes when there are children in the house it can feel like a constant hurricane of clutter. Below are ten tips on how to keep your house clean WITH KIDS underfoot.
I hold this motto close to my heart…
Yet the chaos of a cluttered home can be exhausting.
Before you read through this list, know the first step to maintaining a clean home is to talk to your family. Start by explaining that you want to keep the house clutter-free so you can spend more time with them. Let your family know how much their support means to you!
10 TIPS & TRICKS For Keeping Your House Clean With Kids
Below are different approaches and ways to keep your house clean with kids:
1. Establish playtime rules.
Teach your children to take out one toy collection at a time. Before they move on to their next playful endeavor they need to put the previous items away. Before our girls went to a Montessori preschool, I would have said, “Yeah, right.” You would be amazed what young children are capable of if you set an expectation and routine.
2. Everything has a place.
Kids (and adults) are more likely to keep their space clutter-free if items have designated areas. Our girls have nice wood bins for their toy collections, but we also use things like upcycled shoe boxes for trinkets. Create a simple system using labels, so kids know how to easily fulfill your “put this away” request.
3. Let kids EARN toys back.
If (or I should say when) your child refuses to put their things away, simply reply, “That’s so sad. Mom will have to pick up your stuff.” Keep a box of cleaned-up toys elevated in your garage. When your child asks for a specific item, your child will have to do a chore to earn the item back. If the box gets full, take the older items to the nearest donation center!
4. Let the children take turns being the boss for 10-minutes.
Kids will love playing this game and it helps them learn to pay attention to details. Their job is to supervise the other children to ensure everything gets picked up as requested. Of course, take turns amongst siblings to keep this game fun.
5. Whatever the vacuum touches goes in the garbage.
Tell the kids whatever the vacuum touches either gets sucked up or gets thrown in the trash. This approach can be playful or a consequence, depending on the day!
6. Create put-away baskets.
Designate and label a bin or basket for each child. As you clean throughout the day, throw items into the basket for your child to put away. It’s easier to carry a basket full of things to their room than it is to carry individual items. Plus, it helps keep your floors clean during the day!
Before we move on, tip number seven is really important…
7. Choose your battles.
Being a parent is hard and keeping a clean house is exhausting. Remember to give yourself some credit. Trust me, you are not the only person whose home looks like it was hit by a tornado.
8. One decent space can save your sanity.
Sometimes the chaos of it all can feel overwhelming. Create a safety-zone for yourself, pick one spot that you can control in your home. Then when the chaos of the rest of the house gets to you, head to your safety zone.
Maybe your laundry room is your safety zone. I’ve seen great organization tips and adorable tutorials for sprucing up laundry spaces on Pinterest. Never mind the laundry, find joy in the details. Make the space yours: Paint. Hang family photos. Be creative. Love this quote…
9. Teach them to clean properly.
I know having kids clean isn’t always “helpful.” In fact, I know a few good friends who feel the need to re-clean after the kids have done a chore. Here’s the thing. Don’t just let your child “play clean,” get down and teach them how to properly accomplish the task.
For example, my girls LOVE the step-by-step process of cleaning the bathroom sink. We use a homemade cleaning spray, scrub, use toothbrushes for the faucet nooks and to clean around the grout, then in the end they love polishing the faucet dry to get a nice shine. Search for chores that won’t drive you crazy if not 100% properly executed and teach your child to get it just-so.
10. Make it a singing and dancing party.
Crank the tunes and make cleaning a PARTY. We’ve got a “Cleaning Tunes” playlist in iTunes full of songs to get the kids energized to move. Be sure to sing! We tend to use our vacuum as a microphone stand.
Life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change. —Jim Rohn
Happy cleaning friends,