Are You Tired of a Messy House?
What is your definition of a messy house? Is it a house with clutter, debris or a little of both? Clutter can wait, but debris should be cleaned up in a timely manner. As you discipline yourself and your children, clutter will be dealt with as needed.
Keeping a house clean, especially with little ones, can be a difficult chore. The best approach is to “just do it” and involve the children as much as possible.
How to Involve Children in Cleaning the House
- Buy brooms and mops from the dollar store and cut the handles down to child-size.
- Have them “help” clean where you clean.
How Children Can Help Clean the Kitchen
- In the kitchen, have them sweep the floor on one side while you sweep the other, then switch sides. Use the same method for mopping.
- Enlist children to clear off the table.
- Children 3 years and up can put dishes away.
- Rearrange dishes on lower shelves so the little ones can reach them to put them away.
How Children Can Help With Vacuuming
- Small children can help declutter items off the floor before you vacuum.
- Older ones can vacuum; even a less-than-professional job can be touched up later and helps them learn the skill.
How Children Can Help Clean the Bathroom
- Children can empty the bathroom bin
- Small children can fetch spare rolls of toilet paper
- Sweep the floor while you clean off the counter, sink and mirror
How Children Can Help Clean Their Bedrooms
Encourage your children to:
- Make bed every morning
- Fold up pyjamas and put on pillow
- Pick toys up off floor
- Pick up trash and throw it away
- Pick up dirty clothes and put in hamper
How Children Can Help With Laundry
- Toddlers can fold underwear and cloth diapers
- Children aged four and up can fold washcloths & hand towels
- Older ones can fold and hang their own clothes and put away
- Assign older children to fold the clothes of a yonger sibling as well as their own. Children sometimes know better than parents which singlets belong to whom!
- Children can help you sort clothes and load washer and dryer.
- Let toddlers hand you clothes and/or pegs one at a time while you hang the laundry on the line.
Tips for Keeping Toys Tidy
- Keep toys in bins. Only take out one at a time and remind children they must pack and put away that bin before the next one comes out.
- These kinds of toys work well in bins: blocks, Legos, Duplos, Lincoln Logs, dols and doll accessories, dress up, kitchen/play foods, cars and trucks. Get rid of any toys your children don’t play with regularly.
- Every birthday I just request more of the above stuff. Really, can you ever have too many Legos? I don’t think so!
- If children can not help with something, let them play next to you while you work. This helps to keep the mess down. They can play on a blanket with the above toys. My 3 & 1 year old can play for hours with a large bin of Duplos.
Maintaining a Positive Attitude While Cleaning House
Singing and music help make cleaning fun. Children model the behavior they see, including the attitude of a mother who faithfully and cheerfully cleans the house.
Also let your children know that if they help it can give you more time to do fun things like go to the park, library, read, ride bikes etc. Once they understand this, they will work extra hard so you can spend more time doing fun things together as a family.