Does this sound like you?
Me: “Oh my gosh! This place is so messy!”
Proceeds to pick up toys, fix cushions, wash dishes, sweep and mop floors, febreze couches, make beds, clean bathroom, put clothes in baskets………..drops into my bed!
Me: “I’m so tired! You all don’t do anything to help me!”
Sound familiar? I’m sure it does!
As a mom of 4 children, it can be a challenge to keep our home tidy. For many years, I took on the burden of cleaning my home by myself without help. Just before Covid came around, my life became very busy, so my husband and I decided to hire a cleaner. That worked well for a bit, until we found that the children were not appreciative of the help. So their room would be messy within a day of cleaning.
With stay at home orders, our cleaner had to be on pause. Like all families, we had to find new ways of doing things together. It was the perfect opportunity to tackle this topic of cleaning once more!
Here are a few things that we did that helped.
1. Clear the clutter!
A space filled with clutter can be very difficult to keep clean. I would suggest doing a pre-cleaning session where you clear the clutter.
- Discard unimportant paper and mail that is piling up. File the important stuff.
- Give away books, clothes, shoes and toys that your children no longer need.
- Find ways of compacting your towels, comforters, curtains and sheet sets.
- Clear all countertops and flat surfaces where things tend to be placed; especially in your kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.
This is a great first step that would make things so much easier going forward.
2. Make it easy and fun.
Nothing gets your children to sign-off more than chores! Make cleaning easier by incorporating fun ideas. Make a game out of it. Children are motivated when they know they can get something they want. You can give a few minutes of extra screen time for the child who completes their chore first. How about that shoe he/she wanted? Yup, they can get that too with a month of consistent cleaning!
Make it easier for them to clean. Get appropriate baskets for dirty clothes. Dedicate a drawer or basket for socks and underwear.
Folding clothes for moms are a nightmare! I know for sure if I don’t fold right after the clothes come out of the dryer, they stay there for the week! Make a simple clothes-folder so your children can fold their own clothes!
Show them how to make their beds and how to fold their clothes. Why not show them how to separate them for the wash while you are at it? They will only become better at it by doing it over and over.
So go ahead! Release the control, and let them help you!
3. Delegate according to age.
You would not ask your 3 year old to take out the trash, or your 15 year old to put their toys in a box. Delegate the tasks according to their ages. Assess their capabilities and assign chores that they can actually handle. If you don’t, then you may have to go back and do it yourself because the task was not within their reach. You would be surprised to see how proud children feel about themselves after completing a task successfully.
4. Second round
Be sure to review their work. Let them do a walk through with you. Don’t clean up after them. Point out what could have been done better, and let them improve on what they did before. Teaching them how to focus will help a great deal. Children have a very short attention span. So concentration will be the aim of the first round. After a while, you would notice that they will get it right and the second round will become unnecessary.
5. Clean kitchen at night
Nothing calls for rodents and flies more than a dirty kitchen! Be sure all the dishes are washed before you retire at night. Make this a mandatory chore if you have a child that is of age. It makes it a whole lot easier to get breakfast started the next morning
Overall, just encourage your children. Believe me, they will not get it right 80% of the times. But with our love and gentle support, they will become responsible adults who know how to keep their space tidy. This will make room for maximum productivity and comfort.
I hope this was helpful.
P.S: I’m on a quest this month to grow my Instagram! I share much more behind the scenes of my life as a wife, mom of 4 and an entrepreneur. Go follow me. I’ll be sure to follow back!