Kids are important and they take a lot of our time, it can require shifting priorities, and sometimes that means getting behind on cleaning. It can be hard to keep the house free of dirt, grime, and especially clutter, and it may be a few years before your kids can clean up their toys which have a way of spreading all over.
Obviously our answer includes hiring cleaners for the occasional deep clean, or a regular service, but in between, there are things you can do to help. A messy house can cause a lot of subconscious stress, especially if you are the type of person that needs a tidy space to feel good about yourself.
1. Having a dedicated eating space is one of the easiest ways to avoid cleaning unnecessary messes. A ‘no food in the living room’ rule can really help. Some kids are tidy and look after themselves, so a little flexibility might feel good for them an yourself, but when everyone is overwhelmed, keeping eating in the kitchen can help.
2. Toy bins in the rooms where your kids play can lead to an earlier-than-expected cleaning routine with your kids’ help too. It’s easy for them to pick up toys and drop them in the same bin, and they often have fun picking out toys later again. Having no dedicated space for their stuff means you have to mind them over and over again, and they have a more difficult time turning a request into action. “Toys in the bin please” is a very easy statement that is very easy to use in discussion.
3. Having a contest can lead to quick action, and a little reward can get you into great habits. A small treat can often motivate action as we know, everyone likes to win something.
4. Asking for help goes a long way. If you are overwhelmed, there’s no need to bottle it up. The groans can be more diverted easily like this “If you pick up your stuff we can all watch a movie together”: cause-and-effect statements can really help, especially if it focuses around togetherness. “Let’s all clean our rooms together” is a lot better than sending the kids off to work when they feel isolated and laboring all by themselves. This cute trick can really be a help.