The holidays are here and of course, the kids are back home with us and the house might not remain the same quiet and neat place, at least for the moment that they are around.
Play toys and pieces of papers would be everywhere, tables turned upside down, spills of drink, mention it; would make everywhere look messy. Sometimes, it drives one nuts to try and keep up with the chaos. It can be very challenging and overwhelming if you are a neat freak like me.
However, I am glad to tell you that I am not doing badly in this area. I will share my workable approach with you in this post.
1. Be determined
Remember that children will always be children, so don’t expect grown-up actions from them. Having a clean home shouldn’t be about the kids only, you also need to set your mind on putting bits and pieces together, at whichever corner of the house you find yourself.
Be the garbage woman, pick toys and other wrongfully placed items up as you move around. Do not bother to scream out your lungs, using your hands would save you a whole lot of stress.
2. Have a cleaning session with the kids
This method is mostly recommended for your grown up kids, not for the too-young ones. Teach them the cleaning culture. Show them that cleanliness around the home is important at all times.
Keep a flashy and toyish looking bin near the house and, as kids are usually attracted by flashy and interesting toys, you would see them visiting the bin regularly to dump in even the tiniest of paper. This method works perfectly for me, I hope it does for you too.
3. Invent an after play game
I usually play a fun game with my kids after their play session. I call it filling the basket with mummy. I would pick up a basket and start singing a dance along song with my kids. We would then move round the house while picking up toys and other items along the way.
I instruct my kids pick up everything on the floor and dump them into the basket as we move. Whoever picks up the highest number of toys would be rewarded.
You can imagine how they pick up things so swiftly just to outdo each other’s number and viola! nothing is left on the floor. It works like magic, try it.
4. Prepare a roster for your kids’ activities
It can be quite exhausting at times, with all the screaming and running around all day, so having a roster for your kids activities should help organise things a bit. The kids should not be on their feet the whole day.
Taking a nap or having a siesta should be inculcated in them. They should take some rests or do some studies while you try to put things in place or also get a rest.
5. Do not hand them too many toys at a time
Reduce the numbers of toys they play with at a time, especially if they are too young to take part in the ‘after the play game’. This method can also make replacing the toys in their rightful place a less exhausting task.
6. Sweep and sweep again
This process also requires determination. Having a neat home with kids around doesn’t come on a platter of gold, you must work for it. Sweep before and after each play session.
You might be teaching them how to be industrious, remember, children mimic a lot, they could actually be learning from you.
7. Design a dedicated play area
You may also designate a specific area for the children to use for all play activities and keeping of toys. With this, you would only need to deal with that part of the house when they are done playing.
For the older children, make proper clean up a rule for them after every play. It does not have to be a tedious task; it could range from putting away toys and everything associated with it, to just rearranging or readjusting the furniture.
The bad side of this method is that it restricts the children to a particular area of the house. We actually need to allow them explore their surroundings while they play, however, with a lot of monitoring.
So there you have it. Try out some of these approaches to see which of them works best for you.
Do you have your own workable tips? Don’t forget to share with us in the comments section.