As every parent knows, it can be nearly impossible to keep a tidy house with tiny feet running around. It can seem like the instant you turn your back, that room you just spent hours cleaning is a disaster again. Many parents fail to hold their child responsible for their mess, either. According to recent research, less than a third of U.S. parents say that their children have cleaning responsibilities. By instilling your children with a strong cleaning ethic, you can help to keep your home organized even with little ones on the loose.
Reinforce Cleanup Time Early On
You should teach your kids how to pick up after themselves as early on as possible. Set a strong example by always making a point of showing and talking about cleaning up throughout the day. Also, teaching them the benefits of having a clean home from top to bottom can help them understand why they need to pitch in. If you teach your toddler to put toys back on the shelf as soon as they’re done playing, you can eliminate much of the mess that drives parents mad. Try to make cleanup time fun with rhymes, songs, and stories. When done, you can reward good behavior with a treat such as tasty snacks or a little bit of extra TV time.
Get the Whole Family Involved
You shouldn’t be the only one setting an example. You can get your spouse and other children involved in the process as well and use cleaning time as a chance to bond. It helps to establish rituals such as pre-dinner table setting, after-meal dishes, weekend vacuuming, and more. For families with older children, you can create a chore wheel to distribute responsibilities fairly. Depending on the age of your children, you can reward them for a job well done with toys, outings, or pocket money.
Treat Cleaning as a Constant Process
As a parent, you’re never truly done with the cleaning. Instead of doing it in exhausting bursts, however, you can save yourself time and frustration by always being on-call. Never walk from room to room empty handed, but instead, grab something that needs to be put away along the way. Doing this takes barely any extra time, but can potentially save you hours in the long term.
While there’s no doubt that having kids is a blessing, parenthood doesn’t come without its challenges. The constant battle against clutter may seem never-ending, but with a little bit of effort, you can work your way toward a more organized home. You should teach your children how to clean early on and have the whole family set an example on the proper way to tidy up. It’s also important to remember that cleaning is a constant process, but you can make it significantly less stressful by cleaning just a little bit each day.