All kids are great at making a mess, and keeping a home clean and tidy is usually a struggle with small children around. Yet, even the smallest members of the household are capable of contributing a lot when it comes to household chores. And with a little planning, managing the home together can even be fun! How?
1. Engage everyone!
Even two-year olds can help with household chores like putting toys back in their bin, or taking dirty plates to the kitchen. Why not sit down as a family, and discuss how chores can be divided up? For some folks, giving each family member a specific job may work best. In other families (like mine!), planning to clean one room up and all doing it together is very effective. In either case, everyone does something, and the youngest members of the household may come to see cleaning and tidying as something that comes completely naturally.
2. Keep at it
If your home is the center of most of your activities, there are always opportunities to sink into chaos. Keeping everything organized is easier if you keep on tidying in five or ten minute spurts throughout the day. FlyLady has a lot to teach, even to people who think her cleaning system is too rigid. “Five-minute room rescue” operations are highly effective for any family with small kids, or homeschooling families. Kids are much more likely to participate without complaining if they know they’ll be free to do other things in a matter of minutes. Planning one longer cleaning session once a week will take care of the big things.
3. Make it fun
There are lots of ways to make cleaning and tidying fun for young children. Find some upbeat music and turn it on loudly — dance around while dusting! Turn tidying toys away into a competition by seeing who can put the most away before the song ends. Be creative, and the cleaning session will become fun.
4. Enjoy your clean, clutter-free space
Don’t forget to thank children who do their best to keep your living space clean and without clutter! After having a cleaning session, sit down for tea and cakes, or whatever it is you like, and enjoy your freshly cleaned home.
Olivia, a homeschooling mom of two, writes about female healthy and fertility at Trying To Conceive. Women who are hoping to get pregnant can pinpoint their most fertile days with her free ovulation calendar.