Keeping House with Little Ones!

You know those picture perfect homes where there isn't a single item out of place, or a spec of dust in sight? Well, I don't know about you, but I have never been able to keep that look up; and with kids the task seems impossible. It's not only difficult to keep a tidy home with kids living there, but it can be challenging to find ways to get little ones involved in tidying up (as opposed to their normal role of home-destruction). 

However, we do have a few neatness tricks up our sleeves here at CIF, and we want to share them with you! We can't promise that following these tips will give you that picture perfect home from a catalog, but they will help keep your house cleaner and a bit more organized. You might even have a little fun while you're at it! 

Declutter

Decluttering your space can seem like a daunting task, but trust us; you CAN do it and you'll feel so much better once you're through! Make a plan to tackle one space at a time, or even one drawer at a time, and work your way through your home. Then, donate all those no-longer-useful items to someone else who really needs them. For more tips on process, we really liked this recent article by Apartment Therapy: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/pro-organizer-tips-what-not-to-do-when-decluttering-your-home-168836

It's also a great idea to get your kids involved in this process.  Ask them to really think about which items they want to keep, and what toys they are willing to give away to a child in need. This can be a great lesson in service, charity, and gratitude. 

Separation

Now it's time to commit to keeping the kids things in their rooms; this leaves the family room, kitchen, dining area all toy-free. It'll help teach your little ones to be responsible for their items and to enjoy having a space of their own that is just theirs.

If your kiddos rooms are a little too small to fit all of their toys, we love the idea of implementing a toy rotation. The concept is easy; leave out a selection of toys, store the rest in bins elsewhere, and when the kids get bored with that selection box it up, pull out a new bin, and it's like Christmas all over again!

 

A Lesson in Cleaning

Make it a rule that your kids help clean up. This may sound like a no-brainer, but sometimes we forget that our little ones can do a decent job of cleaning up after themselves! Start teaching them where things go at a young age, and even at two years old they can begin to help out around the house.

Make it fun! Sing a clean up song to cue that it's time to tidy up, or turn it into a race to see who can clean up the fastest. I used to work at a preschool and our kids absolutely loved this clean up song; maybe yours will, too!

Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up!
Clean up, clean up, put your things away.
(repeat 3x)
Clean up, Clean up, put your things away!
Pick up your toys.
Pick up your shoes.
Pick up your clothes.
Put your things away
(change it up and list off things that need to be put away like Legos or Mr. Fluffy)
Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up!
Clean up, clean up, put your things away.
(repeat 3x)

Hopefully, by the end of the song, your kids room will be nice and clean! This song can also be used in race-style game for the little ones. Once they know and recognize the song, and the length, you can tell them that in order to win the game the entire room needs to be cleaned before you finish the song. 

Tips: While you're organizing the kids rooms and all of their toys, you can make the cleaning process easier by creating separate containers for the different types of toys. It's also a great way to teach your children how to identify common characteristics like color, shape, use, etc. One month you may choose to separate the toys by color and then make it a little harder the following month by choosing categories like hard, soft, squishy, plastic, fuzzy, or bouncy. Put labels on the containers and depending on their age either use images, word, or both.

 

What tips do you have for keep your house tidy and organized? We'd love to hear!

xo Kerisa Ward