Whether it is actually true or not, most parents will tell you that there is a direct correlation between the tidiness and cleanliness of their homes and kids. While we can all believe that a household with only adults is easier to keep neat, the truth is that with some training and effort, a home with children can be kept neat as well. It’s true. Here’s how to make it happen:
Be the change you want to see
We can thank Gandhi for that quote. He was talking about the world and society at large, but we can also apply it to our households as well. Parents have to demonstrate behaviors that they want their kids to adopt. In other words, be good role models. That’s the first step. Nothing creates more rancor in kids than “do as I say, not as I do.”
Create tidiness habits
Just consider for a moment if everyone lived by the following habits. The key is to create a few simple rules and be consistent in adherence to them. Everyone – including adults – have to comply. You have to set the rules that will be most effective for your household. But here are some general rules that can have a big impact on your environment right away:
- One thing at a time. Before a new activity can be started, the previous activity has to be put away. Even if there is a knitting project that is ongoing as the knitter watches TV, stash all the materials for the project in a basket. That way it is contained and not left strewn about.
- End of day round up. Five or 10 minutes picking and straightening up miscellanea before bed clears the way for morning and reduces the opportunity for small stacks to accumulate and grow into big piles. This also helps keep personal possessions in personal space – not communal areas like living rooms, family rooms and dining tables.
- A place for everything and everything in its place. When the tape or letter opener is used, it is then put back in its place. This applies for craft supplies, clothing, jewelry, and everything else. It’s important that kids know where items are to be stored and kept – and they are held accountable for getting and keeping things in their proper place.
Create cleaning routines
You know how sometimes when the job is so big, it is a challenge to begin? Well, kids can feel the same way when faced with a task like a messy bedroom. If you break the larger job down into specific tasks, it makes it easier.
For instance, when you say clean your bedroom, it will be more manageable if you break it down into several specific categories and individual tasks. Think the “rule of three.” Identify three areas and break each into three (or less) tasks. This gives the child a roadmap to accomplish the job. Here is an example:
- Put dirty clothing in the hamper
- Put clean clothing in dresser drawers and/or closet
- Attack toy groups individually (Put all the blocks in the basket, collect up all the Legos into a container, stack all your books on the shelf.)
- Organize friends. Line up the stuffed animals or put all the dollies together in their bed. Arrange action figures on a shelf or store in a bin.
- Pick up crayons, pencils, and markers, and put them in a cup or box. Stack paper, and coloring books on a shelf.
- Furniture and room
- Make the bed.
- Vacuum the floor.
- Dust furniture.
Once everyone, adults and kids, work and live by the same rules and consistently work them, your home will stay neater. It won’t matter if the household is all adults or includes any number of kids. When everyone pitches in and does their part, things just get easier for everyone!
Once your home stays consistently neater and less cluttered, it will be easier to clean. Or, it would be great to spend time out with the family while Tidy Tabs does the cleaning on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Call us at 317-426-7806 for a free estimate and to set a schedule that works best for you and your family.
Tidying as you go helps to reduce the need for spending an entire day cleaning up – even before the cleaning can begin. If you have never used a cleaning service, you might have questions and we are happy to answer them with no obligation on your part. Make life easier – for you and for your family. Tidy Tabs will help!