Every Friday for the next 5 weeks, we will feature 5 tips to help busy moms!
I am NO expert at keeping a house clean. I LOVE having a clean house but with three kids and working full time....not always doable. I have figured out a few little tips though that I thought I'd share with you.
1. Have a Landing Pad - Have a place for each child to "drop" their stuff when they get home each day. We have baskets at our house. Each basket has a name on it. That is the spot they know to put their hat, gloves, backpack, folder, gym shoes, etc. each day after school. The tower of baskets is right next to the coat tree to hang up their coat. No excuses. There's a place for everything.
This is our landing pad....
Click HERE to see the post where I shared our landing pad!
2. 10 Things - Before bedtime (yours and the kids) and right before you leave in the morning, have everybody pick up 10 things. Kids who are about 3 or 4 on up are able to count to 10 as they pick up 10 items! And 10 does not seem too overwhelming. Also, I've found that even for myself, if I'm looking at a huge pile of laundry I can tell myself - "Just fold and put away 10 items." It is quick, doable and puts a dent in the mess. The little bit of progress often motivates me to keep going too!
3. Connective Cleaning - This "connective cleaning" is my own self-created term. The "connected" part is sort of a "one thing leads to another" idea. So for example, I might find a hairbrush on the kitchen counter. I pick it up, carry it to the bathroom to put it away. In the bathroom I find a towel on the floor. I pick it up to carry to the laundry room. When I get to the laundry room, I find a pair of shoes left by the door. I put them in the kids' shoe basket. Laying next to the shoe basket might be a truck that belongs in the toy box in the living room. I take it to the living room and put it away. Then find a empty glass that should be taken to the kitchen....and so on. I set the timer and may do it in 15 minute increments. Again, doable. A little gets cleaned up in each room. A little eventually leads to a lot! I'm moving quickly throughout the house so I get in a little workout too - win/win!!
4. A Load of Laundry Every Morning - I've heard it said from lots of moms, organizing experts, and top-notch homemakers that doing a load of laundry every day makes it more manageable. I know some might prefer to have a set laundry day scheduled each week but for me, making sure I put in a load every morning works.
5. Be Specific - Children need simple, specific directions. If you tell a 5 year old, "Put your shoes away, take care of your coat, brush your teeth, and turn off the TV" all they will hear is "Turn off the TV" - the last thing you said. It's too much for little heads to take in - heck, it is too much for big heads to take in! Be simple. Be specific. Say, "Please put your shoes in the closet." When that is done say, "Hang up your coat." When that is done have them brush their teeth. One thing at a time with clear directions seems to be the trick to get things done!