“Summer break” has a new meaning this year. Most schools have been doing remote learning from home for the better part of the past 3 months and, in many places, summer camps aren’t happening, pools aren’t open, and everyone is being encouraged to continue distancing from others to some degree. This is making it difficult for many parents to keep their kids constantly entertained while simultaneously keeping the house clean and maintaining their own personal sanity.
Let’s discuss some simple ways you can keep your house a bit cleaner while balancing life!
1) Continuous Decluttering
The more stuff you have, the harder it is to figure out where it belongs. If you start in a small, semi-impersonal space such as a bathroom, you build good momentum from throwing away meaningless trash. In order to maintain the cleanliness, carry the concept of decluttering with you, and maybe subscribe to the “one in, one out” concept where you get rid of something old as soon as you bring in something new!
2) Everything Has a Home
This tip comes with a little caveat. Not only does everything need a home, but everyone in the house needs to know what that home is. This is easiest to implement if the “home” feels obvious and makes sense. Coffee mugs belong near the coffee. Coat racks should be near the door. If it’s not done this way, your family is much less likely to use them to keep things clean.
3) Create Storage Areas for Toys
In order to maintain a tidy area with toys still around, use decorative storage bins in discrete places. Set a rule that it’s one toy out at a time, and don’t make the sorting process too detailed so everyone can use it appropriately. This maintains an uncluttered room that is still functional for the kids!
4) Maintain Accessibility
When kids can’t access an area, they’re not likely to put things away there. Put coat racks low near the front door so they can remove coats and backpacks immediately upon entering. Make a stool easily available so they can put away dishes properly. Using open bins also helps, so they don’t have to struggle with lids.
5) Get Into a Routine
If this is something you haven’t done yet, hop to it. A daily routine can be great when you’re able to work it into other routines, such as morning and evening. They should eventually feel like a habit and keep everything running so much smoother. These daily routines make taking care of the big take so much less time.
6) Clear Off Surfaces
It’s easy for clutter to quickly pile up, especially in areas that already have other things on them. When you keep these areas clear from the start, it’s much less likely that things will build up there over time! If you notice things beginning to clutter up, simply cut it off and remove everything instead of leaving it to continue.
7) Keep it Simple
Kids thrive in simple organization. It should be easy to understand, easy to use, and easy to maintain for both you and your children. Storage bins can be just that: to store the toys. They don’t need to be color-coded or deeply organized, just a place to store toys only.
8) Create a Way to Hold Clutter Until it’s Put Away
Every person in my house has their own bin where I toss their belongings, then they take them to their rooms and put them where they belong at the end of the week. This builds accountability while also making it easy to clean up over time, instead of scrambling in one afternoon.
9) Teach Your Kids to Clean
Deep clean your child’s room with them helping and guide them on what your expectations for cleanliness is. Show them how the bed should be made, answer questions for them, guide them on vacuuming and taking out the trash. This should give them the tools necessary to keep their rooms clean on their own!
10) Fold Clothes Effectively
If you’re not familiar with Kon-Mari and the method of folding that goes along with it, give that a quick Google. Kid’s drawers can quickly become disaster areas when they have to sift through clothes they can’t see. However, Kon-Mari negates that by giving the ability to see exactly what’s in the drawer immediately!
11) Let Your Kids DIY It
When kids reach a certain age, it’s more reasonable to let them establish their own organization systems in their rooms and bathrooms. This will ensure that it makes sense to them and makes it more likely that they’ll stick to keeping things tidy.
12) Seek Help
Housekeeping Associates is here to help you achieve all of your cleaning needs, regardless of if you have kids or not. If you’ve found yourself drowning in clutter following work from home, remote learning, COVID and everything else happening right now, get in touch with us to have your home professionally deep cleaned today!