5 Clean-Up Hacks for Tired Parents
Our homes are a reflection of ourselves. Most of what we display is intentional... Carefully picked souvenirs from travels (worldly!), paintings by local students (hip!), compost bins (green!) We arrange and decorate our homes to represent who we are – or what we aspire to be.
More telling, though, is what our homes are like when no one‘s watching. And with kids, clutter is inevitable. Here are some lazy hacks to keep a tidy home, regardless of your style, because you’re not only a parent, you’re still a goddess!
Designate a Play Space
You just saved yourself an extra 2-8 rooms of cleaning. Ideally, have a room solely for toys, arts and crafts, and found objects. Give them the freedom to enjoy the room as they please. This is how kids grow and develop. Having an unrestricted play space fosters creativity, innovation, problem-solving, independence, and much more. Clean every other day, once a week, or as needed… just before any strange, mysterious odors start to emit.
Have Little Bins in Each Room
Because we are cool and calm super parents (or at least aspire to be), we will not panic when Johnny steps out of his designated play space and starts to explore. We all know that for kids, the best toys aren’t toys at all. The kitchen is heaven with its pots, pans, and eggbeaters.
Mom’s closet is perfect for dress up, her vanity for face painting. Dining chairs + sheets = best blanket fort. Put a small bin or basket in every room for the miscellaneous traveling toys, and frequently played-with-non-toys.
Clean As You Go
If you’re heading to the laundry room anyway, might as well pick up the dirty sock in the hallway rather than just staring at it. The key is not to set out to clean deliberately. Simply picking things up along the way, reduces the big clean up at the end of the day. (That rhymes!)
Make Your Kids WANT to Clean Up
The cleanup song is boring and ineffective. Threats and raised voices are cruel and counterproductive. Instead, make cleaning up competitive. Whoever cleans up the fastest gets an extra serving of dessert! Whoever puts away the most toys picks out the movie tonight! Sit back and watch the kids trip over themselves making the place immaculate.
Know When to Embrace the Mess
Have you ever had a waiter take your plate away when you weren’t finished, or have someone steal your joke and beat you to the punch line? Well, when you’re cleaning non-stop 24/7, you’re most likely destroying potential masterpieces, disassembling future inventions, ruining carefully curated theatrical sets... and just plain killing fun.
Resist the urge to clean during peak play hours. What may look like “clutter” to you may be doing wonders for your kids’ imagination. If all the animal toys are lined up a certain way and pillows and chairs are laid out, ask first!
Are you a domestic goddess, or are you more of a sticky crumby hobbit? Share your tips for a clutter-free home!