Imagine! You are nearly late for work “again!” and it seems you cannot find your glasses anywhere! The places that you might get them are being added to the endless list in your brain: cabinet, cupboards, on the TV, in the bathroom, you name it! …
…It is 10 o’clock and you are, little by little, recovering from the shock the boss gave you for your being late “again” when you get a message from you wife:
“I found it under the sofa, actually you had left it on the sofa but when Kathy wanted to sleep on it last night she put it there.. Her room was so messy she could not even sleep in there… Uh…! It seems kids never learn!!”
Doesn’t it sound familiar? Well, keeping a home clean can be so hard especially if when it seems that only Mom and Dad are responsible for it! However, we can say it is only Mom and Dad who are responsible for an untidy home! How? The answer is simple: They never teach children to be tidy!
A family, helping each other with housework, show a sense of respect to each other and also it teaches children life skills that are necessary for their future independent lives. When they have a routine cleaning times, they get in to the habit of being neat all the time.
Remember a house with kids will never look 100% spic and span, but with these tips bellow, you can always have a presentable house and a happier loving family.
In Iran, people, beside cleaning their house regularly, have this tradition of overall cleaning once a year before “Nowrooz” (“The New Day” meaning the first day(s) of the year) called “khane Takani” which sometimes takes weeks for families plus lots of energy. Why not simply do it every season? Each season has its own needs and there are stuff you don’t need around the house anymore. By de-cluttering at the end of each season, we can easily make way for the things you need in the new season. Just do not forget to involve children even with small tasks.
“No one goes on the hiking trip tomorrow until the house is clean!”
Mom & Dad
During the week, your family members might be too busy to get big things neat and tidy, so there is plenty of time during the weekend. Cleaning the kitchen, doing the laundry, and vacuuming are among the chore to be done at this time. Meanwhile, kids should be reminded that a team can do things faster and how faster it could be done if they had done their duties like picking up the toys, and the stuff during the week. Teach them how much more free time they would have if they things are done daily. Anyway, make the atmosphere ready for the next steps like daily routines.
Family Household Schedule
Well, to tell the truth, not all family members are going to be helpful enough around the house. A chore schedule can say what you expect from each member of the family. This way no one forgets his/her task and there will be no arguments between kids over whose turn it is to take out the trash tonight! Putting it in front of the eyes teaches the kids what to do during the day to have a cleaner home with the help of each other. Try to decide together which jobs are for which person. Mom and Dad must also be on the chart to make a good example for kids. Remember to give the children tasks that are according to their age.
Note: The main reason of involving little kids is to help them develop a habit of taking responsibilities around the house i.e. they might not be a big help around the house.
During the year, too many things will pile up around that you never need them anymore. Let’s follow Iranians and schedule this de-cluttering day in the spring when many people add lots of things to an already full house. Get some boxes with labels of “Trash”, “Donate” and “For Sale” and ask family members to search their bedrooms and put the things they don’t need any more in the right box. Don’t forget the kitchen and other closets and other family areas like the living room and the basement. If your kids do not like to say goodbye to their old toys and stuff you can take them with you and want them to donate their items themselves to create a teaching moment by giving them the good feeling of donation. Or you can give them the money from selling their stuff, so that they won’t miss their once beloved toys that much!
Nothing can pile up more quickly that the dishes in the sink or cluttering toys around the house especially in big families. This activity can be done before bed and every family member should participate. This cleaning task can be done quickly. You can encourage younger kids by using a timer and creating a competitive atmosphere to see who can pick up the most toys the fastest.