How I Do It: Cleaning

How I Do It: Cleaning

A clean house is a happy house.  I can hear y’all now, already laughing.  Okay, so my house is never completely clean, there are a few toys here and there, maybe some unmade beds, but for the most part, I try and go to bed with most of it put away.  So does that make my house sad?  Doubtful.  While I’m no neat freak, by any means of the word, I still like to wake up to a somewhat uncluttered space.  And I try to instill these values of respecting and taking care of things (including our house and toys) in my children.

Routine and organization is key.  Like most routines for children (bedtime, meal time, etc.), once you start it, and do it for a few days, it doesn’t seem like such a daunting task anymore.  My girls used to hate cleaning up their toys (especially the ones they didn’t even get out (i.e. L’s mess)), but now they know that if they want an incentive (i.e. a sweet treat, to watch a show before bed, or extra books at bedtime), they’ll clean it up.  And if everything has its place, it’s so much easier for them to know exactly where to put each toy.  I wouldn’t make it too complicated, maybe three or four different places.  Mine are pretty simple.  Books go in a certain place, then big toys, and then small toys.  As my children get older, I’ll probably start labeling bins, so they know exactly where to put specific toys, but for now, at this age, this works for us.

Orders.  While it may seem easy to go into your child’s room, and say “You cannot come out of here, until this mess is clean,” that’s a lot to understand, especially a young child.  Based on my girls, I’d say that it’s very rare that it actually gets clean, when attempting that approach.  I always give W and E specific instructions of what they need to clean.  Instead of just saying, “clean up your room,” I’ll say “put the books back on the bookshelf” or “put the small toys in the drawer.”  “Clean up your room” is a little too overwhelming for them, at their age.  Sometimes I may offer incentives if they do a good job, but not always.  Taking time to clean up a large mess also makes them realize that if they get something out to play with, that they should probably put it away after playing with it, so it won’t create a mess in the first place (well, to be honest, we’re still working on that one).

Lead by example.  If the children see that we, as their parents, respect our things (clothes put away, dishes washed, bed made, etc.), they’ll learn to do the same thing.  Instilling habits of cleanliness at an early age, will hopefully be engrained in their minds, as they become adults.

How do you teach your children to clean?
More importantly, how do you teach your husband to clean?  Ha!
Hope y’all have a fabulous start to your week!

6 thoughts on “How I Do It: Cleaning

  1. I'm right there with you on all of this! It's one thing to have toys laying around but I have to pick up after my hubby constantly. And we have cleaning ladies twice a month too. I already feel like I spend half of my life just doing dishes, laundry, and picking things up. If it weren't for them I don't know what I would do!

  2. I am the same with you. I give my daughter little jobs like clean up all the books and put jewelry in the jewelry box. It works and she's proud of herself after.

    So excited I have a cleaning team coming to give quote rmrw. I will be a happier person I just know it.

    Love love love these posts! Thank you.

  3. I'm with you, Anne definitely didn't make the most of her moment. Charlize, on the other hand, looked amazing!

    We don't have kids yet, but I absolutely hate clutter so even my husband has his own box where he is "supposed" to put papers, receipts, etc. This works for us so I'm sure when we have children I will definitely adopt your bins idea. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I haven't mastered the cleaning routine yet… but, I do pin a lot of tips on Pinterest!! Does that count?! We are having a "spring deep clean" curtesy of the Maids next week and I cannot wait! We don't have our own sweet little ones yet, but at school routines are key! Also, cleaning to music really helps! My kinder babies get a lot done during that one song.

    As for the laundry room- I am right there with ya! Ours is in our garage, it really is just a corner of the garage. I would kill for one in the house… with a nice matching set of front loaders. A girl can dream!

  5. I'm so happy you do this series. Although I feel a bit bad nodding my head in agreement with everything you say when I half the kids you have! Its nice to know that you just separate everything in to two bins. I have it all so super organized so only one toy and its parts need to be taken out at once. But who am I kidding, my whole downstairs is covered in toys by 8:30am. And it would make cleaning up a lot easier too. Wells is really good at helping to clean up the toys now but she's not capable of more than rounding up and tossing into a basket so I end up going back after her to fix it. What a waste of time. I'm going to try this system instead!

  6. I was just thinking to myself….I only have a dog…a small dog at that. And I feel like I have to wash the floors and pick up toys constantly, so how do mothers do it?! Now I know! You are amazing and a wonderful mother! Glad the hubby let you get some cleaning help…I know when I had one it was worth every cent!

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