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I love to have a clean house. While I don’t think that it has to be spotless or even picked up all the time, I do like it to be tidy for the majority of the time. It drives me crazy when our house is a mess…I don’t know why, but it always has and probably always will. It just makes me feel uneasy and unable to concentrate on things, knowing that there is a mess that needs to be picked up or a room that needs cleaning.
When I was younger, my mom always kept our house clean. It was what I grew up with and what I’m used to. I suppose that’s why I like my house to feel the same way…well taken care of and attended to. I notice messes just like she always noticed them. I remember one time when she called me at a friend’s house and told me to come home to finish my chores. A clean house has always been a priority of hers, and I have made it a priority of mine, as well (mostly for my sanity). 🙂
All in all, I think that whatever works for your family is what works.
Here are some tips to help you to have a clean house with children.
1. Remember that taking care of kids can be messy. There’s no changing that, so we have to make it work. We recently had our cabinets refinished and we replaced all of the appliances in our kitchen.
We opted for Whirlpool’s Fingerprint-Resistance Black Stainless Steel appliances because they have a fingerprint-resistant finish that keeps them looking good even when your family gets a little hands on. Care can be messy, so little things like finding appliances that cut down on that mess make a big difference. Just that alone is a huge help. I can’t imagine what my days would look like if I had to wipe fingerprints off of my appliances all day long. Whirlpool’s Fingerprint-Resistance black stainless steel appliances have a rich, matte look. It gives the space a sleek edge.
2. Have the kids help. I know that it’s hard to ask them to do things when we can do it so much faster.
For example: asking our kids to scrape their leftovers into the trash and rinse the rest off in the sink is a tedious chore. For our kids to do this themselves they will have to:
1- Get a chair
2- Climb onto the chair.
3- Rinse the dish (5 seconds would suffice, but they end up doing it for a few minutes)
4- Set the plate on the counter
5- Climb down
6- Put the chair away
7- Open the Whirlpool dishwasher
8- Find the plate on the counter
9- Put the dish in the dishwasher
10- Close the dishwasher and clean up any mess that they made along the way.
For us, this entire task would take 15 seconds. For our younger kids, it takes 5 minutes. I know that it is easier to do it ourselves. I have to stop myself from saying “I’ll get it” when we are in a rush and remind myself that the kids need to do things like this because they need to feel like they are part of our family. They have responsibilities in our family, and we count on them to do their part.
3. Put the dishes away.
Our kids unload the dishwasher every day. We use our new Whirlpool Black Stainless Steel Dishwasher, so it’s easy for them to unload everything since the dishes all come out clean & ready.
Plus, it’s nice that they don’t leave fingerprints on the dishwasher since it is fingerprint-resistant. It used to be something that they complained about, but now it is a habit. The cups and bowls go in lower cabinets (so our younger kids can reach them) and the glass plates & dishes go in the higher cabinets. (I like to have all white dishes, too. It makes the organizing process a million times easier) 🙂 I also have holiday-themed dishes, but I keep those separate & just use them during the holidays.
4. Explain things.
I explain to our kids that if they can help me, I can help them. If they can help by taking care of things in our house, I will have more time to spend with them because I won’t be doing it all on my own. It is the truth and I want them to understand this.
When your kids help you, it gives you more time for them: time to do crafts, build forts, read, play outside, or just talk.
5. Back out of a room.
When you leave your kitchen or any room in the house, be sure to back out. Turn around and see what wasn’t done: dishes on the counter? Towel on the floor? Crumbs on the kitchen table? Spend an extra minute to put those things away before moving on.
Keeping your house clean with kids is all about daily maintenance and teaching your kids to help. You are a family and you work as a team. 🙂