Every mom knows how chaotic a home can become when there are kids in the house, whether there are one, or five. Kids make mess! There are more dishes, laundry, spills and noise which, of course, is awesome but also messy.
How does one keep the mess and chaos to a minimum? Here are a few tips that may help you.
TIPS FOR MANAGING A HOME FULL OF KIDS
1. RESPONSIBILITIES & DAILY HABITS
Give each child, and adult in the house, a list of their own responsibilities. Each person can be responsible for their own personal items, as well as for a few household jobs as well, such as unpacking the dishwasher, doing a round of morning dishes, sweeping the kitchen after each meal. Training younger kids will take patience, but it will be worth it!
This will take a while to get used to, but making it a daily practice will soon turn it into a habit for everyone, especially if you work as a team and encourage each other.
2. DAILY PACK-UP SESSIONS & BEDROOM-SPECIFIC BASKETS
Make it a habit to have one to two daily pack-up times, say at 10am and 3pm, where everyone stops for ten minutes, and does a quick tidy up. Many hands makes light (and super fast) work!
Have a different color basket for each room, and speed through your house, packing into each basket what belongs there, and then pack each basket’s contents away in their places in that specific room. Each person can be responsible for their own basket/room. This approach is amazing and fast, and can be made into a game for smaller kids.
3. POST MEAL HABITS
Some days are crazy; don’t forget the beauty of paper plates and outdoor picnics! Generally though, a great rule to have in the home that keeps things neat is to keep surfaces clear and clean, and keep dishes packed neatly in the sink/dishwasher. Getting each household member aware of these ‘rules’ is a great habit to keep in place, and each member of the household can have a certain task assigned to him/her, such as sweeping up after each meal, clearing plates away, packing the dishwasher, packing leftover food or wiping the table. Working at this together is much more efficient than mom doing it all herself each mealtime!
4. DESIGNATED PLAY AREAS
We all know the crazy days where every floor has toys or teddies strewn across it, and the kids have burned through five activities, lost interest and are now playing in another room, with a sixth activity. Kids can upturn a room in minutes! So choosing designated playing spots is a great way to keep mess contained. A large table can have 3 activities on it.
A playpen or tape across the floor in the lounge, can be a contained play area for teddies, tea parties or other activity. Outside can be turned from a boring yard into an awesome play area with random things you can buy for really cheap – logs and wood and rocks can make an obstacle course, sections of the garden can be turned into a child’s garden area, with small spades, forks and pot plants. Make a water-play area in the garden for messier play.
How do you keep your home in order, with kids around? I’d love to hear your tips too!