Being a parent can be one of the most rewarding and joyful life experiences, and in our eyes, our children represent perfection. At least, they would do, if only they learned to clean up after themselves.
All moms and dads are familiar with the ‘why don’t you ever tidy up after yourself?’ argument. In fact this scenario is played out in homes the world over, where frazzled adults and disgruntled children square up to each other over the mess.
So isn’t it good to know there are steps to be taken that will reduce the amount of time spent clearing up after kids?
Start them young
It is important to establish good habits from an early age. Get toddlers to help make their beds, clear away toys and clothes and generally take ownership of their ‘stuff’ as soon as possible. Don’t expect them to do a perfect job of it from the beginning, there will be frequent moments when mom has to perform a sweep afterwards, but it is a principle that is being established:
‘You want to make a mess? Sure, go ahead. Just remember to clean up after yourself when you have finished.’
Turn tidying up into a fun game and encourage and praise children so that they will want to repeat the behavior. Singing songs and putting time limits on certain tasks can help to focus infant minds. Children’s bedrooms can be real clutter magnets, so investing in storage solutions is a good idea. Try and put storage at eye-level so children can access it easily. Decide upon a place for everything so that children are in no doubt as to where things are supposed to be put away. Using color coordinated storage boxes for different types of toy helps keep things simple and achievable. Think about things from a little person’s perspective. Is the lid of that wooden toy trunk too heavy to lift? Can a child reach the coat hook? Are drawers easy to open and close? Addressing basic issues like these can reap huge rewards in the war against untidiness.
Help children to be successfully tidy by providing generously sized waste paper and laundry baskets in their bedrooms. Without an excuse to drop it on the floor, they will soon learn that putting it in the correct place is by far the easiest option.
Don’t let them hoard
Try and discourage children from hoarding too much. Of course, there will be some toys they have a sentimental attachment to, equally there will others that are no longer appropriate for their age and never played with. Be firm about disposing of such toys – emphasize the positive aspects of disposal such as donating toys to charity, recycling them or even generating pocket money by selling them.
Choose easy clean flooring
Make life easy with a simple interior design choice. Not only does hardwood flooring look beautiful and withstand the hard knocks children undoubtedly inflict upon it, it is easy to keep clean. Minimize dust, dirt and stains with the easy-wipe surfaces of hardwood flooring; choose from a wide range of product selections to suit all tastes. Children love the warm feel underfoot of hardwood and parents appreciate the low maintenance aspect – it’s a win/win situation!