Don't clean everything up yourself - how to have a {fake} immaculate house (part 5) | Organizing Made Fun: Don't clean everything up yourself - how to have a {fake} immaculate house (part 5)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Don't clean everything up yourself - how to have a {fake} immaculate house (part 5)

Do you sometimes feel like you are the ONLY person in the house who really cares if the house stays clean?  Does it seem like everyone, kids and hubby included, seem to sabotage your efforts at having the floors so spotless and clean that you can eat off of them - when five minutes after cleaning them, they spill milk, step in it and walk across the floor to get more?

If this seems to be a problem for you, I have a solution!  No matter how little {well, maybe not an infant} your kids are, they can begin to help you clean up!  I have a rule in my house with the kids {now age 6 3/4 and 11 - have to get that 3/4 in, you know}.  I do NOT clean up after them - at all.  Now, occasionally Mom will have mercy upon them and HELP them, but I try to save that for a time when they really need it and not every time.  I want them to learn to be responsible for the messes they make. Another rule I have is:  if they take something out to play, they need to put it away before starting something new. This is important to remind them EVERY time they play stuff.

Being a stay at home mom, it would be easy to just do everything myself. I don't ask my hubby to do much - I have set up "systems" to help make it easier to put his clothes in the hamper and such - but I don't ask him to clean much of anything.  Around here, his job is the "fixer" and "provider" so the kids and I do most of the cleaning and keeping other stuff up.  

If you have NO idea what your kids are capable of doing, here is a few ideas for you, listed by age. {Sources:  Me, Cozi morning routine, and Simple Organized book}. 

1-2 yr. old

1.  Put toys away in bin {with Mom's help}
2.  Wipe {just give a damp rag and a table and let them go at it}
3. Hand Mommy things to put away

2-4 yr old - 

1.  Get dressed, put pajamas away {tuck under pillow to use again = less laundry}
2.  Brush hair
3.  Brush teeth
4.  Set the table
5.  Make bed
6.  Fold clothes and small items
7.  Empty dishwasher {with Mom's help}
8.  Empty wastebaskets
9.  Pick up toys before bed

5 - 6 yr old - 

1.  All of the above
2.  Clean bathroom sink
3.  Help clean and straighten drawers and closets
4.  Clean up after pet
5.  Feed pet
6.  Walk dog
7.  Dust furniture in room
8.  Vacuum room
9.  Help put groceries away

7-9 year old - 

1.  All of the above
2.  Wash bathroom mirrors
3.  Wash windows
4.  Wash floor in small area

 10+ yr. old -

1.  All of the above
2.  Wash car
3.  Mow lawn
4.  Make dessert
5.  Paint
6.  Clean refrigerator
7.  Do yard work
8.  Iron
9.  Fix an entire meal
10. Do grocery shopping

To quote Emilie Barnes in her book:  "We cannot do it all by ourselves in our homes {when we try, we become frustrated}.  When we begin to delegate responsibilities to our children and allow them to do some of the work for us, they begin to feel as if they are a vital part of the family."

Here is a copy of my kids' current chore charts.  Teach your kids YOUNG to clean up after themselves.  But, you must also teach them where everything belongs, so don't assume that they know where things go.  You have to teach them how to organize and declutter, also.  Another great resource is here to teach them how to organize.

So, now you know that I can't keep my house "immaculate" {a term I use loosely} by myself!  Teach your children to clean up after themselves and do part of the housework!

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