Your Kids and their Mess!
Adding to your already full schedule!
We are all spending much more time at home, and if you are a parent, you’re most likely taking on additional responsibilities like teacher, activities coordinator, and line cook. Staying on top of the housework responsibilities has become even more challenging. We love our kids but let’s face it, they’re really good at making messes and even better at ignoring them before moving on to make another. Before we know it, their rooms are a disaster zone, mess is creeping out into the living room and their bathroom…let’s not even talk about their bathrooms. We want to share a few ways we are getting our kids involved in daily chores and more importantly-daily routines so that our homes can continue to thrive and stay neat.
Make the Bed
So this one makes it into our top must-do tip for EVERYONE, so we are going to camp out here for a bit. Remember the 2014 commencement speech that Adm. William H McRaven gave to the University of Texas? No, well we didn’t think you would so we are happily including it HERE. One of the life lessons he learned from basic SEAL training was the importance of making his bed every morning. He explains that this one, simple task can set the tone for your entire day. It gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment within the first few minutes of waking up, encourages you (and your kids) to continue to do more tasks throughout the day, and it reinforces the fact that the little things in life matter. What a great habit and lesson to instill into your children as early as possible. We will also add that when your bed is made, you will naturally want to make sure the rest of the room is tidy. It’s like a domino effect. Tip: if your kids object and think it’s not cool, tell them you got the idea from a Navy SEAL and we think that may up the “cool” factor just a bit! Disclaimer: we know not every kid can perfectly make their beds so do what works best for your child/children based on their age and ability. Maybe it’s straightening their stuffed animals, making sure their pillow is in the correct spot, or spreading out their sheets. The most important thing is that we are starting the habit and allowing them to feel a sense of accomplishment to start their day.
Put dirty clothes in the hamper
This is a really simple one for any age. Whether they have a hamper in their room, bathroom, or another spot in the home, make sure they know where to put their dirty clothes and towels. If your kids are anything like ours, half of the floor in their room is covered with clothes. This is another simple rule that can make a huge impact at the end of the day.
Clean up one activity before moving to another
Can we get an AMEN on this one??? How many times have you walked into their room or your living room and there are opened games spread out, half-built Legos (not fun to step on!!!), coloring books and crayons, books…we think you get the idea. The rule in our house is before you move on to the next activity, the current one needs to be put away. Completely put away, in the correct spot. We try to make it fun by setting a timer or putting on a fun song. You probably will get some push back initially but once they understand the rules, it will make your life so much easier!
Put away clean laundry
Depending on the age of your kids, this could be fold and put away or if you’re a control freak like us, just put away. We love the idea of this because 1. It helps us get through the piles of laundry a bit faster and 2. It allows them to take ownership of their space. We have everything labeled in their rooms so they can easily see where to place the clean items. A few ideas are shirts, shorts, play clothes, school, socks/underwear, etc.
Choose one additional based on age
We are aware that every age group can’t and probably shouldn’t have the same responsibilities, so we provided some suggestions for most ages. For children that can handle more responsibility, Cozi Family Organizer has a great starter list of chores to assign by age. Just make sure the task is something they can do each day and it’s something that will help you. Cozi- Chores for Kids: Starter List
Now more than ever we need to create a sense of order and calm for ourselves and our children. Creating simple routines and habits like the ones above can help you take a few things off your already overflowing plate, while also helping to instill good habits in your kids. Each child is different, and the most important thing is doing what works best for them and your family. These are a few ideas to help you get started. They are also simple enough to continue throughout the rest of the year!
Allison and Erin