Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Schedule Daily Clean Up Times

Overwhelmed by the vision of your house exploding with clutter over the summer? Especially if you are a stay-at-home mom or dad with small children!

It always made me a little less crazy just knowing that we had three times scheduled to clean up: before lunch, before dinner, and before bed. When our children were small, we had naptime right after lunch, so there was a lengthy time that everything stayed neat and tidy! And it really helped my state of mind to get up in the morning and see everything in place.

If you work outside the home, clean up time may be just once or twice - a time to clean up the common areas and a time to clean up individual bedrooms. During clean up of common rooms, have everyone pick up what they've messed up and return their possessions which belong in other places. By making bedroom clean up part of your bedtime routine, it may be possible to keep the mess under control! Set a time limit so it won't seem to be endless for your children or so it won't encourage stalling.

You may want to have a toy limit - only three toys out at the same time, for example. Or you may want to designate certain areas where certain toys can be used - specific toys for the family room, outside, the bedroom - and they are not to be carried to other parts of the house. Whatever system you want to live with.

You can make clean up time fun by setting a timer or having a race to see how many items each person can put away. Count as you go to teach your child her numbers. Or have one child pick up anything that has red on it, another anything that has blue on it - of course that will probably turn into a battle!! Can we never win?

Or turn on some fun music and dance or do crazy moves while cleaning up. Or make everyone walk backwards to put the toys away. Or use commercials during your favorite TV show to do clean up. Be creative!

The key is taking 10-15 minutes two or three times a day to keep clutter under control. When it piles up, it gets overwhelming. If it's already overwhelming, start with your two or three clean up times and add another one if possible. Start small and keep working at it!

No comments: