Few people enjoy the vacuuming, mopping, dusting, and washing associated with cleaning. Cleaning with children running around, however, is even less fun—and much more stressful! Is there any way to make it a little easier?
Involving children in the cleaning process can actually be enjoyable: it can keep young children occupied. It can also teach them some valuable and practical lessons for the future. And, most importantly, your house will be clean without you keeling over with exhaustion.
You may be surprised by how much young children and toddlers want to participate in household chores. It gives them a sense of self-worth and confidence and makes them feel they are old and can master responsibilities in the house. Take advantage of this willingness; it won’t last forever!
Cleaning your house with children
Carpet-cleaning or asbestos removal may be a bit hard for kids. Even toddlers can, however, pick up toys and put them back in their respective boxes. If the boxes are colorful, you can teach toddlers the colors by asking them to separate their toys and put them in specific colored boxes.
They can also perform simple tasks such as cleaning mirrors and windows. Even if they leave a few smudges, your mirrors and windows will be cleaner than before, when they ran their chocolate-covered fingers on them.
Dusting is also something children can do. Dusting lowers the levels of dust and allergens in the house, which is a very good cleaning instinct. Direct your children to surfaces empty of decorations and relatively low-lying so that they can safely reach them. Discourage toddlers from climbing on ladders, as this can be dangerous.
You can also teach children to air their bedroom. Bringing fresh air in your house means fewer allergens, cleaner air, and less mold. Ask them to open their bedroom window and then explain to them they have to count to ten five times before they close their window again. As a bonus, this will keep them occupied for a while and out of mischief.
Folding laundry can also become a game with children. Ask them to organize the clean laundry according to color. Most children enjoy color-coordinating and this can be fun for them, while it will save you time from cleaning and tidying up.
Garden chores and children
Children love the outdoors. Make the most of it by giving your children simple and easy tasks to perform around the garden.
Children can rake a small path or gather the fallen leaves from the bottom parts of the gutters, thus unblocking them. Try finding a small rake that fits your child’s size. You can also ask them to cut dead flowers from flower beds and pots, thus de-cluttering the garden. Just keep an eye on them so that they don’t accidentally uproot your prized magnolias.
Children are amazingly observant and they are incredible at noticing things that are lower to the ground. You can invite them to take a look around the house and look for anything that seems broken, missing, or in need of mending. They might spot a broken tile on a low roof, a stone that needs fixing on the garden path or a gutter getting loose. This whole detection activity can be both a game for them and a lifesaver for your house.
Is it time to Marie Kondo your house? The more clutter in your house, the more things that gather dust and hinder any attempt at cleaning.
Toys, clothes, bikes, and any other things that your children are not using can be given away to charity. Sit down with your child and ask them to decide which toys they do not play with anymore so that you can donate them.
Decluttering can both help your future cleaning and teach your children the beauty of helping others.
Set some ground rules
It’s an inevitable fact of life. With children around, there will always be clutter, crumbs, and crayons lying around the house. However, you can save some precious time—and preserve your sanity—by setting up some ground rules. These will also be essential for keeping your house clean and tidy at all times.
The first rule is, no eating in the bedrooms or on the sofa. Crumbs attract insects. “Don’t let the bed bugs bite” sounds particularly sinister when there are actual bugs in your mattress. Similarly, eating on the living-room sofa is an accident waiting to happen. Cleaning a dirty sofa can be hard unless you hire a specialist cleaner.
No eating or drinking while walking around. Carpets are notoriously difficult to clean, even without crumbs. Adding crumbs to the dirty mix can make your carpets hard to clean and a breeding ground for dust, insects, and allergens. Moreover, spilled orange juice on a white carpet (not to mention cranberry juice) will take a long time to clean and the smell may linger on forever. Eating and drinking are for the dining table.
Only draw and paint in specific areas. Drawing is something that children love but crayons can end up everywhere and anywhere. They also tend to leave unsightly smudges that, again, may require a cleaning specialist. Prepare special areas or a specific table for drawing and painting. Place there all the crayons, pencils, markers, and papers, so that your children know this is the place where they will find all their painting materials.
Helping with the pet
If you have a pet in the family, you already know that pets are fun but also a big source of mess and dirt. Ask your children to brush your pet’s fur. A clean fur is better for the animal’s health and also holds fewer allergens and dust. Also, pets will shed less if frequently brushed.
After a walk in the rain, ask your children to clean your dog’s paws with some tissue. This means you will have fewer mud stains on your carpets.
Finally, children can help with cleaning the areas around the feeding bowls of dogs and cats, which tend to get messy.
Preventive cleaning tasks
Cleaning is necessary but it doesn’t have to be hard. Making sure you have fewer things to clean is the clever thing to do.
Set up a shoe rack at the entrance of your home for all shoes to go there. The lower shoe racks could be dedicated to your children’s shoes. Teach your children to put their shoes there once they have entered the house. This way, your carpets and floors will stay cleaner longer. Besides, it’s healthier to wear slippers rather than shoes in the house. Shoes bring dirt, bacteria, mud, and even feces from the street into your house. It’s best to avoid bringing these into your house.
And if you get truly fed up trying to clean the house on your own, Valley Restoration and Construction can help! We have the know-how to restore your carpets to their original luster. We also specialize in tile-floor and HVAC duct cleaning. Contact us online or call us now on 970-964-4437!