Yes, school has begun in Kansas City and the house is definitely feeling the pain. Summer isn’t quite over, so there is still sand coating the floor and wet pool towels dumped in every corner, but now we have the added mess of lunch boxes, backpacks, forms, library books, homework and everything else!
Shocked into action, I’ve devised a plan to get the kids to contribute their fair share to the pick-up duties so that we don’t fall too far behind. (By the way, I define “too far behind” as when the City comes by to put a condemnation notice on the front door.”)
Simply put, there is just too much clean-up to do for my husband and I alone, even with the help of Overland Park’s Maid Service – the dedicated ladies of Green Clean. So, time to arrange for kids to start pulling their weight.
I’m sharing my plan for the fall in case you also need some ideas of how and when to get your kids to help. I should mention that my kids are four and six years old, so obviously older or younger kids can do more or less than this. And, as another disclaimer, my rambunctious boys aren’t the most (ahem) disciplined, so even though some of these things seem obvious, every little effort is a step in the right direction.
Most of these things are strait forward and even the youngest kids can help with these small daily tasks and learn how to clean up after themselves.
Fixing Food Messes
- Take one water cup in the morning, and use it all day. No need to take a fresh cup for every glass of water and then leave them laying around the house.
- Nobody is allowed to get anything else to eat until all the dishes from the last meal or snack are picked up and stacked by the sink. All wrappers have to be in the trash!
- Nobody eats until the boys help set the table with napkins and silverware.
- Everyone must clear their plate after meals.
- Dirty clothes go in the hamper.
- Mom will wash and fold clothes, but the boys must put their own clothes in their drawers as best they can.
- Wet towels must be hung up to dry after bath time.
Toys, Toys Everywhere
- The boys must pick the toys up off the living room floor before storytime.
- The boys must pick up their room every weekend and take extra toys down to the playroom.
My Poor Mom-Mobile
- The boys must help clean out the car every day after school.
- All backpacks go to the closet.
- Lunchboxes and water bottles go on the countertop.
There you have it… simple, but it seems to be making a difference already. After only a few days, the boys don’t question the food rules at all, and have even started putting their dishes on the counter without direction. They actually enjoy helping set the table, and it has made meal time much calmer and nicer, since everything they need is set out and they aren’t asking Mom and Dad to hop up and get things.
And, if the madness of the school year has you worn out before you’ve begun, don’t forget to schedule your Kansas City house cleaning by calling Camille at 913-207-8677.