Whining, complaining, and loss of attention are usually the result of cleaning with kids. A lot of bribing is involved and an equal amount of breaks are taken. When it comes to organizing a home with them, some would say it’s impossible.
I would probably agree with that statement.
But, with a little thought and a few creative ideas, it can be done! Besides, if you can cook with your kids, you can definitely organize with them!
1. Clean Up Song
Yeah…many of us dread it, but with the really young ones, it really works! Singing the “Clean Up” song will spark a bit of excitement in their little minds. It’s not going to work so great with the older kids though; they’ll probably roll their eyes.
2. Start with Kids’ Rooms
When you start with what’s theirs, they’ll take ownership and feel that much more satisfied afterward. They’ll see how much better they can function in their rooms and that will encourage them to keep it that way…for a while…
3. Hot Potato
With softer items like pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals, play a little game of hot potato. Making organizing enjoyable is probably the only guaranteed way to get the kids involved.
Whoever can get their room organized the fastest wins! Although a novel idea, this can lead to things stuffed into closets and poorly made beds (although these inventions might combat that problem), which is why you’ll have to look at the next step.
5. Quality Contest
That’s right. Not only is it a race, but it is also judged accordingly in quality. Make sure the kids know it’s important for things to look good, not just to get cleaning and organizing done as fast as possible.
6. Move into Other Rooms
Now that they’ve done their own rooms, incorporate other areas of the house. It would be easiest to do the garage next since they probably have outdoor toys and bikes in there that are specifically theirs. You might want to find strong shelving and teach them how to use it.
We all know there’s a lot of bribing going on during the process. Promises of ice cream, new Legos, or a late bedtime have already been made. Well, it’s time to put them into action! The kids will probably remind you anyway; they don’t seem to forget these kinds of things.
8. On-Going Maintenance
The hardest part is keeping a house organized with kids. So, why not implement the idea of the rewards and make a chart for keeping the house in order? You could put stickers next to those who put their toys away in the right spot, or who don’t leave their shoes on the kitchen floor.
See? It’s definitely a doable thing. Just remember, it’s okay to take breaks and regroup and try again later! But, in the meantime, good luck!