Cleaning Up Your House with Kids

Spring is near and full of new possibilities!

As the sun pours through the windows, there’s something that encourages us to want to refresh everything.

So we’re cleaning out our closets, clearing out our spaces, dreaming up some spring looks, and putting some adventures in our calendars … 

We love including our kids in our chores around the house, teaching them good habits that will serve them well for a lifetime. 

But how do you get your house clean with the kids running around?!

Let’s set ourselves up for success, shall we? Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks:

Music! A good playlist can get you moving and change the mood. We highly suggest playing something your kids will enjoy, but we also like to sneak in our own favorite tunes, too. Upbeat, happy music you can sing along to is especially good to get everyone moving. Show tunes, oldies, bluegrass, jazz, ballads … what are your favorites?

Snacks! Nobody works well on an empty stomach, right? We make sure everyone is fueled up and ready to go so nobody needs to stop for a food break. Or at least we can tell our kids they just ate, so they’ll be fine for another half hour. We love apples and peanut or sunflower seed butter, bananas, sliced bell peppers with hummus, cucumbers and tzatziki sauce, and of course a few of our favorite crackers.

Hydrate! Yummy herbal teas on cold days, water with a slice of cucumber and mint or a few drops of lemon oil, or kombucha all make regular appearances at our homes. Have the cups or reusable water bottles sitting out so you can take sips as you pass by them.

 

Get your oil diffuser going! We like to diffuse calming, uplifting, and freshening oils while we work. They help to clear the air and keep some pep in our step when we feel like quitting early. Citrus Fresh, Joy, Thieves, Orange, Abundance and Lemon are all regular favorites at our house.

 

Rewards! Let’s be honest - nothing motivates us more than knowing there’s a treat waiting for us, whether you’re 3 or 30. A homemade cookie? A couple squares of fair-trade chocolate? A bowl of berries with a dollop of whipped cream? A family movie night? Afternoon snack of stovetop popcorn? A visit to a favorite local coffee shop for lattes and hot chocolate? Your family can pick a favorite and know that it’s coming as soon as you reach your goal! (Hint: Smaller, incremental goals are great when you’re starting out. Getting rewards sooner makes it easier to get started!)

Declutter! Many studies show how clutter and anxiety go hand in hand, so we help both our kids and ourselves when we teach them how to regularly pare down our belongings and pass along what we don’t need anymore. Some of our kids tell us they can only do so much of this at one go, though, and that’s okay! It’s a lifelong skill that we use all the time. Can’t block out a whole day to declutter because life is too full? We love going through one room at a time with our kids and spending even 10 minutes a day at it. Small habits add up!

Look at things from you child's perspective. Get on their level and lay in their bed. It will give you ideas on way to make their space both more relaxing and engaging. It's so simple and really helps give a better understanding of what can make the space more pleasant, fun, and functional. When we refresh the play space we put the toys at accessible height and sometimes use higher shelves for storage or for art work.

Supplies! We like to use kid-friendly cleaners and tools to do our cleaning and organization. Simple bins or baskets with labels and calming colors are helpful when our kids are tired and trying to put things away. This is when it’s nice that we’ve decluttered – there’s fewer things to put away! And making the system simple means our kids have fewer decisions to make. When we wipe down our surfaces, we use plant-based cleaners that our kids can help spray and wipe up! It’s a satisfying parenting achievement to have your 3-year-old excited to help mop because you can trust the cleaner to be safe when she sprays her feet instead of the floor.

What are some of the ways you help to get your family working together? Tell us your tips and tricks!

 

Want to learn more about oils? Come to our next Kids&Oils Class on March 24th from 3-4pm at ShopTwoOwls and Rock Paper Scissors in Madrona. Or visit essentiallynerdyfamily.babystepseo.com for more details.