Are you overwhelmed by the end of the day when your house looks like a tornado went through it? It is no fun to sit and relax, read a book, watch a movie, or check your email, when you know that there is a big mess waiting for you. Well, it isn’t fun for me…. some people can probably live with it! 🙂
My house is normally pretty neat and organized. It isn’t because I live with a bunch of organized people, my kids are MESSY! However I have trouble staying on track when I’m surrounded by clutter distractions, so I try to keep clutter to a minimum.
We do this with 5 minute pick-ups. My older kids will tell you that these are more like “clean up until it is clean pick-ups” but honestly, if you do 7 to 10 of these a day your house will organized and clutter free.
When all my kids were younger, we did a 5-minute pick up every hour. It was a break from routine and it kept things from getting out of control.
Now that my kids are a bit older and I don’t have sweet little toddlers running around making messes we do it a few times a day. Usually in the morning after breakfast, then after lunch, and again before dinner.
Sometimes we throw in one more pick up before bed if needed.
Even if your children are young they can participate in the pick-ups. 5 minute picks ups are actually a great way to teach toddlers how to clean. Most young children can stay on task for a few minutes without getting distracted.
I believe young children get overwhelmed with huge messes. It is much easier for them to pick up a few things, than an entire room filled with toys, shoes, bedding, and clothes. Short frequent pick-ups eliminate giant messes (for the most part) and kids learn to maintain their space.
In our house, one or two people are assigned an area to clean up and they work quickly for a few minutes putting things away. If there is a larger mess we will often all work together, but it works well to send the kids off in pairs (if you have enough kids). If you have young children work with them to pick up their area.
Make it fun, put on some music, and work together. They might have so much fun they won’t even know they are cleaning!