By Julie Short
Celebrate! You survived another summer with the kids homenon-stop. Oh, who is kidding who here, you guys survived homeschool (and not bychoice) so summer is a piece of cake now. Regardless, you are probably happy tohave the routine back in your life and getting back on track with cleaning isgoing to be easier now as well.
First order of business:
Get back to a clean slate - plan to spend a day or hire somehelp to get the house in tip top shape in order to work your plan ofkeeping it that way. Follow some of the rules from the book about clearing outwhat no longer works; clothes that don't fit, toys that don't interest the kidsany longer, excess decor that needs to find a new space. We have talked aboutthe appeal of model homes being the cleared out, open feel.Practicality plays a role but most of us have way more than we need.
Get the kids in a morning routine. When the kids aregetting ready make sure they know it is expected that they do not leave pajamason the floor, toys out from the night before or the bed unmade. The little guyscan do their best at this (even if it isn't perfect) and get into the habit.
Get yourself in the morning routine. Throw those dishes inthe dishwasher, make your bed and start that load of laundry before youleave. You will be glad you did when you come back home. It literally takesless than 10 minutes total to do all those things.
When you get home, throw the laundry in the dryer and let itdo it's magic while you get dinner together. Unload the dishwasher while thepasta is cooking or the oven is heating up (it takes less than five minutes).
At bedtime make sure all the kids take their dirty clothesto the laundry room and pick up any clean clothes they have waiting. They canput them away before they go to bed. Any shoes or toys in the living area needto be taken to their rooms as they head off to bed as well.
This is a great time to work on chores and allowances tocover the other necessary cleaning around the house. I believe all kids shouldpick up after themselves but if they are Windexing mirrors or dustingfurniture, paying for chores is a good tool to teach them how work is rewardedand how to plan spending/saving for extras.
Julie Short has been married to her husband, Stoney, since 1997.She is currently working on a series of books known as Julie’s SimpleSolutions. She is a Mansfield resident, business owner and member of theMansfield City Council.
Find her book “Cleaning YourHouse in Minutes a Day” here.
Mansfield, Texas, is a booming city, nestled between Fort Worth and Dallas, but with a personality all its own. The city’s 76,247 citizens enjoy an award-winning school district, vibrant economy, historic downtown, prize-winning park system and community focus spread across 37 square miles. The Mansfield Record is dedicated to reporting city and school news, community happenings, police and fire news, business, food and restaurants, parks and recreation, library, historical archives and special events. The city’s only online newspaper launched in September 2020 and will offer introductory advertising rates for the first three months at three different rates.