It’s that time of year again, summer cleaning, and being organized is the hot topic of conversation. Everywhere you look, friends, celebrities and news outlets are promoting the life-changing power of organization.
What is a busy parent to do?
We asked our Kids in the House experts for their advice on how to get your house in order. Here are their top 3 tips:
1. Get rid of stuff you don’t use
Take inventory of your home and get rid of everything you don’t use or that doesn’t make you happy on a regular basis. Often we collect items that we feel might be useful, handing over precious space in our household to appliances or gadgets we never use. For example, think about kitchen appliances you never use that take up limited counter top or cabinet space and have to be dusted or moved on a regular basis. How much is your time worth? If you only use your blender twice a year but spend a few minutes each week dusting it or moving it around to access other items, get rid of it and buy a smoothie instead.
2. Bring in less stuff
Be conscious of what you are bringing into your home. When you are shopping ask yourself “Do I really need it?” When buying new clothes for yourself or your children, think about your current closet space, as well as the time and energy you spend washing, folding, and putting clothes away. Unless an item can be worn many, many times, or serves a special purpose, such as a special-occasion outfit that will be forever memorialized in photos, think twice before adding to your workload.
3. Involve the kids
Kids as young as three can be useful little helpers around the house. In fact, helping with household chores is a great way to build children’s self-esteem. “Self-esteem is based on two things: your ability to take care of yourself and your ability to contribute to a group,” says Kids in the House expert and professional Parent Educator Vicki Hoefle. “By the time [kids] are 3 and 4, they’re looking for opportunities to help their parents in real-life situations. All a parent has to do is make a list, extend an invitation, do a little bit of training, and they will have a child who believes that contributing to the health of their family includes helping out around the house.”
Good luck with summer-cleaning everyone! It may be a lot of work, but we promise it’s worth it! A yearly ritual of purging and deep cleaning is good for the soul.
For more expert tips on how to get your kids involved with household chores, check out kidsinthehouse.com.