Guest Blogger #633, Entry #1508, August 23, 2012
When you’ve got toddlers in the house there’s plenty to worry about. Now that they’re up and moving they can get at a whole new level of objects, and the fact that they’re using every stick of furniture to pull themselves up (and starting to climb) has got you installing safety straps on everything from cabinets and electronics to appliances. But even beyond their penchant for getting themselves into potentially harmful situations, there’s the issue of destruction to deal with, and it seems that they leave a trail of it wherever they go. Between spreading toys from one end of the house to the other, having tantrums at meal time that end with all manner of food on the floor, wall, furniture, and even the ceiling, and throwing anything they can get their hands on, you’re facing a definite challenge when it comes to keeping the house clean and organized. So here are a few tips and tricks to keep up with your small kids when they’re on a rampage.
For starters, it helps to keep fragile items out of reach.
This is going to be more difficult now that your kids are mobile and keen on climbing, but it’s not impossible. Simply install high shelves to display your family photos, tchotchkes, and anything else that your kids could break if they pulled them down. Then make sure to move any furnishings that your tiny tots could climb in order to reach your valuables. In addition, it’s really helpful to provide your kids with easy-to-reach cubbies and shelving for their own stuff. While it’s possible that they will pull everything out and throw it around the house on a daily basis, you can find a teachable moment amidst the mess.
Helping kids to clean up after themselves
Keeping a clean house now and in the future hinges on your ability to get your kids on board with cleaning up after themselves, and this is a chore that even young kids can do. Once they’re walking and talking you can get them started picking up their playthings. So while you might be hesitant to give them unfettered access to toys, you can consider confining them to the playroom rather than placing storage all over the house. This should keep the majority of the mess in one area of the house. And then you can have the kids put away their toys each day. Make a game out of it by making up a song, or if you don’t feel that creative just sing “A Spoonful of Sugar” from Mary Poppins – in every job that must be done there is an element of fun, after all!
Of course, there will still be plenty for you to do when following in the path energetic toddlers, so do yourself a favor and try to squeeze in one major cleaning task each day (like vacuuming, scrubbing the bathroom, or doing laundry) so that you can keep up without having to devote an entire day each week to chores. Armed with plenty of storage solutions and non-toxic green cleaning chemicals you can create a tidy home even with young kids running wild and wreaking havoc. But if you want to save yourself some time and trouble make sure your kids start helping as soon as they’re able.
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