Saturday, 16 February 2019

Keeping It Clean!

Your family can bring you joy, pride, heartache, shock and fun. But any family, especially one containing children, also brings along its fair share of mess. Hands leave sticky smears on any polished surface in sight, shoes track unmentionable horrors through your carpet, food falls, pots over-boil, and priceless family heirlooms smash on kitchen tiles. Mess is one of those problems that keeps getting worse until you deal with it. With that in mind, here’s some simple advice for keeping things clean.

Have the Right Tools
This one seems self-explanatory, but it’s important to remember that not all appliances are made equal, and it can be worth forking out a little cash for quality mops, brooms, or vacuum cleaners. The idea is to look at speed and ease of use. Life doesn’t stop for a shattered plate, so you need to be able to clean with minimal disruption.

This also covers things like cleaning chemicals, mops, brooms and even rags.

Tidiness
It can be a challenge, but if your home is tidy, things become significantly easier in the cleaning department. It’s not always possible with children, but if everything has a place it belongs then smoothening out the occasional catastrophe becomes simple. This has the added bonus of teaching everyone in the home what the space is supposed to look like. It’s necessary, because it means that it gives big cleaning tasks a clear end point, which is especially helpful when cleaning with children.

Having a place for all your cleaning equipment is especially useful when organising rags, chemicals and sponges. You probably don’t want the rag that was used in the bathroom to double cleaning duty around the kitchen sink or the dinner table.

Get Everyone On Board
Make sure everyone knows what to do when there’s a mess. If a glass shatters in the kitchen, teach your kids to stay clear of the space. If they are a little bit older, maybe they can fetch the broom. Again, tidiness will help. If the broom is always in the same place, then there is no need to form a search party just to find it.

A key part of cleanliness is maintaining a consistent level throughout the home. This means that cleaning duties can be shared out equally, or according to ability in the case of young children. If you are getting your kids to help, remember that there is nothing worse than cleaning up while somebody else is taking it easy.

With this in mind, make sure you openly communicate with other members of the household or, better yet, see if more than one person can tackle each job. A cleaning schedule can be useful for keeping track of those things. Just remember that, despite your best efforts, cleaning as a family is going to require varying degrees of nagging and cajoling. Be prepared to offer desserts, walks to the park, and screen-time in exchange for cleaning.
Having a cluttered, chaotic, messy home is stressful. Everyone want to enjoy their living space, and you can’t do that if you spend all your time shifting mess from one area to another without ever actually dealing with it. 

While responsibility for mess is an important lesson to teach, that responsibility can be shared. Try and think of mess as simply being part of a running household. The home consists of everybody, and so everybody is responsible for maintaining it's cleanliness.

Till next time... keep it clean!

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