Rewind to Stacey's Housekeeping tips!

Posted by  | Friday, June 26, 2009  at 8:00 AM  
This post was originally posted by Stacey and titled, "Cooperating Kids, Capable Husbands and Quick Tips." I loved it and the great ideas that I could look forward to implementing as my kids get older. Enjoy!

When I started to think about writing for this topic I thought I wouldn’t have very much to say because my routine has had to change since moving overseas and I really thought my ideas wouldn’t be very helpful. Leah encouraged me to write how we do things because some of you that read may live overseas or may be making plans to move overseas. As it turns out, I have a lot to say and my basic cleaning ideas have remained the same but how we do major things have changed a little.
I now have to have a part-time house helper in this dusty land to make sure we don't drown in dust piles! So, that has changed my routine a little. Cleaning here takes A ALOT more time and effort. For example, all of my floors need cleaning at least 3 times a week. In the states I only used to vaccuum once a week. Since both Matt and I are full time language students, it takes work from everyone! My house helper does the dusting, floors and changing of sheets. However, the day to day chores take the entire family! The tips listed below are things that I have implemented over time since becoming a wife 16 1/2 years ago. Places change, kids are added, focuses may shift a little, kids grow, routines change...but in all of that these tips help me keep things a little more orderly and also help meet those OCD tendencies!:)
FYI: I added pictures for variety and a little humor! :)

Have your family help you! Children can learn chores at a very early age and they really do love having responsibility. I have also found that my children love to do ANYTHING with mom. There is so much “stuff” to get done each day….having the kids and dads involved also facilitates great family time.

Trash and Toys: I started having my children throw things away in the trash can right after they started walking. This may seem trivial but it begins to teach them that everything has a place. This was also true for their toys. We kept a cute basket in our living room for toys and we frequently “picked up” each day.

Laundry: By age two each of them were also putting away their pajamas in a drawer that they could reach in their rooms. As soon as they were potty trained, they were putting away their pj’s, panties and underwear. Don’t worry about these drawers looking organized!! Let the OCD in you go when it comes to pj’s and underwear!) I also taught each of them by age 3 to fold washcloths and by age 5 they were folding towels.

Beds: Teach your children to make their beds EARLY!! At first it won’t look so great but let that go as well. By age 4, after much practice, the bed will look great

Get those DADS involved! My hubby is not the frequent housekeeper but he does do great things to help out so I can get some other chores done. Husbands are usually great bathers and teeth brushers! Matt is usually in charge of “bath and teeth time” (which the kids love because he is a lot more fun with the water) in the evenings while I finish up the kitchen, make lunches for the next day or put away that last bit of laundry. This is great daddy time and allows for those last few chores to get accomplished quickly!

Quick clean ups!

Laundry: Wash a load of clothes each day. Don’t separate unless you know you have a red or blue piece of clothing that will bleed. This really saves so much time! Every once in a while I will do a load of whites with bleach but mostly I just throw everything in together!

No need for all of those fancy cleaning products…Dishwashing soap is great for most cleaning chores (ie..bathrooms, floors). I keep my bathrooms cleaned each day by just wiping down sinks and countertops with the liquid soap in the bathroom. It takes just a few seconds to wipe down after you are finished getting ready so your bathrooms are always presentable. I also keep an old washcloth in my bathroom to wipe up the floor each day. (funny tip: I wet the washcloth and add a little soap, throw it on the floor and scoot it around with my foot while I am brushing my teeth!:) I do use bleach at least twice a month in my bathrooms but dish soap is handy and great for frequent use.

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