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I have four kids under 7.. & I find toys in my bedroom, bathroom, kitchen... I even find shampoo in the kitchen and food in the bathroom or bedrooms.. it drives me mad.. trying to keep things organised seems to go up the wall quick.. Clutter builds up quick and the laundry and dishes. Ive now got a dishwasher and a 10k washing machine.. I feel like im walking around all day doing things, cleaning and then i turn around and its all back to the way it was before i cleaned it..
I have to add it really depends what is important to you too. Obviously you don't want your kids eating shampoo or putting the hair dryer in the bathtub, but if you'd rather do crafts than dishes... so be it! If you don't have time to fold the laundry because you're putting on a fashion show, oh well! To me cleaning is important. I have a pretty type A personality so I have a routine that really needs to be followed each day.
i am like UM and repti -- i like order. type A...me? yes sir i am! i had four kids 7 and under as well. when my kids were little, we had the no food off the table rule and also i used color coded cups and plates for them so i knew and they knew whose was whose. they stayed on the counter while not in use and got washed at night.
i did most of the big cleaning at night when they were sleeping. i actually have more of a routine now than i ever did before. oh and laundry was every day no matter what. i remember having it pile up in one laundry room and i can't believe i did that. i guess you just make the rules, give assignments for clean-up and get on it.....often. wishing you luck.
__________________ school's out for the summer.....
Depends on what it is you are trying to get under control first. I found that if I tried to do it all at once - well forget it. But if I implemented one new thing at a time *I* was able to keep it going and get the kids involved.
~I personally started with the laundry - color coded hangers, towels, and hampers ... got that going for a few weeks... I set up an area in which I planned their outfits for the week - complete with uniforms / activity clothing for older ones that were in activities but not old enough to care for it themselves.
.... I don't know if you deal with cloth diapers - but I would put my diapers in the night before to soak - turn them on in the morning and then wash 1-3 loads of laundry per day (depending on how many kids we were at, how active they were, and who was old enough to start doing their own laundry)
.... Now I get up in the morning and start the laundry as I'm waking kids up (usually right before I wake the first one of the day) ... by the time two leave for school I'm ready for the dryer and starting another load ... by the time the last ones are done I'm ready to fold the first load and throw the second in the dryer to fold around lunch time
-Those are just things I did - figure out what works for you and force yourself into a habit
~Next I implemented the mealtime chore rotation ... yes even the bitties were involved - I carried them or had them help me "do their chore" (this was probably the best thing I ever implemented!)
.... I had a list of all the chores that needed to be done for meals to run smoothly and be relatively clean (a total of 8 chores - at max there were 11 of us in the house so up to 3 people were off duty per day)
.... long story short - I decided to go with a daily change of chore responsibilities - it worked well for the young ones - as they grew this changed to having one chore for a week at a time
~I had specific areas set up for them to play and they couldn't play outside those areas - depending on where we lived what area this was - it was cordoned off somehow and was completely child-proofed - I could cook or clean without them right up under me with little toys or where I would step on them - usually 15 minutes at a time of cleaning or cooking (prep work first then the actual cooking ... if cooking took longer than 15 minutes then I utilized high chairs for those out of slings and those who couldn't play more than 15 minutes without needing something/causing a ruckus)
Sadly I still deal with food all over the house in spite of our no food outside of the kitchen rule.... we've taken to using locks on the fridge/pantry .... every so often we'll take them off to see what happens - once we start discovering things missing or food here and there (or wrappers) then the locks just go back on without a word to the children - they know why.
I have sever OCD so I am on them always and they have followed in my footprints and are very good at cleaning when asked and because I live off of routine live is pretty smooth BUT yeah it can be cray at times lol
Matt(37)DH & soulmate for 14yrs (V-Feb 20/08 * VR-Feb 18/11)
With younger kids, it's just part of life to have toys laying around. I always had them in bins and just had them pick them up at the end of the day. I never minded toys around as long as they were playing nice.
I do the majority of my laundry on one day, and that's my goal for the day otherwise I find I don't get around to it and it just lays around and little people start digging looking for stuff.
The eating thing seems to go in waves around here. They are allowed to eat/drink in the basement, as long as they clean up the evidence. As soon as I have to pick up wrappers or a cup then they don't get to for the next week or so. As a result they hardly eat anywhere but the kitchen
lol i loved some of these.. cleaning lady, control, whats control and sarahs.
Thanks for all your great advice.. you ladies are awesome.. I dont know how yous do it.. my kids just seem to grab the food from the pantry and make run for it.. i dont even see them take it.. then ill find a wrapper or banana skin on the floor.
I wish i had ocd.. but i think if i did i would of had a major panic attack by now. my house is clean but it gets untidy easy with my bunch and it drives me mad.
I find my day/night just goes way to quick.