How to keep your house clean and tidy during school holidays

Ah … School holidays … such an exciting time for a parent …
It always seems like keeping your house clean and tidy is impossible during school holidays. You might manage to clean the house while the kids are out, but once they come back, its game over, and you’re back at square 1.  Between more dishes, and more laundry and more toy clutter, it seems impossible to manage it all. Try some of these tips to encourage the kids to get their hands dirty as well, and lighten the load on you or your partner.  Teach them that life can never be no work and all play, even in child hood!

How fast can you clean?

Kids respond well to activities where there is time pressure, and a need to perform something as quickly as possible. Perhaps it’s because they have so much energy, and this is the perfect place to channel it.  After the kids have done playing with their toys and there’s stuff scattered everywhere, get a stop- watch and challenge to kids to see how fast they can clean.  If you want, you can turn it into a system where they try to beat their personal best.  This will probably tire them out momentarily, which is always a good thing.

Toy Jail

If you don’t feel like the above will work, give “toy jail” a try. Tell your child that for every toy that they do not put away, you will take and confiscate in a toy jail.  The only way to release the imprisoned toy is to do a chore.  The more toys that are in jail, the more chores they have to do in order to get them out.  Eventually, it will become automatic, and they’ll know to always put their toys away.

Make it a competition

A little competition is healthy. If you’ve got more than 1 kid, create a tally system and develop a competition. Whoever volunteers to do the most chores in a week will receive some sort of reward. Now you may be thinking, what’s the point, who’s going to win if both my kids are equally competitive, always trying to one up each other and end up equaling?? That’s even better, because it means both kids put in double the effort to out do each other! Just reward them both, with a smaller reward each (Hehe)

A garage sale

If you’re suffering the classic case of home clutter, encourage them to take part in a garage sale, and offer them the money gained from selling for their toys or other belongings. Give them some markers, craft paper and stickers so that they can get really involved in making little posters for their “products” so to speak.  Kids enjoy pretending doing adult activities, such as selling products, so they’ll be sure to enjoy this activity.