If I’m totally honest with you, most of the time there is a giant mess leftover from crafting, playing, or eating somewhere in our house. Now, try as I might, I can rarely get any mess cleaned up without several more occurring as kids wander off to new adventures while I’m scrambling to return order to their most resent one. Creativity is messy and we are creative! This wall art spoke to my heart. You can download it free from U-Create.
Continuing on with the honesty: Cleaning isn’t really my thing. Oh, you too? Let’s be friends! Seriously, I’d rather move from adventure to adventure like our kids. But at some point, we do run out of space for new adventures. Then a lot of grumpiness ensues as we clean. It’s dreaded and miserable. But that’s not what I want my kids to learn about cleaning. I don’t want them to dread it like I do and avoid it at all costs. I’ve been trying some strategies to quicken our clean up so we can spend more time playing and creating. Here are my top three cleaning tips.
3 Cleaning Tips to Quicken Your Clean Up
1. Clean up is part of play. Repeat this with me: Clean up is part of play. Now, get your kids to repeat it with you. When you have thirty minutes to play, you need to reserve part of that time for cleaning up. You’ll be amazed at how much you can pick up in just five minutes. We play lots of games to help playtime end on a happy note. Sometimes we set a timer and see if Team Passey can beat the timer. Sometimes we play a song and see how much we can pick up during that song. Another fun idea is to set the tickle monster loose on anyone who stops cleaning. Giggles and fun can make this part of play a whole lot more playful!
2. Clean up as you go. It’s so easy to move with your child’s or your own free association of ideas to explore, create, or play. We easily move through toy bin to craft room to snack to outside without a second glance back at what we’ve left behind. As soon as someone starts to wander off from what we’re doing, I call them back and pick up right then before we move on. This often produces one of two results: they are motivated to help because they really want to get to the next thing, or they find something novel about what we’re doing and get back into it with gusto.
3. Clean up the smell. When we do messy play it can get pretty messy. We’re talking mud pies, cornstarch Oobleck, making our playdough recipe, and kid sweat. When it smells messy, it doesn’t feel clean. So I wondered if the opposite would be true. When it smells clean would it feel cleaner? Yes! It does. We could just enjoy the clean smell and leave it at that, but I also found that when it smells good in our home, I’m more motivated to make it match visually. A fresh, clean smell often helps me work more quickly.
I took a stroll through the air care isle on one of our visits to Wal-Mart pick up a wall plug for the Febreeze and AirWick fresheners. Now, I am not a huge fan of strong smells. Especially lots of them mixed together. I usually hold my breath through the laundry isle. Those smells sting my nose. So I wasn’t sure what to expect from the air care isle. But it was very pleasant. I even ran into a friend and we had a lovely chat about her favorite smells and all the places she likes to freshen up the air in her home.
We’ve been enjoying some fall scents with the pumpkin spice candle and the Acadia scented wall plug in freshener. And when the plumbing guys took over my bathroom to fix a very leaky faucet, I plugged that baby right in! Mostly because the downstairs smelled musty but it also helped since they ended up using power tools and cutting through the tile ceiling. The lovely smell helped me stay calm about that one. And grateful one more time that we rent and are not homeowners. I would have died if we owned the house. But the landlord was here and okayed the destruction. I’m so glad I didn’t have to make that phone call.
What are your favorite fall smells?
I’m an Ambassador for the #SmellsClean campaign and received several air freshening products to facilitate my post. The opinions and experiences are mine and my family’s.