Whether spring cleaning time or not there is always room for a season of traditional sentiments of renewal, rebirth and a desire for a clean slate. Often these sentiments manifest themselves in an impulse to clean house.
However, oftentimes, trying to clean your house while there are kids running around can seem as futile as trying to shovel your driveway in the middle of a blizzard.
Kids have an uncanny talent for accumulating huge amounts of plastic crap, toys, books, friendship bracelets and fingerpaintings – so it can be hard to even know where to start.
As with anything that involves our kids, there’s no clear roadmap with easy-to-follow steps – but here are a few simple tips that may be helpful in getting your children involved in the cleaning process.
Be Picky With The Painting
Kids are little Picassos, prolific producers of artwork. It seems like everyday kids come home from school with more paintings, doodles, sculptures (and by sculptures I do mean two cereal boxes and a toilet paper roll taped together) – it’s relentless.
So gather up all of their artworks and set it down in front of your kids and tell them to choose their favourites. Then either keep the favourites and display them in frames or in a memory box or you could send them off and have them turned into a beautiful coffee table keepsake book that your children can treasure forever.
With the hard copy artwork that’s no longer needed or isn’t worth keeping – you can either recycle it straight away or keep it to use it as wrapping paper. Lord knows kids go to a lot of birthday parties!
Cut Back On Toys
One of the biggest reasons our houses always feel overwhelmingly cluttered is because there’s simply too much stuff. Our kids simply have too many toys and that’s on us – we have to spoil them rotten sometimes.
However, at least once a year, it’s good to go through all their toys and cull a decent amount. It can be hard to get kids to give up any of their toys, even if they haven’t played with a toy in months, the minute you try to throw it away they’ve never been more attached.
Give your children agency over their toys and consider using every parent’s best tool: bribery.
Sit them down in front of a pile of toys and tell them if they can pick out a certain number of toys to get rid of then you can reward them with one new toy they’ve had their eye on.
Be ambitious about the number of toys you want them to get rid of remember they’ll just build back up again over the year.
Axe The Art Supplies
We love it when our kids express their creativity but how many unusable art supplies do we have around our home?
Kids seem to be absolutely allergic to putting the cap back on a felt tip or screwing on the lid of a glue stick or resealing a pot of paint.
So go through your art supplies and be brutal about throwing things away.
Add all the rejected art supplies to the rest of your household waste and, when you’re finally done combing through your house, give 1300 Rubbish a call and they’ll dispose of it for you in a professional and environmentally-conscious method.
For the things that you want out of your house but don’t necessarily want to give away, you can look into some of the amazing charities accepting second-hand kids clothes and toys.
The things you no longer need can make an indelible difference in the lives of families who are down on their luck and in need of help.
This doubles as a great opportunity to talk to your own children about how lucky they are and the importance of giving back to those less fortunate than ourselves.
If you can instill these values in your children at a young age, there’s no telling just how generous, empathetic, impressive and kind-hearted they may grow up to be.