After spending over an hour putting my house back in to order one night, I collapsed into bed exhausted. There has to be a better way.
This is how I stumbled on my best homemaking tip with kids.
I had tried going behind my kids and picking up as the day went on.
This made me exhausted, cranky, and not the mommy I want my children to remember.
So then I tried picking up once the kids were in bed. But this just angered me. I mean seriously. Trash, toys, food. You get the picture.
There had to be a better way.
I decided to put my kids to work. Because I need help. Before I explain this, I still have my children clean up their toys after they play with them. However, with 7 people and two crazy cats, there are messes EVERYWHERE. No matter how much I remind my children to pick up this or that. There are still messes.
And I do not want to be a nagging mommy so these zones truly help.
Enter the “zones.” The concept of the “zones” is my best homemaking tip with kids.
I divided our home into 3 zones because right now only three of my children are really capable of doing this efficiently. The two little ones follow us around and help as they can. So our three zones are basement, main living space, and playroom.
Each child has a zone each night.
After we have done our family activity and it is time for the 5 and 3-year-old to go to bed, we first straighten our zone. This is separate from our chores.
This is just putting things back the way they should be.
I normally start on the main level, while the other two children begin in their zones. I give out instruction and help the child who has the main level first. I then move down to the basement to help and supervise the straightening. Finally, I check on the progress of the playroom clean up.
During each zone, we pick up whatever is on the floor, throw away any trash (for some reason the people living in my household forget where the trash cans are???) and put away anything that does not belong in that space.
This only takes about 15 minutes and makes me so much less stressed.
I can get through my day knowing that there will be a time at the end of the day to get this house whipped back into shape. It is in our daily routine, and it is done daily. I can spend my precious time getting more things done, reading to my kids, and just playing.