The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown are stressful for everyone.
Add kids being at home all the time and many parents having to work remotely, and it’s no wonder if parents’ coping skills are being tested. You’re justified if you feel that keeping the house tidy is a low priority. However, a neat, organised home can actually help keep everyone reasonably sane and productive.
Tips for keeping the house clean and tidy during the lockdown
These simple strategies will help you keep on top of housework with a house full of kids, for as long as schools are closed.
1. Relax your standards a bit
It’s easy to underestimate how stressful our current situation is.
No one expects the house to be sparkling clean right now. Trying to maintain a high standard during these unusual circumstances could exacerbate stress. Let go a little!
2. Get an early start
Don’t get up crazy early. You need a good night’s rest to deal with the current situation.
However, do try to get a head start on the kids. Even half an hour will give you a little more time to prepare breakfast or tackle last night’s dishes.
3. Incentivise chores Get everyone, kids included, to pitch in.
Even young children can be helpful if you succeed in making clean-up activities fun. Give them a task that makes them feel responsible and grown up. (Don’t micromanage). You might be surprised how carefully they handle it.
For older kids, you might consider giving incentives. For example, agree on a point system for chores. Points could be traded for treats or certain privileges, like air time for phones or time watching movies.
4. Be a little stricter with play areas
For the duration of the lockdown, limit play areas to certain areas of the house, ideally bedrooms only. This will minimise clutter and make the house feel less untidy. You don’t want to be tripping over toys when you’re trying to get on top of the laundry.
5. Establish a new routine
You may have to establish a slightly different routine during lockdown to accommodate having more people in the house.
Having a routine will make chores go faster and help you keep track of what has and hasn’t been done. Get everyone involved (where possible) and make everyone aware of the new routine (to minimise squabbles).
6. Clean As You Go
Teach your children to clean up every time they are finished with their toys. For instance, if you are getting ready to eat supper, you can work with your children to clean up before they come to the table. Teach your kids to clean before bed time, before they leave for school in the morning, before friends come over etc., and you will only have to worry about cleaning a little mess at a time. If you are going to let your kids help you clean, make sure the products you use are natural and don’t contain any nasty chemicals.
7. Cook simple family favourites Skip the elaborate meals for a while. They use up a lot of groceries and make a lot of dishes. Stick to simple, one-pot meals that you know the kids will like. You don’t need to be dealing with picky eaters right now.
8. Donate or Pack Away Unused Toys and Clothes
If your child has clothes and toys that he/she no longer uses, donate them to a local shelter or a hospital or at the local nursery. You could also consider selling these items online if they are valuable and in good condition. Since children grow out of clothes very quickly, it is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the clothes you have lying around. Clear out the clutter so you can get rid of the headache.
If you plan on having kids again in the near future, you can store these toys and clothes in plastic bins for easy access. Put them in the top shelf of a closet, away from your child’s reach.
Once the lockdown is over, you may need a little help getting things back up to their usual standard. Clean House Edinburgh offers deep cleaning of carpets, kitchens including ovens and bathrooms in the Edinburgh area. Contact us for more information or to get a quote.