Eat Outside: The other night I had spent an hour vacumming and cleaning the floors. Then, for dessert my kids were begging for angel food cake with berries and whipped cream. In my head, I imagined cake falling onto the floor, in slow motion, and covering it in sugary crumbs. So, I grabbed a waterproof blanket and hauled it out to the porch. We ate our dessert and watched the sun go down. When it’s not too hot (or cold) out, we will have picnics or eat at our little table in the backyard.
Take off Those Shoes: I don't mind if my kids get dirty. However, I do mind if they track mud through the house. I realized that taking our shoes off near the door made my floors so much cleaner. We have mostly laminate flooring so I can easily see the amount of dirt on our floors when I clean them. Since we have been taking off our shoes more, my floors are much cleaner. I figure this also keeps germs out of the house too. We my kids have been playing in sand, I make sure to empty their shoes outside. Pesky sand can be very hard to clean up.
Everything has a Place: My husband, bless his soul, recently went through my craft closet. Yes, I actually have a few shelves devoted specially to crafts. There is a drawer for paper, one for markers and crayons and another for notebooks. We have a box dedicated to paint and brushes and pencil boxes for odds and ends. In our “playroom,” we have drawers for legos, another for cars and a big bin for outdoor toys. Our house is definitely not immaculate but we have an organizational system that helps the toys and art from getting out of control.
Chore Chart: If you allow it, kids can leave a trail of mess behind them. Chore charts help remind children to clean up after themselves. Simple tasks like making your bed, putting your clothes in the hamper, hanging up clothing and cleaning up after dinner is a big help for me. I just found a "Frozen" themed one for my daughter. I’m hoping Anna and Elsa might motivate her to do some chores.
My house can get messy pretty quickly. How do you keep your kids from destroying your house?