Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Quick and Easy Steps to Clean & Organize Your Child's Room

This week we are working in the children’s rooms.  I know it may seem easier to do this job when the kids are at school, but children benefit from helping out!   Break this job into small tasks. Each day, plan to spend between 15-30 minutes per bedroom. I find it very helpful to set a timer to stay on task.
If your schedule does not allow you to spend 15-30 minutes per bedroom, adjust the challenges accordingly.  The true purpose of this overhaul is to break up large overwhelming jobs into smaller attainable tasks.
It may come as a shock to you that I actually don’t enjoy cleaning, but I know that certain jobs need to be done, and cleaning children’s bedrooms is one of them.  Sit down and write yourself a list of everything that you need to do in order to clean your children’s bedrooms. Below is a sample of my list: (Please keep in mind to break up your job into tasks however it suits you best)

Purge toys- (toss broken, donate/sell unused, etc.)
Purge and clean storage areas (list each drawer, closet, cabinet etc., individually)
Dust furniture
Dust walls, ceilings, corners, ceiling fans
Thorough vacuum of the room including corners and under furniture
Take down curtains and wash according to directions
Clean windows & windowsills
Purge and clean knick knacks
Wash baseboards, radiators, doors, etc.
Wash all bedding and flip mattresses

Now break the large list into daily checklists (or whatever works best for you):

Day 1:
Purge and dust knick knacks, books, frames, etc.
Purge and clean 3 drawers

Day 2: Clean ceiling fan, walls, doors, ceilings, baseboards, etc.
Purge and clean 3 drawers

Day 3: Clean out closets (wipe down walls, sweep floors, purge and sort) - Do as much of this as you can. If this is a project that requires more than 1/2 hour, just write this down for a project to do when you have a chance. Don't let yourself get stuck!  Be very realistic with the amount of time that you have. If you truly only have 15 minutes, do not empty out the entire closet in order to clean it!  Give yourself a goal to simply purge 20 items.

Day 4: Take down curtains and wash
Clean the windowsills and trim
Windex windows and mirrors
Hang the window treatments back up
Purge and clean 3 drawers

Day 5: Dust all the furniture thoroughly
Purge and clean 3 drawers/cabinets

Day 6: Clean bed linens and flip mattress
Clean out underneath the bed
Purge and clean last of drawers
Thoroughly vacuum the floors (don't forget the corners)
Decorate for spring.. spring flowers, etc.

Day 7: Free Day (or catch up)

Before you start any of the above projects, make sure you start with a straightened room. Place clean laundry away and dirty laundry in the hamper. Make the bed and put away anything that does not belong in the room.

Some of the tasks may need more time than what you have this week. An example of this would be if you really need a thorough de-cluttering of the toys. For larger tasks, skip it for now (or do what you can without making a larger mess for yourself) and make a to-do list. At the end of our 8 weeks (or during, when you have the time) you can go back to the list to see what needs to still be addressed. I don't want you to get stuck and lose your momentum.

How to keep it clean:
Does it seem your child has a different vision of what a “clean room” looks like?  Once the children’s bedrooms are cleaned, take a picture.  Keep a picture of the cleaned room with a check-off list on how to get it that way (tailored to your child’s age and abilities):

make bed
put clean clothes away &dirty clothes in the hamper
clean off dresser, bookcase, desk, and nightstand of those things that don’t belong there
put toys away
check under bed and behind doors
straighten closet

This will serve as a reminder to your child what a clean room looks like and the steps needed to achieve it!

Happy Cleaning!!

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