When you're a busy parent with young kids, sometimes it feels like the easiest way to clean the house is to burn it to the ground and just start over. That's not exactly the most feasible solution – especially on a weekly basis.
"I like order. She likes toys. Everywhere. She's four, but I'd like us to start handling cleaning responsibilities together." —Clare, Iona's mother
Clare is a mom who's constantly on the go, so she's looking for easy ways to keep her home slightly more organized. She'd also like to find ways to get her four-year-old daughter, Iona, involved in the process and to show her that yes, everything does have its place (and no, that place is not scattered across the carpet, under the coffee table and down the hallway). Can Nora, the on-call Apartment Therapist help? Of course she can!
1. Store toys in soft baskets
First, Clare can turn cleaning into a game that she and Iona can play together. She could set a timer and see how quickly the two of them could put the puzzle pieces back into the box or get the dolls back on the shelves. She can also give Iona her own set of soft toy baskets, so she has a special place to put her most special things.
2. Wash stuffed animals in a pillowcase
If your child's favorite stuffed animal goes everywhere with her, you've probably learned that everywhere means onto the dusty playground, into an occasional mud puddle and onto the floor at the grocery store. If that toy has started to look like a more-contagious version of the Velveteen Rabbit, then tie it securely into a pillow case and wash it on the delicate setting. Or, for a quick fix, put that precious bundle into the dryer with a fabric softener sheet on the air-dry setting.
3. Use a baking soda paste to clean the stove
When you're trying to get kid-friendly meals on the table as quickly as possible (like before they get distracted and fingerpaint the dog) there isn't always time to clean up as you go. If the pasta boils over or the mac-n-cheese dust has hardened onto the stove, Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda is all you need. Make a paste of baking soda and water, spread it on the stovetop and allow it to sit overnight. Then wipe it off with a wet sponge, and you're good to go...give the dog a bath.
"Introduce good cleaning habits to young kids by doing chores together that make them feel invested in keeping home. And for the not-so-kid-friendly jobs, there's probably a hack that'll let you get back to the fun times faster." —Nora, Apartment Therapist
This post is sponsored by Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda and was created by Apartment Therapy's Creative Studio.
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