Question: I Clean and Tidy, Only To Have It All Messed Up Again By Kids and Hubby Dear Maria, I spend a few hours cleaning and tidying up our home only to have it all messed up again once the kids and hubby get home. I like an organized home, but it seems the more I work at it, the messier the house becomes. What can I do? Thanks Maria, --Robin from San Diego, CA Maria’s Response Dear Robin, I know how frustrating it could be when you spend tons of time cleaning, and then you see those clean areas messed up. But there are some things you can do to help make this challenge a bit less stressful and more effective. Here are a few: 1. Get your husband on board. One thing that’s very important is getting your husband on-board. If you’re on board, and he’s on board…it’s much easier to get the kids on board with keeping the house as clean as possible. Have a heart-to-heart with him and ask him to do what he can to help you keep things neat and tidy, even if it’s as simple as helping to enforce that the kids put their belongings away, and for them to wipe up after their messes. 2. Cut down on volume. The more stuff you have, the more work you’ll be doing to keep everything clean and put away. Take on a more minimalist approach in your home. 3. Make some rules. Schedule a 15-minute family pick-up and clean-up time every single night…no TV, electronics, friends, phone calls, etc. until every family member has participated and handled his/her chores. If everyone works together, the house gets picked up and cleaned up quicker. 4. Keep it outside. When I was a kid, there were no shoes allowed on in the house. Have a drop-off area, like the laundry room, where muddy shoes, wet umbrellas, dusty backpacks previously thrown on the school playground, etc. get placed and stored. That room can get messy, but at least it won’t be trailed through the entire home. 5. Institute a “no temporary places” policy. Have a home for everything (incoming mail, jackets, school papers, etc.) and be sure each person puts whatever they have in that home…not in a temporary place, like tossed on the kitchen table. Yes, you will have to work to enforce this. Use consequences and rewards as needed. 6. Create a “you made the mess, you clean it” policy.   There is no reason why a family a member who eats on a plate can’t rinse it and put it in the dishwasher. A family member who drips toothpaste in the sink, can rinse that out and dry the sink before he or she leaves. Everybody has to work together to make this work, and only you and your husband can make sure it happens. Hope this gives you some ideas! Maria
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Question: I Clean and Tidy, Only To Have It All Messed Up Again By Kids and Hubby Dear Maria, I spend a few hours cleaning and tidying up our home only to have it all messed up again once the kids and hubby get home. I like an organized home, but it seems the more I work at it, the messier the house becomes. What can I do? Thanks Maria, --Robin from San Diego, CA Maria’s Response Dear Robin, I know how frustrating it could be when you spend tons of time cleaning, and then you see those clean areas messed up. But there are some things you can do to help make this challenge a bit less stressful and more effective. Here are a few: 1. Get your husband on board. One thing that’s very important is getting your husband on-board. If you’re on board, and he’s on board…it’s much easier to get the kids on board with keeping the house as clean as possible. Have a heart-to-heart with him and ask him to do what he can to help you keep things neat and tidy, even if it’s as simple as helping to enforce that the kids put their belongings away, and for them to wipe up after their messes. 2. Cut down on volume. The more stuff you have, the more work you’ll be doing to keep everything clean and put away. Take on a more minimalist approach in your home. 3. Make some rules. Schedule a 15- minute family pick-up and clean-up time every single night…no TV, electronics, friends, phone calls, etc. until every family member has participated and handled his/her chores. If everyone works together, the house gets picked up and cleaned up quicker. 4. Keep it outside. When I was a kid, there were no shoes allowed on in the house. Have a drop-off area, like the laundry room, where muddy shoes, wet umbrellas, dusty backpacks previously thrown on the school playground, etc. get placed and stored. That room can get messy, but at least it won’t be trailed through the entire home. 5. Institute a “no temporary places” policy. Have a home for everything (incoming mail, jackets, school papers, etc.) and be sure each person puts whatever they have in that home…not in a temporary place, like tossed on the kitchen table. Yes, you will have to work to enforce this. Use consequences and rewards as needed. 6. Create a “you made the mess, you clean it” policy.  There is no reason why a family a member who eats on a plate can’t rinse it and put it in the dishwasher. A family member who drips toothpaste in the sink, can rinse that out and dry the sink before he or she leaves. Everybody has to work together to make this work, and only you and your husband can make sure it happens. Hope this gives you some ideas! Maria
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