KRECHELLE has eight people in her household and she manages to always keep it clean and tidy. This is how she does it.

“GIRL, how is your house so clean with six children, work and school and all the fights?”

The truth is, if you come mid nerf battle on a spaghetti bolognese day there is just no hiding that eight people definitely live and eat here.

But for the most part it’s tidy. And that makes me happy. I suppose we stick to a few simple rules.

1. Kids help

We paint, we build blocks, we get muddy outside. The kids can have tons of messy fun but they must clean up after themselves, always. Toys go back away, dirty clothes go in the wash and clean clothes go in their allotted spots.

They know how to put things in the bin. Get themselves dressed. How to put their clothes in the wash. Where their shoes and bags go. How to make their beds. It’s just routine and habit. I’m not a slave driver. But they have responsibilities and for the most part, they enjoy them.

2. Throw sh*t out

No but seriously. I only have pots and pans I use regularly, I have minimal furniture, enough blankets for each person in the house but we don’t have useless sh*t. No one needs six sheet sets; you just don’t. You don’t need a set of Tupperware you’ve never used before. I know Aunt Betty gave you it for your seventh wedding anniversary but if you’re not using it, it goes.

And that broken toy on top of the fridge that’s been there for two years that you’re ‘totally going to fix any day now’ — THROW it out. If it doesn’t make you happy and you don’t use it regularly, you do not need it. Maybe someone else does?

3. Stuff is sorted. Always. Mostly always

New stuff comes in and old stuff goes out. Things stay folded. We try and keep it regularly sorted. We have a blanket cupboard, a dinosaur storage box, an art storage box, a gift wrapping area, a vacuum cupboard, a cleaning cupboard. You get the picture.

Things that aren’t used again, we throw. Everything has a place. Organisation is the key. Our drawers aren’t full of crap except for our ONE “crap drawer”. Everyone needs one “full of crap drawer”. With pens and rubber bands and hair ties and paddle pop sticks and takeaway menus.

4. Utilise your morning

I never close the door for school run on a dirty house. Well, almost never. I make sure the kids have tidied their rooms and made their beds. If they mess the lounge playing forts in the morning, they tidy it up as we walk out the door. The sink and benches must be clear and washing swapped first thing. It works and it’s done by about 7.20.

The rest of my day is clear when I step out of the door at 8.20am. OK 8.30 … or maybe 8.43.

We’re always bloody late. My house is clean. Trust me we’re not late because it’s clean; it’s normally shoes. It’s always because of shoes. We’re not miracle workers, our kids still manage to lose their shoes. Every. Damn. Day.

5. One DEEP clean day

One per week every week. Floors, bathrooms, toilets, sinks, bedding, wipe over of tables, TVs, fridges and microwaves. Done. Don’t over complicate. It takes about two hours. Don’t put pressure on yourself every day. The morning clean should be enough. And then your one deep clean day, turn the music up for deep clean day. I love Saturday mornings and just get it done.

6. No need to vacuum

Not every time. Invest in a broom with a dust pan and a spray mop. A mop that sprays disinfectant on the floor and wipes it up. I love my spray mop. It works wonderfully well. His name is Peter and he’s one of my best friends. I use him after dinner. And after spills and lollipops and then I throw the cloth that attaches to the bottom in the wash. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

7. Candles

A sweet scent is as inviting as fresh throw cushions. They make your house feel fresh. They make it smell like apples when it doesn’t smell like apples. Fck I love apples. And I love candles. And when it’s been a really bad morning Glen 20 and candles in combination work a treat. Preferably in a well-vented area and not at the same time. That sht’s flammable. Also open windows and doors; fresh air is as good as a bloody holiday.

And there you have it. Keep on top of things. Don’t worry about it all week. One morning a quick wham bam thank you Ma’am cleaning session. And Bob’s your uncle.

God, I put in a lot of sayings into one post. You’re welcome.

I hope this has kind of helped. I’ve sprained my ankle so naturally my house looks like a tornado has hit it and everyone threw their belongings and ran for cover and no one’s been sighted since.

My husband is “helping”. Don’t tell him, but he just kind of moves mess around. He’s trying though, and he makes me tea so I should probably shut right up.

Because at the end of the day some of my best memories from when I was a kid was sitting in a three-week-old sheet fort I built in my parents’ lounge room surrounded by food crumbs watching Harry Potter.

A clean house does not make memories. But staying on top of things gives you more time to make them.

Mommy’s note: I believe in giving my kids list of chores to do at home.  

via GoodtoKnow

During a Ted Talk called How To Raise Successful Kids – Without Over-Parenting, Julie Lythcott-Haims, the former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford University, claims that children who do chores around the house are far more likely to be professionally successful adults.

She mentioned the Harvard Grant Study, which states that the earlier children start doing chores, the earlier a ‘can-do’ attitude and behaviour is instilled into them.

By doing jobs around the house, Julie explained, children will learn the act of rolling up their sleeves and pitching in to do whatever needs to be done, in order to finish the task.

Julie went on to describe how this sort of attitude is exactly what will get young people ahead in the workplace. Whereas a ‘checklisted childhood’ of achievements such as keeping their grades up, taking up hobbies and attending extra-curricular activities and classes, etc will not.

She said, ‘In the checklisted childhood, we absolve our kids of doing the work of chores around the house, and then they end up as young adults in the workplace still waiting for a checklist, but it doesn’t exist.

‘More importantly, [they’re] lacking the impulse, the instinct to roll up their sleeves and pitch in and look around and wonder, ‘How can I be useful to my colleagues? How can I anticipate a few steps ahead to what my boss might need?’ she added.

It is unlikely that any child will find chores very exciting, especially if they’re not yet accustomed to doing them, so the key to this exercise is to make sure young children especially are having fun doing them by turning it into a game.

Rather than setting them up with tasks and leaving them to it, try making the task into a family exercise by getting involved and showing them the different jobs that need to be done and how to do them.

What do you think? Do your children help out around the house and do chores? Or do you think getting good grades and taking up hobbies are more important? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Notes from MOMmy:

I am a believer that kids need to learn to do chores. I believe this is the best way to teach them to be self-sufficient. My kids have a list of chores to do at home.

Via Sunshine & Hurricanes: The Importance of Chores for Children (Printable Chore Chart)

Why are Chores for Children important?

We’ve all read the stories about today’s twenty-somethings.

The boomerang generation. The go-nowhere generation. Generation “y” bother.

These are just a few of the labels that follow them around. There are any number of theories and about a million articles that attempt to explain the challenges faced by these young adults.

There are probably elements of truth in all of them and yet at the same time not everything is likely deserved. Overall though, many people will agree that the phenomena of helicopter parenting definitely contributed. In an attempt to be both their best friends and their most ardent protectors, parents often shielded them from many of the realities and reasonable responsibilities that help a child mature into a productive and self reliant adult.

Image Source: flickr/ oldenoughforchores

Chores for Children And the Decline of Parental Expectations

One of the significant ways in which the household dynamic changed in recent decades was a steep decline in the expectation that children would contribute to the household in age appropriate ways. Some parents felt that the time spent on such menial tasks was not as worthwhile as working on homework. In other situations, children were so over-scheduled with activities crammed into every waking moment that there just wasn’t room for chores.

What these parents often overlooked unfortunately was that chores can be just as important to the future success of any child. Chores can be “easy wins” for kids, they usually don’t take much time, but they can steadily build a strong work ethic, confidence and even a sense of pride for being able to give back to their family. They are also essential to developing the basic life skills that will be needed to survive outside mom and dad’s house.

Chores for Children – What Are Your Kid Capable of?

Below you will find a printable chore chart you can hang on your fridge or even each child’s door that lists the types of chores for children that are appropriate at different ages. I realize for some people, the suggestions may be shocking.

That is part of the problem. By forgoing chores, we’ve arrived at a point where we often underestimate what our children are capable of and when. They are not helpless, they are helpers. Take advantage of this untapped support staff in your own home and free up some much deserved time for yourself!

We would love to know, what chores did you have to do as a child?
What chores for children do you think are important?