Keep your hands full!

Every now and then my house gets too messy for me to deal with on my own…I know, what a shocker right? Anyhoo…

To mitigate, I try to get the whole family on board with a “Big family 15-minute tidy”. The kids pick the music (often it is just one song on repeat), we set a timer and everyone gets to work…sort of…

The kids still need a fair bit of encouraging, and I am usually a force to be reckoned with during the 15 minutes. I typically spend the time picking things up off the floor that belong to the kids and telling them “there are things on the coffee table that are being tossed when the timer goes off, so come and get ’em if you want to keep anything!” The kids usually run to the table, pick out what they want, then try to run off and stash them somewhere easy…I keep adding things to the table as I find them and warning the kids that there’s more on the table.

Within 15 minutes, we can actually tidy almost everything on the main floor, and we are starting to get closer to being done in their rooms in the same amount of time. The time seems to fly by, but we still do somehow end up dealing with a whole lot of the clutter – at least the kid’s clutter.

The best way to manage it, is that I…

Always have multiple things in my hands!

Keeping my hands full makes quick work of it all! As I go from room to room, I am always picking up at least a couple things for another room. I never leave a room empty handed. The kids are fine with walking back and forth carrying one item at a time, but I prefer to be more efficient! If I find things on their desks that belong in the kitchen, I will grab as much of it as I can; if there is also something to go upstairs, I will grab it too to drop off on my way to the kitchen. While I am in the kitchen, I will likely find things for other rooms on the main floor. Even grabbing a couple of items as you leave a room, will make a huge dent on how long it takes to put things in their place.

As I go about my day (outside of our Big Family tidy), I will generally find things in rooms that don’t belong – I always try to grab something as I leave any room that I can easily deal with.

Now I just need to figure out how to teach that to the rest of the family!!

Thanks for coming home!

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