Dan is a home-schooler with years of experience fathering his five kids.
Perhaps you’re barely able to read these words after just waking up. We homeschoolers need a glimmer of new hope on occasion—the title is appealing, so you’re trying.
Keeping a tight shift when managing the kids isn’t always possible. Frankly, it’s impossible some of the time, especially for homeschool parents. When kids are at home all day instead of in a public school, there's generally more time for them to mess up the house. In addition to carrying out occupations and teaching the little ones, we must clean.
When time can’t be scheduled for cleaning, the mess will build up and become unnavigable (not to mention depressing), at which time something needs to be done. “Just make the kids do it. They need to learn,” a person might say.
They do need to learn, but when it gets to a certain point it’s generally beyond what kids can handle. Something needs to be done, ASAP. Start cleaning — and do it just like the following.
- Create a staging area. Even if there is no space in the entire room, make some. Whether it’s couch space or a bare spot on the carpet (it doesn’t really matter), you’ll need room for a staging area. Start shoving stuff aside and make a nice, clear spot.
- Move all large objects into the staging area. Dollhouses, large teddy bears, chairs — anything relatively large should be moved into the staging area. While you’re at it, pull up any area rugs, shake them off, and put them in the staging area.
- Now, grab a rake, and start raking! Pull everything on the floor into one pile. If easier, make two or three separate piles in different areas of the room.
- Separate the keepers from the trash. Go to each pile and pull out and toss aside anything that needs to be kept (it's best to just make new piles with the salvaged items). Don’t be picky about things that must be kept — you’ll be there too long if trying to save every lego and broken crayon. Now, put everything remaining into trash bags. Next, go to any other piles and repeat the same process.
- Put everything back. Take everything out of the staging area and put them back. Furthermore, separate the items salvaged from the piles and put them in desired places.
- Vacuum. Make sure the vacuum cleaner is cleared out and running smoothly. You’ll need it to work well. It may be desirable to vacuum certain areas before putting items back in them.
This has worked for my wife and me. It’s an efficient process and eliminates frustration. I’m not sure what others have written about cleanup techniques but I'd bet they don't beat our method. Take note this can be used to clean almost any type of room; not just living rooms.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2022 Dan Martino