Last week we spoke about how doing small things often is the key to stopping larger problems occurring a few days, weeks or months down the track. I showed you what happened when I let the veggie garden get out of control and how long it took to get it back in to some type of order. Check out the post here. Now let’s look at how this relates to keeping the inside of the house under control.
In the kitchen
I confess that the kitchen is an area of constant struggle for our family. It doesn’t seem to matter how often we do the dishes, there always seems to be another pile waiting to be done. This, even with a perfectly working dishwasher.
The biggest problem is that the family tend to leave their dirty dishes on the bench rather than checking the dishwasher and putting them straight in there to await washing. I often feel like a broken record when I remind everyone that that is what I want them to do but I persevere.
It’s important because just like ignoring a few weeds in the garden ends up in a jungle that takes hours to remove, leaving just a few dishes on the bench ends up in a huge dirty pile that someone then has to sort out. It’s important for everyone to play their part in keeping the kitchen tidy because otherwise they will certainly play a part in making it a mess.
In the toy room
We used to have a rule that before the children could get out another toy, they had to pack away the first one. We were never too rigid about this though and I am glad because there is a lot to be learnt from using a few toys in combination. The wooden construction set goes perfectly with the toy animals because you can build a zoo for them, the kitchen set needs lots of dolls to help drink the tea and trust me when I tell you that children can find the most creative uses for all sorts of random things if we give them enough leeway to do so.
So, try not to be too rigid about it but certainly when the playing is done, the tidying up must occur. Children need to learn that if they mess it up, it is their job to clean it up. Leave it for too long and no-one will feel like tackling it because the task will seem too large and take too long. You will be tempted to throw it all away rather than pack it up because of the effort that will be needed just to set things right.
In the bathroom
The bathroom is another area than can easily get away from you if you take your eye off the ball for even a moment. A couple of days of leaving things on the vanity bench and not wiping the toothpaste spatter off the mirror result in a minor war zone in a very short period of time.
For me the biggest problem is the floor. We live in a dusty area and if I am not careful, in a very short time the floor will collect a fine layer of dust and dirt. To prevent this from happening I wipe over the floor every day with a small wad of toilet paper. It takes me seconds, I throw it straight into the bin and I don’t have any washing up to do afterwards.
I also spend a couple of seconds putting things back into the cupboard where they belong. I am glad the people who built our house didn’t think it would be a good idea to go with the fashion of the time which was to have no doors on the vanity unit. Trust me when I tell you that doors can hide a multitude of sins. It’s much easier to quickly hide things away than to try and place them neatly in some sort of decorative fashion.
Small changes around the house
The biggest tip I can give you about keeping the inside of the house neat and tidy is to make sure you do a little bit often . Remember that it is far easier to spend 10-15 minutes putting away the few things that have been left out today, than it is to spend hours putting away the many things that have been left out for weeks.