3 Easy Ways to Keep the House Tidy with a 4 year old.
One of the perks of watching my son grow is having the opportunity to see the different milestones. I love that I can actually have a full conversation with him over a myriad of topics. I love not having to buy diapers now, I love the simplest of things, like a well-timed kiss on the cheek when I am having a rough day! (priceless I tell you).
However, of the challenges I have facced is maintaining a clean house. Because clean and a 4-year old are worlds apart. Once he comes home from school, I know it is time for, err, a messy house. Not that I am complaining, but anyone relate to having to hop over toys strewn all over? Cushions used to build houses? Boxes improvised to act like trucks? I am grateful he is healthy, growing well, but I will admit, it does get exhausting. Plus the clutter sometimes irritates me.
In my quest to find a routine that works for me (I am a sucker for routine), I established a pattern of getting the job done. After 9 PM, once my son is tucked in bed and snoring, I often want to slump into my chair, binge watch TV, finish up on my current reads, or just doze off. It’s post-Mom o’clock anyway… till I remember that this same clutter will be there the next day. It is the first thing I will set my eyes on when I go downstairs.
I change my mind and take up my daily routine. I call this routine ‘the dusk cleanup,’ because that is exactly what it is. Instead of mindlessly scrolling the timeline, I purpose to get stuff cleared in just about 20 minutes.
- First I clear whatever my son has forgotten (he is 4, so at this point he has learnt to return all his toys to the toy box before he heads to bed).
- Second, I put laundry in the rightful place, because often his evening bath is done in a rush so I can prepare dinner in good time
- Third, I clear table and set up what my son will eat for break and lunch at school the next day. This is one of the most effective worry-free routines I have taken up in recent months. The reward of a clutter-free house the next day is enough incentive to get the job done.