Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tips on cleaning your child's room

while some over-achiever mom's do this on a daily basis (or have their kids do it on a daily basis) i'm guessing most of us aren't like that.  Today I rallied (with a cold-mind you) and cleaned both of their rooms. so today i will supply you with some tips and tricks on surviving the cleaning of the bedrooms.

Tip #1- you will need supplies.  A vacuum, disinfectant wipes, washer and dryer (with time to do 5 loads), putty, putty knife, high pressure sprayer, HazMat suit optional.

Tip #2- While is seems easier to just plop down on your hand and knees to pick everything up so you save your back... DON'T.  Children are notorious for having invisible toys that will gouge you in the knee cap. You are better off wearing construction boots while cleaning. Don't kneel, squat. Your knee caps with thank you.

Tip #3- Regarding clothes: if it's on the floor it's dirty. You are wasting time sniffing. My son with pull out a perfectly cleaned and folded shirt just to blow his nose. If it's on the floor- into the laundry basket it goes. In the end you'll save yourself time and embarrassment. Who wants to see their kids walking away to school only to find a snot smear pinching the back of their shirt together? No one, that who.

Tip #4- There is a place in a child's room that you wouldn't give more than a passing glance. But! If you look hard enough you will find a mess. A mess, worthy of a putty knife. I am talking about the wall nearest the side of the bed they sleep on. It is covered in boogers. Hard, crusty boogers. They fling 'em, toss 'em, smear 'em and sneeze on them. You'd be amazed at the velocity of a booger shooting out a 6 year old's nose. Get out the knife and start scraping. Don't bother using wipes or sponges... they will only rip.

Tip #5- Children have an uncanny ability to hide things. Things that can rot. Things that can smell. Things that can attract bugs and critters. For this very reason we instilled the "no food in the room" rule, which miraculously works. We haven't had this problem in a quite some time. Although I have it on good authority (mine) that teenagers need help with this rule. So when cleaning, ask yourself "if I was 4 and I wanted to hide a peach... where would I put it?" get low (squat) and check under everything and then behind everything. You'd be surprised at the things you find behind a dresser. Fuzzy furry things, and i'm not talking about an animal.

Tip #6- The vacuum can be your best friend. My son had a toy set that came with a treasure chest. The chest contained small gold coins of varying sizes. For 18 months whenever I found a coin I would pick it up and put it in the chest. I would find them in the couch, under the couch, in nooks, crannies, pockets, dryers, under dryers, drawers... EVERYWHERE. And like a good mother I collected them and placed them back in their cherished chest where they belonged. Then one day it hit me "my kid doesn't even PLAY with these!" Enter Vacuum stage left. If it's small enough, up it goes. My new theory; I give toys a 6 month life span (long, I know). After that time period it's anyone's game. Instead of squatting I now reach level 2, vacuuming. This will save you time and knee caps later down the road. Just vacuum those tiny pieces up. Your kid will never notice. And if they do... ice cream is a very good distracter. Always have some on hand.

Tip #8- Kids track dirt. I wish I could  take my kids to parks that only had that soft rubber ground and grass. Unfortunately they actually request the sand parks. My daughter has sand at her preschool. We live next to the beach. Dirt and sand- unavoidable.  Now while there is a certain satisfaction in the sound of sand getting sucked up a vacuum, it still hits you that there was this much dirt and sand in the carpet and in the BED. The only way to avoid this is to take their shoes off at the park. They will not be the only frozen toed, shoeless child running around in the sand. If they don't have a place to put the sand, then they can't track it in. Unless they are my son, who fill his pockets to the brim with sand only to have me  grab his ankles and turn him upside down. Entertaining and effective.

Tip #9-  This is a good opportunity to sort through their toys.. while their room is messy. go into the toy chest, toy cupboard, toy bin, whatever. Any items that have remained inside can get tossed. They obviously don't care enough about them to play with them, they're obviously the toys have been left behind. Don't feel bad about sending them off to misfit island. They will love it there! And I bet your kids will never notice. If they do... then hey, you have that ice cream in your freezer.  This tip also works for getting rid of clothes. When all their clothes are dirty- anything left in the drawers you can donate or toss.  They wear their favorite things first, ALWAYS.

Tip #10- Red wine goes well with cleaning a child's room.

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