You have heard me say this over and over that by doing a quick end-of-night clean-up will help keep you organized. Not only will you feel more organized in the morning, but the likelihood of loosing things will greatly decrease because you will clean up everything ever.single.night. I know that some nights the last thing on your mind is to clean up the house, but I promise you, that the first time you wake up to a clean house, you will want to keep up this routine.
I’ve talked about the end-of-night clean-up here and here! But, I realized that I never talked about how to actually start your end-of-night clean-up. I shared more specifics on how to do a quick 5-minute clean-up of the play room and ways to stay organized with your family, but I never shared my tips for how to do an end-of-night clean-up for the entire house. So, I am sharing my tips for how I do my end-of-night clean-up and how I have my clients do their end-of-night clean-ups, so everyone can make sure they are staying organized, keeping their homes clean, and get ready for the following day!
Get Entire Family Involved
I love to divide and conquer the mess, so I try to get the entire family involved in cleaning up the house. One of us will try to clean up dinner while the other parent is playing with the kiddos. This way it is one less thing to do at the end of the night. Now, this doesn’t always get done as we might be playing together, but we try to get the dishes cleaned up once we are finished with dinner.
For our family, I make sure that the kids put away some of the toys they had been playing with throughout the day. Like I have shared before, I don’t expect my kids to put away all the toys, but I do give them specific toys to clean up. For example, my son is typically in charge of cleaning up his cars and trucks. Since these are his favorite toys, he usually makes the biggest mess with these toys. While my daughter will clean up almost anything as long as I am able to help her as she cleans. With my clients, I always stress that you should NEVER make cleaning up a fight! The second you turn it into a fight, the kiddos will resent and resist cleaning up. Instead, be very specific about what needs to be cleaned up. Instead of saying, “Clean Up”, say, “Please pick up the play food.” By giving your kiddos specific things to clean up, they can see exactly what their task is. If your kiddo is resisting the cleaning up, then ask them what they will clean up and what you should clean up. Little kiddos love being in control, so when they can choose what you get to clean up, they enjoy working with you to clean the space because they get to choose.
Make sure your expectations for your kiddos is manageable. Toddlers and preschoolers should be able to clean up one bin of toys with your support. As the kiddos get older and more experienced with how to clean the house, then you can expect them to start cleaning up more and more bins. But remember to always stay specific in what their task is to clean up. Not only is it less overwhelming for them, but they will have specific tasks they need to complete so they know what is expected of them. And, to tame the clutter, clean up as you play. Once you finish playing with a toy, teach your kiddos to clean up after themselves. It’s a great life-lesson to have!
Start At The Bottom And Work Your Way Up
An easy way to get your end-of-night clean-up completed quickly is to start on the bottom floor and work your way up. I suggest doing this because you can work your way up to the bedroom! So once the kids go to bed, do a quick run-through of the house. Start in the basement, grab any laundry that is hanging out in the dryer, throw the pillows and toys back in the bins. Then, work your way up by putting shoes away and hang up jackets. Put any school supplies or papers in your child’s backpacks. Put all the toys back in their proper bins. Put all the pillows back on the couches. Work your way up to your bedrooms. Turn off the lights once a room is completely clean. This will be the sign that you have completed one room!
Clean The Kitchen
This sounds super easy, but it can be a rather daunting task if you don’t tame that kitchen mess early in the evening. Have you ever woken up to a dirty kitchen and it just makes your day totally seem off? Even after dinner parties, I make sure to have the kitchen cleaned so I don’t have to be left with a mess in the morning. I always make sure to run the dishwasher. I will pack lunches, fill up milk cups for the kiddos, and try to do any meal prep for the following day. I will wipe down the counters and clean the sink. Because waking up to a clean kitchen is the best feeling in the world!
Now it is your turn. Tonight you are going to do an end-of-night clean-up by following these three easy tips. You will get your family involved to clean up the toys. Then, once the kids go to bed, you will start at the bottom of your house and work your way up to your bedroom. When you clean the kitchen, you will make sure to run the dishwasher, set up food for the following day, and wipe the counters and sink. Then, in the morning, take a second to enjoy waking up to a clean house. Because you will be able to start your day organized and clean!