Does a messy house make you act less kind?
“How we handle the messes tells our children how we handle imperfection and mistakes”
The everyday messes and commotion of family life can be overwhelming…and with holidays right around the corner, yeesh. I can feel the anxiety rising.
I’m here to help!
Messes happen! They mean you and your family are living your lives. Here are some ways to help ensure that the messes don’t add unnecessary stress to your day.
1 – BEFORE THE MESS OCCURS
Set up systems! You can greatly reduce the size of the mess and how overwhelming a mess can feel if you have a routine way to address it before it ever happens.
- Every Saturday after breakfast the whole family cleans together
- Friday movie night only begins after the playroom has been cleaned up
- Give each kid a “zone” that he/she is responsible for cleaning daily
- 10 minutes doing a quick pickup before bed
- Everyone has an assigned part to play in after dinner cleanup
2 – WHEN YOU SEE THE MESS
Know yourself! If you’re someone who gets really stressed out by visual clutter, know that about yourself so that when you’re confronted with a mess you can handle it the way you want to.
Before you react:
- Take a deep breath
- Move your body
- Remind yourself something like: “making messes is a sign that your child is playing and learning! things can be turned around in 20 minutes or less”
- Messes are a temporary sign that we’re living long term meaningful lives
3 – AS YOU ADDRESS THE MESS
Make cleaning up more enjoyable! This makes everyone more invested, which means the mess is contained more quickly and you’re not doing it alone!
- Make it a game: play the song “the floor is lava” and try to clean up as much as you can before the floor turns to lava. when it does, try to get out of the lava
- Add choice by making a list of what needs to be done and letting your child pick
- Use your phone to make a timelapse of the clean up and then watch it together when you’re done