In my never-ending quest to take things of MY to do list, one of the things I needed to consider was what my children could do. Yes, it’s important for them to pitch in and learn responsibility, but I also needed to be real about what I could do myself.
As I started to shift more things over to my kids, I realized that there were things in my house that needed to change so they could pitch in more. They seem little, but here are some of the adjustments I made:
- All of my dishes were moved into lower cupboards. When I was growing up, the pots and pans were always in the bottom cupboards and dishes in the top. That doesn’t work very well when you want the kids to take dishes in and out. So far, I’m the only one that cooks, so it makes sense for the pots and pans to be up higher.
- Cleaning supplies were put into individual baskets for the kids. I spent way too much time trying to tell the kids where to find the supplies and trying to solve arguments about who got what supply when. Instead, I bought three of all of my cleaning supplies and put them in a basket for each child under my kitchen sink. Wasting supplies – maybe? Peace of mind – definitely!!
- Baskets for laundry rather than dressers. My children are all in elementary school right now and perfectly capable of washing their own clothing. The trouble started after they were clean and sat in baskets for weeks. Rather than arguing constantly about folding and taking care of clothes, I gave it up entirely and bought a stacking basket system for each child. The sections were labeled and, as long as the clothing was in the baskets, all was fine. There are certain clothes that I still wash and take care of for them, but it is just one or two things each. Since they still spend most of their time playing, I really don’t care if their t-shirts are wrinkled – as long as they are not on the floor.
- Two words – “junk” boxes!! Children seem to collect so many things! Where do they find them all?! Each child has a box for all of their “junk” – miscellaneous items that don’t have a home yet. Once the box is full, we go through it and either give each item a home or donate them. I just got tired of picking up random things around the house that didn’t have a home yet, so we made a home. For two of my children, we only go through that box every month or so. My third child is a collector so we are sorting that thing out almost every week. Regardless, there is much less just left lying around my house.
- Now on to the bane of my existence – DISHES!! You may have already seen my post about giving up my dishes – if not, you can check it out here. That, alone, has saved me tons of time and energy and I highly recommend it if you can get over the amount of waste it creates. In addition to this, I also have my dish tray set out all the time. Some people are very concerned about the appearance of cleaning so the dish tray only comes out when needed. Well, I need mine all the time. Each kid has their own handy dish brush with their own color soap (again, saving arguments) that allows them to wash their one dish immediately. If the rack stays out, they have a place to put it to dry. If not, it gets tossed back in my sink. This means that I have a handful of dishes to put away each night rather than sort through to figure out what is clean and wash them all over again.
These are just a few of the things I have changed around my house to make it easier for my kids to pitch in. What have you done in your home?