We’re going to start in what I’d always thought to be the worst cleaning job in the kitchen: THE KITCHEN FLOOR:
Can you really get the kitchen floor clean while having fun? The answer is YES! Here’s the deal, it might not be “white glove clean” done, but it will be cleaner than it would be with a Swiffer. And, your kids will have FUN doing it!
Here’s what you need:
- Two dish towels or wash cloths and one big towel
- Warm, soapy water
- A floor that will not get ruined with warm, soapy water
Pour a little soapy water on the floor. Please have your child be CAREFUL, wet floors are slippery. Have the child put a foot on each towel and “skate” on the water. When that section is clean, put more soapy water on another section of floor and repeat. Rinse out the towels as needed. My kids LOVE to do this, and it gets the dirt up quickly! Use a bigger towel to skate and dry the floor or let it dry on its own. Again, please be careful, floors are slippery when wet!
NEXT UP: CLEARING OFF COUNTERS AND TABLES
Choose someone old enough. Have them move all dirty dishes into the sink. Now they’re all together, and the mess is consolidated. When the counters are empty, it’s time to clean them up. Next, take a a clean, warm, soapy cloth and wipe the counters and table. It’s a nice finishing touch that can be done by any age. And, if you’re tired, stop here for now.
Thank goodness for: THE DISHWASHER
You will be surprised what help children can be with the dishwasher. **Please make sure there are no sharp knives or other objects if young children are helping you** My kiddos start at age 4 by emptying out the silverware.
When we load the silverware into the dishwasher we separate it: spoons in one section; forks in their own section; and butter knives in their own section. That way, they just pluck up a section and put it in its spot in the drawer. BOOM! One part down.
Then, the younger ones can also get the plastic bowls, plates and cups and put them in a stack on the counter, or away if the cupboard is a low one.
An older child (whatever age you know your child can safely do this) can put the breakables up on the counter, or away on the shelf if they are tall enough to safely do it. For me, just having the dishes at counter height is a great help.
VOILA! An empty dishwasher! Then, have whomever understands where things go and can safely load the dirty dishes rinse them and load it up. We have the older ones take turns, one does it one day, and the other the next.
The one you can’t escape: WASHING THE DISHES
This is a job for someone tall enough to reach into the sink and safely handle your dishes. I do not recommend a young child for this job, but as they get older, they are GREAT at it. Make sure you teach your child exactly HOW you want them to wash and dry the dishes, and where they go. Don’t expect them to know what you want unless you have taught them each step.
FINAL TWO QUICK AND EASY STEPS:
- Take the garbage bag out of the kitchen and to the big trash can. (I just put it outside the back door for someone else to take, I can’t carry it that far)
- Sweep the floor (if someone didn’t “skate” on it today) Is sweeping difficult for you? Here’s a little vacuum that’s light enough for kiddos to use. It isn’t for big jobs but it’s great for small crumbs and messes, plus it’s super easy for kids to push around. Honestly it almost feels like a toy. Dirt Devil Vacuum Cleaner Simpli-Stik Lightweight Bagless Corded Stick and Handheld Vacuum SD20000RED
NOW YOUR KITCHEN IS DONE!
Whether you have one young child who can do a small part, or an older one who can help with more, remember, any help is good help. Keep it positive, and only start having them help a bit at a time, then add more once they understand how to do it.
YOUR CHALLENGE TODAY: have someone skate on your kitchen floor. It’s amazing how nice a freshly cleaned kitchen floor feels, and it’s even better when the process is fun! That job definitely does NOT need to be done every day. Tomorrow, try another task. Slowly build your way up to having fun while getting the kitchen totally clean together. YOU CAN DO THIS, and they CAN help!