They grow up so fast, don’t they?
Every parent – not to mention aunts, uncles, and grandparents – knows the “blink and you’ll miss it” feeling of watching a child grow up.
One day they’re a toddler, frolicking in the sandbox. The next day they’re off to grade school for the first time. Before too long, you’re watching them walk across the stage at their high school graduation. And then it’s off to college, or work, or a family of their own, as your one-time “baby” leaves the nest.
We’re getting a little misty-eyed just thinking about it! Of course, for other families, the kids growing up and becoming independent is cause for a huge sigh of relief. Everyone’s experience will be different.
But one thing’s for sure: For families with kids, keeping the house cleaned and organized is always going to be a top priority – and it’s often easier said than done.
At every stage of your family’s journey, you’re going to have distinct cleaning challenges, as well as unique obstacles that are going to make meeting your goals harder than you’d like. Are you prepared for every stage of your child’s life? And what can you do to make things easier?
Newborn and Toddler
There’s something astonishing and transformative about bringing a newborn baby home. Suddenly, a space that you’ve lived in, perhaps for years, feels different. You have a new addition, and they’re going to change everything, in ways both big and small.
Babies are miracles, there’s no doubt about it. Crying, stinky, lovely, challenging, incredible miracles. When your child is an infant or a toddler, you’re likely going to find yourself responsible for a ton of important cleaning tasks, some of which you may not have thought of before becoming a responsible adult:
- Keeping the diaper changing station clean, sanitized, and well-stocked
- Cleaning the bathtub or sink, so that you can give the baby baths
- Organizing and sanitizing toys
- Keeping the air purified with clean vents and filters, and ample houseplants
- Deep cleaning carpets and upholstery after any “oopsies” – from spilled juice to spit-up
- Making sure the nursery is clean and safe
- Baby-proofing stairs, electronics appliances, windows, and so on
- Washing linens and laundry, including baby clothes and blankies
- Keeping the kitchen sanitary, so you can prepare food without the risk of contamination
- Disinfecting surfaces, such as tables, chairs, baseboards, etc.
Going Off to Grade School
As your little one grows up, you’re going to get a real sense of the person that they are – and this may affect how you approach the look and feel of your home. Is your child an adventurer, or are they a little more reserved? Do they love playing games? Sports? Reading? Fashion? All of the above?
By the time your child is in elementary school, you may be in the swing of things when it comes to cleaning, organizing, and housekeeping. But there are always going to be new challenges. For example, during the elementary and middle school years, many guardians find themselves driving all over town, taking their kids to soccer practice, dance class, tutoring appointments, you name it. When you’re pulled in so many different directions at once, it can be hard to tackle all the household chores that need to get done.
One way to make things easier is to really plan out what you’ll need to accomplish – and how you can get it done. Some ideas may include:
- Keeping the kids’ play-room cleaned and organized. This may mean their room full of toys and games, or the music room, the arts and crafts room, or so on. It will depend on the personality of your little one, and what they do for foom
- Keeping the kitchen and dinner table cleaned and ready for family meals
- Sanitizing surfaces after kids get sick
- Cleaning up after any cats, dogs, or other pets that you may have adopted or brought home
- Finding ways to involve your kids in cleaning – perhaps by turning the concept of chores into games, or making housekeeping time into family bonding time
- Cleaning out the car of dirt, debris, old food, and any of the other leftovers from a busy life
- Organizing clothes and laundry as your child goes through phases and growth spurts
- Cleaning carpets and upholstery after spills
- Making sure the living room is clean enough for family downtime – watching TV or movies, playing games, doing homework together, and so on
- Helping your little one keep their bedroom clean and tidy
The High School Years
From elementary school, to middle school, and finally, to high school. At this point, it’s easy to feel like you’ve got this whole housekeeping thing down pat. But high school is going to bring with it plenty of fresh challenges. Many high schoolers will have extremely busy social and school calendars. They’re going to be balancing schoolwork with extracurricular activities, not to mention trying to squeeze in plenty of time for their friends, while maybe even finding time to start dating (the horror!). Plenty of high schoolers start driving. Plenty more start working, either full-time or part-time.
When you live with young adults, it’s easy to feel like the teenager in your life is a little bit like a tornado – whirling through the house, leaving a mess, and then taking off again to go do the next thing before ever really settling down. Here are some of the unique challenges and tasks you may want to prepare for:
- Set a good example. At this point, your young adult is taking important cues on how to treat their home and their living space from you. Try to be an inspiration, teach the lessons that you can, and try to set your teenager up for success in the next phase of life.
- Set expectations. Unlike younger kids, tweens and teens are usually fully capable of cleaning up after themselves, and tackling chores on their own. Don’t micromanage, but do make sure that your young adult is playing their part in keeping the house humming.
- Clean out the refrigerator. Teen boys and girls are always snacking. Make sure the fridge is clean and odor-free, because that door will be open a lot. The same goes for the microwave and your kitchen pantry.
- Prepare to clean up after sporting events, dance recitals, school plays, long shifts at work, etc. It’s not a house with a teenager if there isn’t a random pile of dirty clothes lying around, waiting to be cleaned by someone.
- Make sure you’re ready to entertain. Teens often bring home friends at a moment’s notice. Is your dining room ready for an extra dinner guest? Is your entertainment center ready for an impromptu movie night?
- Set a standard for bedroom cleanliness. You may not be allowed in this room anymore, lest you be accused of “snooping.” But this room has to be clean enough for your child to be able to study, sleep, and hang out without too many distractions or hazards.
Leaving for College: Enjoying the Empty Nest
Finally, after years of love, support, and memories, it’s time for your child to leave the nest, and go on to bigger and better things. This can be a difficult transition for parents and guardians, and for the kids who are stepping out on their own for the first time. But it’s an important phase to get through, and will make everyone stronger on the other side. And even better? Empty nesting, as many parents find, definitely isn’t all bad. In fact, now is the time when you can finally make your home the way you want it.
Here are a few ideas worth keeping in mind:
- Make some improvements to your guest room, and keep it clean and tidy, so your child has somewhere to stay when they return home.
- Consider the best way to use your extra space. You may want to keep your kids’ bedroom as-is, or you could make the most of this room by transforming it into an office, a home gym, or even a nice guest bedroom
- How do you want to decorate? Can you take steps to make your home feel more like a luxurious retreat?
- What kind of lifestyle do you want to lead? Without the kids around, you’re free to travel, to vacation, to start a new hobby. What will you do – and who will keep your home clean while you’re off making new memories?
Sweeping Dimensions is Here to Help, at Every Step of the Way
Whether you’re anticipating bringing home a new baby, or you’re ready to retire and jet-set around the globe, Sweeping Dimensions can help you make the most of your precious time, and turn your biggest dreams into reality.
We’re here to sweat the small stuff, so that you can focus on the most important things in life – family, friends, and fun.
Bringing on a professional cleaning service might just be one of the most important steps you can take to keep your household up and running, at every stage of life’s journey.
We understand that being a parent is one of the toughest and most important jobs there is. Bringing on help can make it easier, at every step of the way. We’ll give you back peace of mind so that you can take better care of yourself and your family, all while making sure that your cleaning and organizing to-do list gets done!
Sweeping Dimensions Cleaning Service is here and ready to help moms and dads all across Chicagoland! Here at SDCS, we always make a sweeping effort to make life less stressful.
With a professionally trained and uniformed staff, all of our cleanings are fully customizable to meet your unique needs. We bring all of the cleaning supplies and equipment needed to clean your home, with a focus on green, environmentally sound cleaning products. We also offer flexible time windows, perfect for busy working parents.
Want to trade tips and tricks with other parents and cleaning aficionados? Join our community and keep the conversation going on Facebook! Ready to call in the pros, and cross “cleaning” off of your family’s to-do list? Get in touch today for your free estimate!