by Marie Ricks, Professional Organizer
1) Have each child responsible for cleaning up their own items and putting them away in their rooms once a day. This helps keeps the mess at bay.
2) Put labeled sun screen in each bathroom and somewhere convenient to the backyard to encourage its frequent use.
3) Put up an easy-to-reach clothesline with clothespins for hanging wet items. This helps family members be independent. Assign different clothespins to each child (blue for Tom, red for John, green for Mary…)
4) Assign each family member different responsibilities for cleaning up the house before dinner and the yard before bedtime.
Tom: empty swimming pool and/or drive all the bikes to the rack,
John: pick up and put all large toys in the large container in the garage,
Mary: help the younger children hang up their wet items,
Bob: pick up and put all small toys in the smaller container in the garage,
All: come to the house for a popcycle when jobs are done.
4) Have treats for all cooperating members of the household stashed for easy retrieval. Have them eaten out of doors. Put a wastebasket outside for trash disposal.
5) Plan for a quiet time (reading, sleeping, or other planned activity) in the early afternoon. This will allow you to regroup and them to rest.