Our Tidy-Up Routine

Confession: the main living areas of our home are rarely picked up when my husband gets home from work.


I know, I know, I read all about you organized ladies who mobilize the troops and get your places all tidied up before Daddy walks through the door.  I admire you.  I do.  But that’s not what works for our family in this particular season.


I do always have dinner pretty much ready upon my guy’s return and, for me, it’s essential that there be toys and art supplies at the ready in order for that to happen.  It is incredibly rare that I turn on a TV show for my kids or let them play something on the computer, so that type of “neat and tidy” amusement won’t work around here.  And, while I love to cook and bake with my kids, I am not patient enough to have them under my feet during every supper preparation.


When Daddy gets home, most often I’m in the kitchen and they’re in the living room… along with a pile of toys or an array of crayons.  It’s not always pretty.  But it works.


In our family, the “tidy-up routine” takes place after supper. While I load the dishwasher and wipe up the kitchen, Daddy heads to the living room with the kiddos.  He takes his place of honor on the couch, cranks up some dance tunes on the laptop, and supervises clean-up.  Within a few minutes, I come out and do a final inspection, noting any small items that have been missed and assigning a child to the task.


Once everything is where it belongs, we either play some more music and dance inside or head outdoors if the weather is cooperating.  Nothing like burning off that final energy to help them konk right out!


By 8 PM, every night (summer included), the living areas are tidy and all three kids are asleep.


And that totally works for me.

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7 comments to Our Tidy-Up Routine

  • No, I admire YOU. I love that you have a routine that works for your family. I’m bad at cleaning as I go and I often let it pile up until Saturday. I have a good helper on my hands already that loves to help with the dishwasher and cleaning up her toys so I’m pretty blessed ;).

  • How fun! Those will be memories they will look back on with joy, I’m sure (even though they were working!)!

  • I love that clean-up is a fun time. Reminds me of Mary Poppins “In every job that must be done….”

  • This bright daylight until 9:30 is really causing us a problem. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was actually warm enough to play outside and get tired. Since we are still in down pour/cold mode we are not playing outside and bedtime is a huge conversation along the lines of “But it’s still sunny outside! It’s not dark!!”

    • One word: shades. Our kids have shades on their windows and that helps significantly, though it definitely doesn’t block it all out (especially if the windows are open). I’m a bedtime stickler, I admit it. I don’t foresee myself as ever being one of those moms with a different “summer schedule” that I then have to break every fall. I like my hours with must my husband way too much! :)

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