I hate times like this! Everything's going fine and dandy when--WHAM--outta nowhere three of four things happen at once and they throw your home into disarray. In the past week and a half we've had Thanksgiving, sewage backed up in our bathroom tub, my best friend had her new precious baby, and we found out the house we've designed and planned to buy is not going to work out. Ups, downs, Ups, downs...sigh!
At times like this life has a way of taking on a temper all it's own. It throws curve balls straight at my head and makes sure that every mess imaginable is made all in the same week.
I know I'm exaggerating a bit, but that is how it feels. And at times like this, I have to force myself back to daily life and clean up all the many messes that've gone unchecked for days as I've wallowed in a haze of holidays and disappointment and who-cares and lots and lots of cooking.
So, when life throws curve balls and you're ready to move on, where do you start?
Creating A Safe Haven:I start with creating a safe haven for the kiddoes to play while I get my patooty into high gear cleaning up the mess I've allowed to develop. Ya know...a place that my children can roll around on the floor, watch some Netflix, do a little school, and still feel, and even more importantly be, safe...while I spend a few hours cleaning up the house again.
I know none of you EVER let your house get over run with messes. But, just in case you do I put together some ideas.
What Makes a Haven Safe?
I think that depends on the age of the children, and each parent has to determine that for themselves. For a 15 year old it may just be a cleaned off table where they can focus on their school work, but for a toddler it might require picking up every small thing they might find, vacuuming the floor, making sure there's an older sibling around to keep an eye out, etc. I'll show you what I do for my 10, 7, and 14 month old.
First, I pick the nearest room to where I'll be working that's comfortable, easiest to clean up, and already has some entertainment for the kids. This makes it so much easier to prepare.
Next I gather a few things to help the clean-up process go faster:
The living room, for instance, doesn't have a trash can or a laundry basket that belongs in there. So, if I didn't have these I'd be taking multiple trips to the kitchen trash can, a few to the bathroom laundry basket, and dozens of trips to other rooms to put stow-aways back in their proper places. This way, I make only three trips after I'm all cleaned up. One to put the trash out, one to put the laundry basket up, and one to hand the basket to the kids and let them run a bazillion places to put all their escapees away.
Then, because I have a toddler, I'm really careful to look around for small objects and/or vacuum the main areas that he'll be playing in and around.
So, this is our living room and dining room all set up for Safe Haven.
This was the beginning of the series, "When The Mess Paralyzes". If you would like to read the rest, you can find them here.