Ok, I would love to have a perfectly clean and tidy house...believe me....I fantasize about it. But I chose to get married to a man who didn't feel that so much and we have three kids. So...our house is mess most of the time. It is a constant battle to keep it tidy. I actually obsessively keep it clean (did you know you can clean almost everything in your house with white vinegar?). But...looking neat and clean is another story.
I've seen those houses on Wife Swap or something that are clean....either your kids don't play or you don't have a tidy house all the time. I've come to terms that it is just going to be this way for a couple more years.
But...when we have company over...the family will pull together and clean it up. I love it. We had visitors last weekend and will again today...so the house was pretty neat all week! I am thinking about making up visitors to come all the time...maybe they will keep it clean. Of course, then I would either have to keep the people coming or make up more lies that they all cancelled...but maybe it would be worth it.
Some family cleaning strategies....
1. Add music....sing a song or play a song and everyone has to clean up until the end.
2. Baskets or boxes...we have a couple baskets throughout the house so when we need a quick clean up or we don't feel like sorting them, we throw it all in there.
3. Give everyone a very specific job (clean up all the toys on the living room floor, find all the books in here).
4. Send them off in teams! My 4yo loves to help his big sister clean the mirrors.
5. Relax...its ok to let the floor be messy and just have fun together. You will have time later or tomorrow to clean it up.