If You’re a fan of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, then there’s probably not a lot you don’t know about Garcelle Beauvais. Well, maybe there’s a few things. Did you know she happens to be kind of a cleaning and organizing genius? We didn’t either until we got the chance to sit down with her recently and chat all about cleaning, organizing and making the two activities a family-friendly activity.
Beauvais sat down to chat with us to talk all about cleaning, parenting during these unique times and she even gave us some tips on how to make kids actually get excited about cleaning.
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SheKnows: What would you say is your best tip for getting young kids excited about cleaning?
Garcelle Beauvais: You know what? It’s making it fun, like with anything, even for us adults, right? When we think something is fun, we’re much more into it so I’ve been able to get my kids to do challenges in terms of who can clean quicker or who can do the best job. And it’s really fun to incorporate them because they don’t think they’re cleaning they think they’re just being competitive as brothers and it’s been great to get them also to know Arm & Hammer baking soda, because for me growing up, it was always in our kitchen and in our refrigerator. But as a kid, I never really knew what it was for and so when I became an adult, that was part of adulthood — you get an Arm & Hammer baking soda and you put it in the fridge. What I’m finding more is we’re cleaning more with Covid so it’s been really great to find other ways that I can introduce the boys to the product. Like, you know, they use the Arm & Hammer baking soda to clean their sneakers because they’re all about keeping them clean. So I can put a box of baking soda and the bottom of their closet for odor — we can use it in so many ways besides just cleaning the sinks in the bathrooms and stuff like that. So it’s been really cool to introduce them, but make it fun.
SK: What are some, kid-friendly chores parents should assign to kids?
GB: For my kids it’s been like unloading the dishwasher or loading it up, you know, helping out with their own bathrooms. I think that’s a great thing. You’re not only teaching them how to take care of themselves, but they’re also helping with the house. Setting the table? My boys are in charge of that. But with my kids, it’s important that they contribute in some way to the household. Just because you’re a kid doesn’t mean everything is done for you. So making their beds, contributing in some way is a big deal.
SK: Some parents get super into it, they’ll have these really elaborate chore charts or reward systems. Did you do anything like that with your kids?
GB: I did when they were younger. We would do charts and stuff like that and now it’s just really trying to engage them because all they want to do is play video games. So you got to be a little bit more clever. You know doing things like challenges.
SK: So we obviously agree that Arm & Hammer is the best of the best when it comes to cleaning products, but are there any other must-have cleaning products, whether it’s a cleaner or a special scrubbing brush or something that you love?
GB: I think having really good sponges is important when you’re cleaning. I think wipes are also good. You know, a lot of the things that we couldn’t find during quarantine are the things that we need the most. So those products, I think, are always good to help clean around the house.
SK: What would you say is your least favorite chore?
GB: Laundry. You know, it’s like remembering to take it out, switch it over to the dryer and then you got to fold it, then you got to put it away. Yeah.
SK: Do you use any kind of organizing method like the Konmani method or like the Home Edit style with like putting everything in a rainbow? Do you use anything like that?
GB: I like to keep things organized because I like to find things when I need it. That’s the one thing I hate is when I can’t find something. So for that, like my pantry is pretty organized and my things are organized, I can’t speak for what happens in my boys’ rooms. I don’t like clutter, so the need or things are the better it is for me. Yeah, but not in a neat freak kind of way, just clean.
SK: So I’m not sure how into TikTok you are or maybe your boys are, but it is full of so many genius cleaning hacks. Do you have any favorites or if you’re not into TikTok you have a cleaning hack that you’d like to share.
GB: I have only done one TikTok and my son was embarrassed that I did it. But for me, I would say is figuring out like I love fresh flowers because being from Haiti I like the tropical colors so finding ways to make flowers last is a big deal because they die so quickly. So a little teaspoon of Ar, & Hammer baking soda in the water helps maintain it. You don’t have to go out and buy a plant food or anything like that. You know, summer’s coming, for some mosquitoes love my son, Jax so I’ve been able to use Arm & Hammer baking soda and insect bites. So figuring out different ways to maximize what you’ve got, I think is what we’re all doing.
SK: Wow, I didn’t know about putting the Arm & Hammer in with flowers. That’s genius.
GB: Yeah, I thought so too. Right.
SK: What is your top piece of advice to parents who feel like, you know, we’re all home, learning from home, working from home, who feel like they’re struggling to keep up with things like cleaning and laundry right now? What is your number one bit of advice to them?
GB: Take a room a day. Honestly, I think we put too much pressure on trying to get everything right all the time. And I think it’s like we’re all adjusting to this new life. I think it’s giving yourself a break. If you only clean the kitchen today, OK, the kitchen is clean. Focus on that and take some time for you, whether it’s going for a walk or watching a movie with the kids. And, you know, if they make a mess, make it a fun thing to clean it up together. Just being easy on each other. On ourselves, really.
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