Spring cleaning with kids sounds like an impossible task. Between shoving everything under the bed, throwing items out because it’s easier than cleaning them (we’ve all been there with Tupperware) or toddler/teen tantrums – I’m exhausted even thinking about it.
Our team got together to discuss tried and tested methods for argument free spring cleaning.
1. Have realistic expectations
It’s not fair on you or your children to expect professional level cleanliness straight off the bat. Setting age appropriate tasks is the start to a scream free clean.
For a toddler, this may be putting away the toys or watering plants with supervision. For a teenager it may be doing a load of washing, mowing the lawn or cleaning the bathroom.
2. Be Specific
This is where a list or chore chart comes in handy.
If you expect your child to clean the kitchen, specify what that includes. Is it simply unpacking the dishwasher or does it include the counter tops and garbage removal?
Being specific helps kids understand what is expected of them.
3. Give it a time frame
Giving kids a time frame helps them understand this isn’t a never ending task. They will be able to look forward to their free time. Eg. Please clean the bathroom by 2pm this afternoon. This is particularly important for older kids as it teaches them time management skills.
Another trick my husband and I use is setting a timer for 10 minutes and seeing how many things we can pick up or put away in that time. We usually clean on Sunday’s and if we do this during the week, our Sunday cleaning sessions are much quicker.
4. Everything has a place
This is something a lot of people struggle with, but once everything has a home it makes cleaning much faster and helps children learn routine.
If you start finding kitchen utensils in the pantry or game controllers in the linen cupboard, it might be time to find those things a home.
5. Try not to be fussy and re-do work
This is particularly important for younger children as they can become easily discouraged. This relates back to tip 1 about setting realistic expectations. If you find yourself re-doing work, ask yourself if the task is too hard for the age of your child or if they simply don’t know the best cleaning method to use. For young kids, it’s a good idea to let them shadow you the first time around.
6. Have fun!
The best way to get kids cleaning is to make it fun. In our house we each pick a few songs and crank up the music. Dancing and singing make the time fly and we always end up cleaning for longer than planned.
In the wise words from Mary Poppins:
“In every job that must be done
there is an element of fun
You find the fun, and snap!
The job a game
And every task you undertake
Becomes a piece of cake.”
Happy Spring Cleaning!
Any tips we have missed? Let us know on Facebook.