It’s the last thing that you feel like doing at the end of a long winter, but when you enlist the help of your entire family, spring cleaning becomes less daunting and can even teach children valuable life lessons. Lately, I’ve taken to wearing my ear buds and blasting electronic hits while cleaning the house. Ear buds ensure my music isn’t interrupted as I run a noisy vacuum or scrub a dirty tub, and it’s amazing how much the tunes take my mind off my least favourite activity. This gave me the idea to try dance music with my kids in order to rev up our recent spring cleaning sessions, and I’ve compiled a few other tips to help everyone get through the housework with a little less whining and a lot more singing.
- Divide cleaning projects up into smaller jobs so as not to overwhelm.
- Sit down and write a list of what you’d like your children to help with and how long they have to complete it.
- Let your kids tick off items as they are completed for a feeling of accomplishment.
- Give kids a few jobs to choose from so they feel like they are making some of their own decisions.
- Explain that household chores and spring cleaning are everyone’s responsibility. The family is a team and the quicker everyone gets their chores done, the quicker they can return to play time and other favourite activities.
- Dole out tasks based on your children’s personalities. My son is very detail oriented, so having him straighten-up bookshelves and art supplies is more suited to him than his elder sister who prefers speeding through chores. Dusting, sweeping and vacuuming work better for her as she can see the results more quickly.
- Crank up the über-popular Frozen soundtrack (or another current favourite) and get your young ones to sing, dance and tidy as they go.
- If your kids work better as a team, let them tackle certain tasks together. The youngest can pick-up toys from the playroom floor while the eldest follows with the vacuum. One child can lift items off the mantle while the other dusts underneath.
- Rewards go a long way. Give your child an incentive for every bin, storage box, or section of the house that they tackle; think homemade cookies, coins for their piggy bank, stars on the family calendar or whatever motivates them the most.
- Make sure to provide the necessary tools for cleaning and sorting, plus containers and bags for garbage, recycling and charity. If everything is right at hand, you won’t be running back and forth looking for things.
Get your family in on the action. Print our Spring Cleaning Checklist from the More Time Moms Agenda:
By Kristen Wint