As much as we like to, no one looks forward to spring cleaning. With all those dusts, scrubbing, doing the vacuum, empty out, declutter, and disinfecting. What we need to accomplish this as fast is having some help. Get the whole family involved. Here’s how you can make it go faster and maybe even have a little fun doing the chores at the same time.
For Five and under:
Little ones love to help out. But as they grow older, they begin to realize that cleaning isn’t as fun as playing or going to the mall. You can teach them some age-appropriate tasks to make them a part of the project.
At around three years old (or even younger), they should be able to wipe windows, as far as they can reach anyway, and baseboards. You can give them a rag and a spray bottle of water (don’t give them strong cleaning agents because these may affect their health).
“Don’t expect kids to use adult tools to clean. Instead, create supplies that are kid-friendly,” says Amy Olson of The Maids Home Services on hitched. “Use an ice-cream pail for mopping chores or shorten an old mop handle or broom to make it kid-sized.”
Young kids can also clean out closets, drawers, and cupboards. Anything that assists you in paring down and tidying up is great. Give them the task of putting away all the giveaway shoes you’ve sorted in a box or trash bag or boxing up any errant items on a coat or storage closet floor for you to look through later.
A battery operated vacuum cleaner can also be fun for kids to use on cleaning up. You can let them vacuum along the floor in closets that have been cleaned out and in places they may be able to reach easier than adults will be a lot helpful. Allow them to feel the pride of a job well done. Don’t refuse to let them under their bed because they just want to gather their clothes, toys, and stuffed animals that have gathered there. To help them get through the process in an organized manner, put some laundry baskets or boxes for keeping, trashing, washing, and donating.
It will depend on the age of your kids on what they could help you with. From dusting and polishing furniture, to cleaning out the refrigerator, to organizing drawers and cabinets.
Hand them the vacuum cleaner and let them go at the couch cushions to get those dusts, crumbs, and dog’s (pet’s) hair that’s collected there will have met its match. You can also challenge them to clean out and reorganize drawers and cabinets throughout the house.
Let them use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for a child to clean fingerprints and other stains off the walls, windows, baseboards, and appliances. Wear gloves on them so it can keep their fingers safe.
Non-toxic real cleaning products can be used at this age. There are a lot of homemade cleaning products you can do so your children shouldn’t be exposed to the chemicals in many commercial cleaners. So you can let them clean out the bathrooms or kitchen by themselves.
This is the age where you really will have a hard time asking for their help. The biggest challenge overcoming their resistance (attitude/laziness). Teens can handle just about any cleaning task, so maybe offering something extra, like extra computer or phone time may help.
At some point, “working on a parent’s ‘team’ loses its appeal,” said Organized Home. “Solution? Delegate big – but safe – jobs to teen children. Whether they clean and organize the garage, shampoo the living room carpet, or restore order to a jumbled linen closet, they’ll take pride in their work IF you truly let them own the job…and make it a big one!”
Keep everyone motivated
It makes the job easier and more tolerable by playing your favorite music (or at least music you can all agree on) while you’re cleaning. Be it an impromptu dance party or maybe add in challenges and games. Sometimes you need to make it fun or at least inspire the competitive nature of your kids. Set a timer and the child who has hung up more clothes or folded more of their giveaway clothes into boxes receives a small prize. Just make sure that all cleaning has to be done properly so no corners will be left uncleaned.
“Spring cleaning is nobody’s idea of a good time, so plan for a reward for your workers,” said Organized Home. “When the chores are done, schedule a family treat. Whether it’s pizza for lunch or a trip to the video store for an evening film-fest, you’ll get better results – and sweeten attitudes – if there’s a payoff at the end of the day.”
Why kids should help?
- Kids need to learn to do their part so that they learn to be part of a team. They need to learn the earth does not revolve around them. They don’t need to expect you to do everything for them. And help us all if this generation continues to grow up with this sense of being “entitled” to everything!
- They need to learn to take care of their belongings so that they last longer, or they don’t get lost. They need to learn to help one another and do something for others, just for the sake of being nice. Teaching them to help around the house will help to instill these character lessons.
- You should not have to take care of everything yourself. Every household has a different dynamic, whether you work in the home or outside of the home, the number of children and their ages, etc. And I am a firm believer in both man and woman doing their fair share.
- If your children are very young, of course most of the work has to be done by the adults in the family. However, as a child grows, they can begin to learn some responsibilities. This is a tough stage as many times it would be easier and quicker to just do the task yourself. I promise you though, if you will take the time to train your kids when they are younger, and set the standards for teamwork in your family, you will eventually reap the rewards. And they can be some really BIG rewards.
- If you happen to be a stay-at-home mom who feels it is her responsibility to take care of her family, I applaud you. However, taking care of them does not mean being at their beck and call. Once children get to the ages of 3 or 4, they should be beginning to learn to do some things on their own. And once that expectation is set, you can increase their responsibilities as they mature.
Source: realtytimes.com, thestressedmom.com, sheknows.com
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