Getting the house clean should involve the whole family, but getting them on board might take a little motivation. We are here to help with some no-fail ways to put together the ultimate cleaning crew when you are ready to get your clean on!
Before You Start
Don't even touch the vacuum cleaner or grab a duster before completing a little prep work. Get the family together for a powwow, maybe over a nice glass of TruMoo® Chocolate Milk. This sets a fun tone right off the bat!
Make a giant list of the cleaning chores that need to be tackled—a list big enough for everyone to see. Some of the fun will be getting to mark things off the list. Everyone likes that feeling almost as much as finishing the actual job.
This list also means you won't be telling anyone what to do. If you decide on the jobs as a family, it makes it harder for kids to complain or, even worse, whine when the job begins.
While everyone's still in one place, take a few minutes to put together a cleaning "mix tape." Let each person pick a batch of songs and put them in a playlist. Then when everyone is cleaning in the following days, make it a game to see if each of you can guess who picked which song!
Start 'Em Young & You're Never Too Old
Both of these sayings are true. Young kids love to help (most of the time) and take pride in accomplishing things. Listen up, Mom and Dad, this is their Achilles' heel! Now is the time to use it to your advantage. With little kids, "clean your room" is too overwhelming. You'll need to break everything down into smaller tasks that add up, like "put away all of your cars" and "put all of the blocks into one bin."
With teens, it's not as tricky as you might think. For them, it is all about being in charge! Give them a mission and let your teen take control (I know, dangerous, right!?!). Do it anyway. Let them organize the project and assign roles, yes even give some orders. Teens are motivated by a challenge, and they love to “prove” their skills.
Few people like to clean alone, so team up. It works even better if you team up an adult with a kid. Little ones love one-on-one time with mom or dad.
Use this time to really enjoy each other's company while getting the different tasks done. You may see a to-do list that needs to be tackled, but kids see a chance to hang out with one of their favorite people on the planet.
Don't underestimate the lessons learned by a child observing you having fun doing "your" chores.
Remember how we said the key is to make it fun for everyone? Consider mixing it up with some cleaning games.
Dust Bunny Skiing
Let your kids slip and slide their way to cleaner hardwood floors. They can wear old pairs of socks on their feet and hands, and use them “ski” around the house collecting dust bunnies. The biggest collection wins!
Wax On, Wax Off
Show your young grasshopper how to clean windows, floors or even the family car by employing The Karate Kid's Mr. Miyagi’s simple technique of moving the right hand in a circular, clockwise motion and the left hand in a circular, counterclockwise motion. It will test your child’s ability to follow directions, as well as improve coordination, stamina and upper-body strength.
For younger kids, assign them the task of putting similar objects together, like everything that needs to go into another room, or have them put all of the same types of toys together. When it's time, the whole family can come collect the items and help put them away.
Little kids love make-believe games, so have them create a pretend cleaning service where they are the boss. Outfit them for the role with a hat, apron and child-sized rubber gloves. Who needs to play house when there is a real one to clean?
Try not to focus on how clean the house gets, but more on how much everyone has fun doing it together. Ignore the moaning and whining and questions during the day, while being sure to take every free moment you can to praise like crazy.
Don't just say "good job!" Be specific. Admire the child's skill at figuring out a task or being a good problem solver. Maybe throw in a few compliments for your fellow parent-in-arms too!
Once you're done with the words, now it's time for the reward. Give them something they love. Breakout their favorite TruMoo Chocolate Milk again and grab two straws to share the treat together.
Children, especially little ones, get a kick out of seeing their parent sharing something they love.
Show your children that "chores" don't have to be a chore. Finding fun in the things you have to do is all a state of mind. And that is a life lesson that pairs well with the many happy memories you'll be creating.