Spring cleaning is an annual task that almost everyone dreads. Fortunately, spring cleaning can be the perfect time to help your kids develop a good work ethic and enlist extra hands for the job.
Try these ideas to get your kids involved in your spring cleaning efforts and teach them the importance of hard work:
1. Play an Easter Game. It would be rather cruel to enlist the help of your kids on Easter Sunday. However, you can use the day prior to Easter or the day after Easter to draw them into spring cleaning by playing an Easter-themed game.
• Hide a few chocolate Easter eggs under piles of clothes and shoe boxes in their closets and tell them that if they can neatly pass folded clothes to you to put into the storage bins, they’ll find several Easter chocolates to munch on.
• To your kids, it will be an Easter egg hunt. To you, it’ll simply be a way to start a new spring cleaning tradition while creating a mutually beneficial situation for both you and your children. Ensure that all the candy is accounted for, lest you have a surprise during next year’s cleaning.
2. Be honest. Older children, especially teens, won’t be tempted by a few pieces of chocolate. Rather than dressing the day up as an Easter egg hunt, be honest. Tell the older kids that you need help getting some spring cleaning done and offer a fun ending to your busy day of cleaning.
• Offer to end the day by getting their choice of takeout or giving them a gift card. In all aspects, this is a winning situation!
• I highly recommend not approaching your teens the day of your spring cleaning. They may already have plans. Approach them a few days in advance and set up a day that is convenient for everyone involved.
• Older children can handle bigger tasks. It’s best to let them choose a task (from a list that you’ve created) and tackle it on their own. By doing so, they’ll feel as if they had a say in the task at hand. A simple solution to deciding the task is by getting my “Beautifully Organized” card deck. This deck breaks down your home decluttering, cleaning, and organizing needs into doable tasks.
3. Rewards. Kids of all ages respond well to rewards. As mentioned above, a piece of chocolate or a slice of pizza will help entice your kids into spring cleaning. However, a larger reward will have your kids jumping for joy on the day of your spring cleaning adventure.
• Offer to purchase your child a game for their gaming system if they help you spring clean the house and keep their room clean for a month thereafter.
• Sweeten the deal for yourself by offering them a subscription to something they love in exchange for spring cleaning, and offer to keep the subscription active as long as their room is kept tidy and their chores are done.
Remember, there’s a difference between bribing and incentivizing. Incentivizing consists of providing a reward as motivation for completing a safe and beneficial task.
Kids respond tremendously well to all types of rewards, and only you can judge what rewards will properly motivate yours. Treat your kid to a reward and earn yourself an extra set of hands for spring cleaning.
For my full spring cleaning checklist, get my “Beautifully Organized Home Planner.” I wish you and your kids so much success this spring cleaning season!