House cleaning is a necessary task for anyone who wants to live in a clean environment. And although it is usually challenging and sometimes draining, it can be made worse when you have kids. Kids don’t have an instinctual-ability that will tell them to put away toys after using them, to refrain from painting walls with crayons, to put their dirty clothes in the laundry bin etc. However, an amazing characteristic of kids is that they can be easily taught different cleaning habits and behaviors as they grow up.
If you have kids and you are wondering how you can keep your house clean, below are some of the ways that you can do house cleaning with the kids.
Let the Kids Be Part of House Cleaning
One of the best ways of carrying out house cleaning when you have kids is to let them be part of the cleaning solution. Cleaning while the kids are still playing, eating, watching etc. can be a very messy affair since you will most likely end up re-doing the whole cleaning process. However, you can decide to make your kids to be part of the solution and not the cause of the problem. Kids can be good helpers since they love to imitate what adults do. If you are mopping the house, you can ask them to arrange some lightweight equipment from where you’ve cleaned, to return the toys to the toy bin, dust the windows, make their beds, sweeping etc. Just make sure that the tasks you give them are age appropriate and if they’re going to use detergents, let it be non-toxic.
Start Them While They Are Young
Toddlers usually love to help out with tasks they see adults do and they often feel a sense of pride after accomplishing them. House cleaning is part of the expectations that you establish in your family and kids can quickly catch up and accept this if you start involving them while they are still young. Simply find tasks that they are capable of doing. Make house cleaning to be a family effort and not only mom’s or the maid’s work. Starting them while they are young means that they will learn while they’re still young that everyone contributes to the house mess hence everyone has a responsibility to clean the house. This will help them to know that it’s important for them to always clean-up after themselves. Always clean up together with the kids so they will be able to learn the cleaning methods and processes that are important to you. This way, they will enjoy doing the chores with you as you model the tasks.
Be Specific About the Cleaning Chores
Give the kids simple instructions or explanation at a time. Telling a six or five-year-old to clean their room can be very overwhelming for them since they still can’t be able to know what and how they are supposed to clean their room. However, a simple statement like “put the book back on the shelf after using”, “Put all your toys back in their container”, or “spread your bed” will be understood clearly. It’s also important to assign and organize everything in its place. If you have kids, you can use labels and stickers.
Declutter Regularly and Ruthlessly
It is very hard to keep your house clean when it’s overflowing with stuff such as toys, clothes, books etc. Get rid of stuff that you or your kids no longer use. Donate the toys or clothes that they have outgrown, throw away papers, pack away seasonal or non –essential items etc. you can also have cleaning habits such as;
• All toys should be used only in the bedrooms or toy rooms
• Food and drinks can only be consumed in the dining room
• No shoes are allowed on the beds or sofa.
• Make House Cleaning To Be Fun
Kids are all about fun activities and that is why it should not surprise you that chores such as cleaning normally bore them to an extent that they break down in tears. Make tidying up to be as fun and exciting as possible. Create cleaning up games such as;
• Playing a song and challenging them to put away all their toys before it ends.
• Asking them to arrange items such as toys, books etc. by color.
• Holding a competition as to who will finish their chore first.
• Making house cleaning to be a role play between you and the kids.
• Setting a timer.
Create a Schedule
Kids love to play everywhere and every time. It is therefore important for you to create both a playing and a cleaning schedule. For example, you can have a rule where no toys should be found in the living room after 10 am, cleaning should be done every day at 7 am etc. If you have kids, you need some sort of a pattern, system, habit or routine of cleaning at certain times/days.
Have a Cleaning Checklist
Constantly telling the kids to clean their rooms or pick up certain items can really overwhelm them. However, to make it easier, you can have a cleaning checklist that they should adhere to. For example;
• Put the building-blocks back to their containers after using them.
• Put all your dirty clothes in the laundry bin.
• Put the stuffed-animals on your bed.
However if you have young kids who still can’t read, remind them to do these chores, one at a time.
Show Your Appreciation
A great way of cleaning the house with the kids is using positive reinforcement. Be encouraging and supportive as possible even if the task isn’t done as neatly as you wanted. Thank them for the effort and then later show them how to do the task correctly. You can also use a reward system to show your appreciation. For example;
• You can give them 20 minutes of screen-time for every task that they complete.
• Giving them the Wi-Fi password after they have completed their cleaning tasks.
• Taking them out etc.
With a little patience and encouragement, your kids might be the next house cleaning masters