There’s a fresh feeling in the air and actual sunlight hitting the ground, which means it’s springtime! While you’re waiting on those May flowers and hoping that the April showers ease up, it’s a good time to do some cleaning, and an even better time to get your kid or teen involved. Worried about their reaction? We’ve got a few things you can try.
This tip is almost a cliché, but it hangs around for a reason! Turning your spring cleaning into a challenge, kids versus adults, and actually keep score. You can have harder chores be worth more points than easy ones. If you have younger kids and teens give points appropriately to their age. Motivation to put points on the leaderboard can help propel your kids to new heights of cleanliness, especially if they’ve got a particular prize in mind. It can be something you already planned to do or earning screen time for your kids. Play their favorite music and make it a party.
Offer Critical Roles
Start out by asking your teenager what they want out of spring cleaning. Is there a space they’d like to use more? Something they need help organizing? Remember, you’re all sharing space, and making the cleaning about everyone’s needs, without focusing on who is or isn’t doing enough, can encourage participation in other areas as well.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Instead of assigning tasks out to different people, take them on as a team. Being in the immediate area to provide your child with support and encouragement can make a huge difference in willingness, and you’ll be able to maintain a level of oversight without seeming like a backseat cleaner. It’s also a good chance to be in that perfect advice-giving zone! If they need help, they can ask, if not, they can watch what you do. You can set a timer and have teams face a task in a certain amount of time.
Keep It Simple
Make a list of everything you’ll need to do, then set a few smaller goals to hit. What are things you only do once or twice a year? For example, not changing your air filters can lead to heating repair and higher energy bills. This isn’t hard to do, but we forget to do these home maintenance tasks unless we set time aside. If you set easy jobs for your children, based on their abilities and ages, they’ll have a better chance at actually getting them done, and the accomplishment high they get might encourage them to do a little bit more.
Break It Up
No, you’re probably not going to want to spend your whole weekend cleaning, but how about spreading the spring cleaning out over a few weeks? Figure out what needs to be done right away, then make a list of what can wait a little longer. If you’re all riding the cleaning high, great, pick up another task! If not, it might be time to take a break, go outside, or maybe even have some family fun together.
Getting the kids to participate in spring cleaning doesn’t have to be another chore. Find ways to make it work for everyone, and you’ll be amazed how much work gets done before spring is sprung!