Spring is officially here! That means more daylight, the much-anticipated spring break from school, and every parent’s not-so-favorite task – spring cleaning. The house can get all sorts of grimy after a long winter of tracking in mud, sleet, and snow, making spring cleaning a daunting task. But don’t fret! This is a perfect opportunity to ease the load by teaching your student some new skills and adjusting the household chore assignments.
Here are 9 tips to tackle spring cleaning as a family while teaching your student a little about household responsibilities.
1. Have a plan. Your plan may include organizing, de-cluttering, deep cleaning, or a combination of all – it’s just important to have one! It may be easiest to focus on one room at a time. You can use our Spring Cleaning Checklist to help you stay organized while getting everything accomplished!
Take your list a step further with a chore chart that applies all year. With new-found skillsets emerging through the spring-cleaning process, have a family meeting to decide who can take out which chores and how often to change up the assignments. Make it interactive and flexible! Check out these chore chart ideas.
2. Prioritize tasks. Cleaning an entire home usually involves quite a few tasks, and can be overwhelming for everyone. Make a prioritized list of tasks for each room, being specific about which items need to be completed first in order to qualify the room as “complete.” Be focused, be realistic, and keep track of your progress.
Help your student prioritize the tasks required for their assigned room. Be flexible and let them learn from their mistakes. Allowing them to evaluate messes and determine how to best re-organize may help them consider the aftermath of making messes in begin with!
3. Set rules for decluttering. Make it a point to throw out or donate at least three items from each room you clean. Begin by guiding your student’s decision making, and then let them determine what to donate on their own.
4. Make day of it. Spring cleaning can drag into a week-long or even month-long affair. But dedicating one or two days to “just knock it out” with the whole family can be a great bonding experience. Choose a day at the beginning of spring break, and have the family knock out the spring cleaning checklist before the fun starts. The reward of a fun, carefree spring break might be all the motivation they need!
5. Make it a competition. A little competition between siblings isn’t always a bad thing. Get your students motivated by setting the clock and seeing who can pick up the most items, fold the most laundry, etc. under the time limit. Incorporate a prize, or just have them compete for bragging rights – whatever works for your family!
6. Dance Party! Everyone needs to let loose occasionally. Creating a fun and exciting spring-cleaning playlist can lift the mood and make it all a little more fun for everyone.
7. Rewards. We wouldn’t call it bribing. Instead let’s call it, “rewarding diligent, hard work.” A little incentive can go a long way! Plus, this is a great opportunity to discuss a small allowance for chores.
8. Take breaks. A long day of cleaning can make even the happiest helpers grouchy and irritable. For every hour you spend cleaning, take 10 minutes to go outside for fresh air. Kids can catch cabin fever quickly, so talk to your family about the importance of mental and physical breaks to maintain motivation. They will have loads of high school homework before you know it. Learning this skill early will pay off in the long run.
9. Kid-sized equipment. Pint-sized cleaning supplies can help minimize equipment challenges that lead to frustration (like sweeping with a broom that’s too tall). Give your student tasks they can easily complete on their own with equipment they can handle. Check out these housekeeping tools for kids on Amazon.com.
Whether your house needs a good decluttering, an intense deep clean, or both this Spring, be sure to involve your student. Spring cleaning is an opportunity to develop skills that can help your student take on more household responsibilities this year. Talk about checking all the boxes! So, before you stress about spring cleaning, plan how the kiddos can get in on the action to benefit the entire family.