Do you do a big spring clean? Many people do.
The spring clean is a way to blow off the dust of winter hibernation and ready your house for summer. It’s the chance to fill your home with fresh air and light after months of keeping windows closed and curtains drawn.
The spring clean can also set a good example for your children and let me guess, most of the clutter you will be cleaning belongs to those little rebels! Here are some tips to help get the whole family involved in the big clean up.
Top 10 Tidbits for a Fun Family Spring Cleaning
1. Lead by Example
If the younger members of your family see you letting go of items you no longer need and finding tidy solutions for the items you want to keep, they are more likely to follow suit.
2. Team Effort
Even the littlest kids can get involved in a spring clean. Make it easy on them by working as a team, if dad cleans the bathroom sinks, Tommy can clean the windows. If mommy vacuums the floors, Tommy can vacuum the sofa. By being in it together, your child is more likely to enjoy their chore. Lots of kids seem to enjoy dusting (for whatever reason) so maybe that can be their job. Point is, find something they enjoy!
3. Big Kids Go it Alone
Teenagers might not see the fun in the team effort, so assign them their own chores. Teenagers can do bigger jobs, too, so don’t baby them. Instead, make it easier on everyone by giving them grown up jobs to complete. Just remember that if they are being treated as adults, teenagers need to have autonomy when it comes to cleaning their own space and choosing what they chuck or keep. No nagging!
4. Garage Sale
An annual garage sale means that your children are prepared for what happens as spring appears so they won’t be too upset when you tell them the time has arrived to declutter and get rid of some possessions. As a thank you for helping with the clean up, let your kids have their own table at the garage sale and of course, let them keep their profits. This can teach them some valuable lessons.
Explain the concept of giving to your kids and ask that they choose some of their toys and old games to give to charity or transition houses. Again, if this becomes an annual event, there will be less of a fight when the time comes.
6. Organize the Organizing
Don’t arrive on spring cleaning day and start to nag your kids about what they should and shouldn’t be cleaning up and giving away. This is unlikely to get a positive reaction. Instead, be organized well in advance with either a list or sticky notes with chores already assigned. You can also make it fun (as fun as cleaning can be) by having a lucky dip jar of chores.
7. Clean to the Beat
Again, be organized and have a playlist ready. Make sure you get everyone’s favourite tunes on there, even if that means Mr. Bieber makes an appearance or two!
Let your kids know that if they do a good job on their chores they will be rewarded. Letting them keep their garage sale money is a great idea, but promising an after clean pizza party or their choice of movie night will also help motivate.
It’s worth having some clean up rules that your children understand. The one year rule is a good one, this means any toys that haven’t been played with in the past year (or, better still, six months) are on the chopping block. The broken rule is another; if a toy has been broken and not repaired for three months or longer, then it must go.
10. Keeping it Tidy
It’s all well and good having a declutter but if you know your house will look like a bomb site just days after your spring clean make sure you have some solutions at hand. These can include: zones — certain toys in certain zones and nowhere else; rotation — not all toys are out at the same time, keep some in storage and once a week swap the toys (great for younger kids and babies); labelling — using words or images to show your little ones where things go when its clean up time; storage — make sure you have simple storage solutions that are large enough to hold all toys, crafts, and books.
And the number one rule of spring cleaning? Enjoy it. It can be hard to find the fun in dusting and scrubbing but just like exercise, the feeling you get afterwards will make it all the more worthwhile! So get those tunes on, those scrubbers ready, and clean, clean, clean!