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10 Tips for Spring Cleaning Family Style

14 Apr

Spring has sprung for a few weeks for sure.  The pollen count is up and the tissues are everywhere!  Must be time to clean.  Ugh.  Really, again?  It seems every magazine I have opened or passed by in the store recently is pointing out the annoying reminder to deep clean everything from our closets to our over-scheduled lives.  One thing I noticed is that most of the articles and tips are geared towards women or a woman, as in the singular, you clean by yourself lady.  Why not make it a family affair if you can?

1)      Assemble the Team– Whether husbands, wives, and/or kids, gather the team, give a pep talk, and assign tasks.  You DON’T have to do it all by yourself.  Remind your family that a clean and organized home is better for everyone.

2)      Keep Tasks Kid-Sized– It isn’t reasonable or realistic to expect a toddler to scrub all the windows, or even for your tween to terminate all the dust bunnies by their self.  Creating small zones and setting time limits is a great way to keep older kids on task without overwhelming them.  Include younger kids and help them feel useful by keeping their capabilities in mind and putting their likes and strengths to good use.  Have a speedy, non-stop preschooler?  Give them a rag spritzed with a safe cleaner, and then tell them you will time them to see how well and quickly they can clean the windowsills.  Have a kiddo that loves to organize?  Have them check the pantry and cabinets for past-date food items.

3)      Set Goals & Rewards– If stickers make your little one happy, keep some handy to pass out as each task is completed.  Entice your crew with the reward of a trip for ice-cream or some other sweet treat if they tackle their tasks.  Or, get a roll of tickets and assign a number to each task, say 2 tickets per clean window or 5 for a spotless bedroom.  Then decide if the tickets can be redeemed for cash, prizes, or rewards such as a later bedtime.  10 tickets?  Step right up and claim your $5 iTunes gift card!  8 tickets you say?  How about an extra 30 minutes before bed?!

4)      Treasure Hunt– Tell yourself and your kids (especially if they are young) that deep cleaning usually means uncovering lost treasures.  Make it fun and create a “Lost Treasure Chest” out of a box or even a laundry hamper and then place recovered loot in it as it is discovered.  At the end, gather together to count and divvy up the spoils, sharing a few laughs at just how many pairs of socks had been MIA.  You might just unearth a few gold doubloons as well! Continue reading