Soon the kids will be getting out of school for summer vacation. Will they be leaving messes in their wake or will they be willing to lend Mom a helping hand around the house? If you prefer the latter, try these tips from the experts at Merry Maids and make cleaning the house a family affair, giving you more time for fun and relaxation this summer!
• Make the kids responsible for their areas. First thing’s first. Let children know their play areas, bedrooms and bathrooms are their responsibility. Any mess they make is theirs to clean up. It’s never too soon to teach good habits.
• Set a schedule for the family to follow. Set aside a regular short period of time each week for the family to straighten up the house. It teaches good habits to the kids and gives the family a project to do together. Everyone will look forward to having things organized when the job is done.
• Don’t make cleaning a guessing game. Before the cleaning effort gets under way, look at each room and identify specific tasks that need to be completed. Make a chart of cleaning priorities, using bright colors and stickers to make it fun. Share with family members, and explain exactly what each task requires.
• Delegate the duties. One of the main reasons Mom doesn’t get enough help around the house is because it’s difficult to delegate chores. Try assigning chores around age groups. Younger children can dust tables with a cloth, while older children can tackle crumbs with a Dust buster. The children will take pride in these jobs if their efforts are met with praise.
• Provide what they need to get the job done. Buy large rubber bins to hold toys in the rec room. For the bedrooms, purchase large storage containers for under the beds and desk organizers for the work areas. When a child is through playing or doing homework, it will be easy for them to clean up or get organized if they have what they need. When they are old enough, buy each child their own set of cleaning tools, and work with them to show how to use the tools properly.
• Arm the kids for battle. No one can fight dirt with his or her bare hands. Spray a few pairs of old socks with a gentle cleaner like Murphy Oil Soap. The kids can wear the socks on their hands to dust woodwork, mini-blinds or cabinets.
It may seem impractical to depend on the kids to keep their areas spotless, and of course, we all like things done “our way.” However, allowing kids to have responsibilities is important all throughout life, and gives them a feeling of accomplishment. So let go and recruit some young helpers…There’s plenty of work to go around!
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