Cleaning can seem like a never-ending task. You spend the evening scrubbing the kitchen counters after a big meal, but you know in your heart that it’s futile. The next morning they’re covered with the sticky mess of breakfast.
The constant battle you and your family wage against grimy bathrooms, dusty floors, and disorderly closets are enough to make you want to call a cleaning service, and head for the hills.
Three Ways to Get the Whole Family Interested in Cleaning
But then you remember that you’re a resourceful person who knows how to clean, and who isn’t afraid of a little elbow grease. You also remember that you aren’t the only one living in your home, and you know it’s time to make cleaning a family affair. Here are three great cleaning tips to get your whole family involved in keeping things ship shape.
1. Make it Fun
Is that possible? Honestly, unless you’re just that type of person, cleaning is never going to be like going to an amusement park, but it doesn’t have to be drudgery either. Make a cleaning playlist packed with favorite songs, and blast it through the house. Encourage a little dancing with the dusting.
You can even make cleaning a game. The spick and span Olympics. Find out who can match the most pairs of socks in sixty seconds, or who can brush up the most dog fur off the couch. Bonus points if you can keep your kids from noticing that they are actually doing work.
2. Make a Chore Chart
This sounds like it might be the opposite of fun, but it will help teach your kids responsibility, and it will ensure that everyone takes a turn, even you and your spouse. It’s a great way to illustrate that cleaning house is not just a task for one person.
You can create your chart a number of ways, like using a whiteboard and colored magnets. You can craft one out of poster board, and use stickers to keep track. You can even buy one.
No matter how you do it, the important thing is to create a list of real chores that need to be done on a weekly and daily basis, and make sure they are relatively equal. You can rotate through them however you choose, and you can even apply a rewards system for some extra incentive.
You’ll also want to keep in mind that some chores, like laundry, are a lot bigger than others, like simply sweeping the floors. To make things fair, consider breaking things like laundry into smaller parts. One person folds it, and another puts it all where it’s supposed to go.
3. Make it Look Like Magic
Those who enjoy cleaning are the ones who have unlocked the power of its instant gratification. There were Cheerios all over the floor, and now they’re not. The mirror was flecked with toothpaste speckles, and now it’s sparklingly clean.
You might not be able to clean things with a wave of your hand like Mary Poppins, but you can still show you’re family that cleaning can be magical. Spend a Sunday afternoon doing special cleaning tasks using a few of your own tricks and tips.
You can start with something that almost never gets cleaned, like those neglected plastic blinds in the kids’ rooms. Take a bucket of soapy water, a sponge, and some towels to soak up any excess run-off. Then show them how easy it is to wipe the blinds clean.
They’ll see the blinds practically change color, and they’ll watch the water in the bucket turn from clear to murky grey. It might make your stomach drop with a pang of shame, but your kids will think it’s super cool, and they’ll be ready to tackle the next set of blinds.
There are also always special cleaning tasks in the kitchen. Find the one roasting pan you’ve buried in the bottom of your cupboard, because it is itself, roasted. Then bust out one of three containers of cream of tartar you have because you always seem to forget you have it, and then let the magic happen.
Fill the pan with water, set it to boil, and add a few tablespoons of cream of tartar. Reduce the heat, and let it soak for at least ten minutes. Then gather the family, and start scrubbing.
You’ll get a restored pan in no time, and your kids will learn a little elbow grease can fix a lot of problems.
You could even use their help to tackle the infamous junk drawer. Show your family that a few creative solutions, like an ice cube tray, can help keep them organized. They’ll start to wonder what other items they can use in interesting ways to keep things clean and organized.
Instill Good Cleaning Practices at Any Age
These practices might not leave you with the most spotless house on the block, but they will help teach your kids that cleaning can be rewarding. That sounds a lot better than constantly groaning about how messy their bedrooms are, right?