Spring Cleaning for the Whole Family
If you’ve been putting off Spring Cleaning – since, well, last Spring – because you just couldn’t bear the inevitable sulks and moans from your children and you were just too tired to do it all yourself, help has arrived! Use these fun and helpful tips to make Spring Cleaning stress-free, productive and (dare we say it?) FUN for the whole family!
7 Helpful Suggestions to Make Spring Cleaning FUN for the Whole Family!
Rewards System. Come up with a reward system ahead of time to keep your kids motivated and on task. It could be a future family outing to the movies, a kids' choice movie night at home, a trip to the park, the promise that your kids can have their friends over in their newly cleaned rooms, or even a long coveted gift. When in doubt, resort to cold hard cash: $1-5 for each trash bag filled with outgrown items to be donated, or trash.
Zone Defense Challenge. You’re pretty sure your daughter has three other people living in her room judging by the sheer amount of stuff she has piled everywhere. Instead of closing her door and hoping for a small fire, divide the room into Zones that take about an hour each to de-clutter and organize. With small, manageable areas to organize, she’ll get a sense of accomplishment and you won’t have to do it all yourself. Turn it into a game by allowing her to establish her own deadline for when she will have the bulk of the Zones completed – reward her if she hits her goal.
Musical Motivation. Turn on and turn up the music for your spring cleaning session! Listening to music while you clean is a great motivator. Take turns with your family in choosing what you listen to, or pick an album that you know everyone loves. Select something upbeat with an energetic tempo that will keep your family going – music that makes you want to dance will get you moving!
3-Bag Challenge / Life Skills Session. Spring Cleaning is so egregious that we often want to rush through it so we can collapse on the couch, but remember that you are teaching life skills here. It’s counterproductive to send your child to his room with vague instructions to “put stuff away!” Spend 10 minutes getting your boy started, and provide him with three bags labeled “Keep,” “Trash,” and “Donate.” (Be aware that you are probably going to have to go through all three bags before they reach their final destination.) Give him the challenge of dividing up all of his stuff evenly between the three bags – reward him if he achieves this goal.
Head-to-Head Speed Competition. Turn spring cleaning into a competition. Challenge your family members to a cleaning race – see who can clean their room the quickest (without pulling the "throw things into the closet" trick) or go head-to-head to find out who can clean a bathroom the fastest while still adhering to Mom and Dad's cleanliness guidelines.
Reality TV Stars. Tell the family to pretend that you are all being filmed for a reality tv show and you must talk to the invisible camera as you are cleaning (or actually designate a family member to record video with a smartphone and pretend to be the cameraperson).
- Before and After Photos. Take pictures of each room before the spring cleaning session commences – pull out your Polaroid with instant film to hang the pictures on the refrigerator or cork board, or take pictures with your smartphone and upload them to your computer. Take pictures again when the cleaning is done and compare the photos side-by-side to give the family a fun sense of satisfaction.
If you’d like a handy way to organize tasks and deadlines, remember that SignUp has got you covered. Create a SignUp listing all of the tasks you’d like to see accomplished and allow your family to sign up for them. Free automated reminders and the satisfaction of seeing the progress visually documented will keep everyone motivated and on-task. Spring Cleaning just got a whole lot easier for the whole family!