Have you ever looked around at your house and wondered what happened to it?
Didn’t you just clean the house yesterday?
From mountains of laundry, to piles of unwashed dishes, to toys strewn all over the floors, it’s no wonder you feel overwhelmed!
My friend, I feel your pain.
We go through waves of cleanliness and messiness in our home.
Over the past few years I’ve done a number of things to take control of the messes. Some strategies have been more successful than others.
One golden tip that I’ve learned is:
In order to have a cleaner home, I can’t do it all by myself!
A clean home needs to be a communal effort. Everyone needs to be part of the process.
When I got my children involved in cleaning and maintaining our home, my stress was greatly reduced! Don’t underestimate the power of those little helping hands!
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1. GIVE THEM CHORES
I know this seems obvious, but how can you expect your children to keep the house clean if they don’t have chores in the first place?
Assign each of your children a set of chores.
Let them know:
- what needs to be done
- how often they need to do their chores
- the deadline for when their chores need to be completed
If your children need visual cues, these chore cards are a lifesaver!
By assigning chores, your children will learn work ethic and responsibility. How great is that?!
2. POWER CLEAN
This is one of my favorite strategies. Select a time when you and your children can work together to clean the house.
Then set a timer for 15 minutes. I challenge my children to clean up as fast as possible in that 15 minutes. It’s amazing how much they can get done when there’s a race against the clock.
3. LABEL DRAWERS AND TOY BASKETS
Have you ever asked your children to clean up, only to find that they’ve stuffed socks under the bed and placed toys in all sorts of weird places?
I used to get so frustrated when this happened! But then I learned this helpful trick of labelling drawers and baskets.
As a former early childhood professional, I used to do this in my classrooms. I have no idea why it took me so long to incorporate this strategy into my home.
For young children, your labels should include a picture and the word to match it.
i.e. PANTS (with a picture of pants)
With older children, all you need is a label maker (one of my favourite home organization tools) or peel and stick labels.
Make labels for all their clothing drawers and toy baskets. If you want an item to be put in a specific place, then make sure that the spot is labelled as well.
4. INCENTIVIZE CLEAN UP TIMES
Some people may argue that children should do chores without any reward.
I feel that the occasional reward or treat doesn’t hurt.
The key to the success of this method is that it’s a reward for everybody.
For instance, you could request that your children clean up all the toys from the living room. Once the work is done, everyone can watch a movie.
Another example is you could tell your children to clean the kitchen and wash the kitchen table so that you can have a family games night.
When it’s a reward that everyone can benefit from, there’s more excitement about getting the work done.
5. CREATE A PICTURE SCHEDULE
Sometimes children require visual cues to be successful with their chores. Picture schedules are a wonderful way to keep children on task.
For instance, you could create a picture schedule for cleaning up at dinner. This type of schedule would include photos of someone:
- placing leftovers into the fridge
- scraping the plates
- rinsing plates in sink
- loading plates in dishwasher
- washing the table
Whenever your child is in doubt, they can consult the picture schedule.
For younger children, you may have a morning picture schedule. A schedule like this may include pictures of someone:
- making the bed
- placing PJs in laundry hamper
While it takes a bit of preparation, the results of a picture schedule are well worth the effort! Simply think about the key routines / chores in the day and map it out in pictures.
If you don’t have the time or energy to make your own routine picture cards, then I encourage you to check out this editable set.
What else can you do?
Guess what?! I have 13 additional tips to get your children to help keep the house clean! All 18 helpful tips have been compiled into a beautiful 12-page booklet.
I trust that the booklet of 18 tips and tricks will take a huge burden off your shoulders.
Enjoy the freedom you’ve gained by delegating cleaning tasks, and be proud in the fact that you’re teaching your children a valuable lifelong skill.