Top Tips for Getting Your Kids to Clean During the Holidays
As the holidays creep closer, you’ve probably got a lot on your mind; shopping, preparing food, planning fun holiday traditions, and, of course, getting (and keeping) your house cleaned and ready for visitors. Is getting your kids to clean during the holidays even possible?
How can you accomplish all of this as you enjoy the holiday season with your children—particularly the cleaning? Getting your children on board with cleaning the house might sound like an unattainable dream, but we’ve got some tips that can turn this dream into a reality.
6 Tips for Getting Your Kids to Clean
- A Place For Everything
This might require a bit of your time beforehand, but it’s important to be sure that all of your child’s things— toys, clothes, art and school supplies, EVERYTHING — has a designated spot, even if it’s just a labeled bin to collect a number of small things. It’s much easier to get your kids to put their things away if they know precisely where to put them, and it will make cleanup a lot faster if they’re not asking you constantly, “Where does the ___________ go?” You can even create a put-away basket for each member of the family, where you can put clutter belonging to them, making it easier than ever for kids to clean up after themselves.
- One Thing In, One Thing Out
This rule is particularly important this time of year; the kids’ toys seem to be multiplying at an alarming rate, and the only way to get this under control is to implement a “one thing in, one thing out” rule. It’s a good idea to get a head start on this by doing some purging prior to the month of December. Maybe you and your children could spend some time on a cold Saturday getting rid of any toys that are no longer loved, or clothes that just don’t fit anymore. Make space for the new by getting rid of the old, and you’ll find that things stay a lot neater. Bonus—you can teach your children a valuable lesson about giving when you encourage them to donate gently used toys and clothing to children who are less fortunate.
- Create a Schedule for Cleaning
If every member of the family is assigned specific tasks on specific days, no one will feel that they’re singled out. Assign chores based on the child’s age and ability level, so that they don’t become discouraged and quit if the task proves to be too difficult for them. You can even designate a “family cleaning night,” in which all of your family does their designated chores, and you celebrate the accomplishment with a special treat, like a particularly delicious dessert or a beloved board game. You could even rope in some of your favorite holiday traditions— if the chores get done, bundle the family up for a drive around the neighborhood to look at holiday lights.
- Don’t Leave Anyone Out
Just because one (or more) of your children is very young doesn’t mean they’re exempt from helping out around the house. Children as young as two can help clean up the house; in fact, the sooner you start, the better— kids love a routine, and you can easily slip tidying your home into your daily routine where it will become second nature to them. Once they realize that you expect your kids to clean up their toys before bedtime every night, they’ll eventually do it without even realizing it. At first, they’ll need more guidance than older children, of course, but before you know it they’ll be wielding a broom with the best of them.
- Make it Fun for Kids to Clean
Sure, cleaning probably won’t be on their top of their list of things to do (it’s not on yours, is it?), but you can make it something that they won’t dread by making it more fun. Challenge them to a race, turn on fun music and dance as you clean, call out a color, and have them race to pick up toys of that color, or make it a contest—whoever gets their chore finished quickly (and thoroughly) gets a special prize. This will make the time go faster for everyone! Don’t forget to praise your children for the hard work they’ve done; yes, they’re doing what’s expected of them, but it feels good to get complimented, and they’ll work even harder when they realize that their work is appreciated.
- Leave the House
Honestly, sometimes the best way to keep things clean is to get your family out of the house. If nobody’s there, nothing will be out of place! Besides, now’s the time to take the opportunity to enjoy some of your family’s favorite holiday traditions; take the time to have some fun amid all of the hustle and bustle!
Of course, if you start with a spotless house, it’s that much easier to keep it clean throughout the holidays. If you’d like professional help getting your home fresh and clean, call us today!