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Thursday, 05 July 2012 16:09

Summer Cleaning with Kids

Written by Coco
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Child CleaningGuest Post by Lydia Quibbin-Jones

In the lazy days of summer, it can be hard being organized. With the heat and the circumstances of not having to get up early to get your kids ready for school, most families just take this opportunity to sit back and relax. When my boys were younger, we were part of this majority. My children’s rooms were little more than piles of mess, until I put my foot down and came up with some kid-friendly ways to keep my whole house spick-and-span.

Here are some ways you can encourage your children to help make your house neat during the summer months:

Make it a rewarding experience.

To start off the summer cleaning fun in our house, we go through all our closets to check what we can still use. Clothes that don’t make the cut, books that aren’t needed anymore, toys that don’t hold any appeal go in the garage sale box. After all the cleaning up, we set up a yard sale, with each of us manning our own table and pocketing the profits we all get from our perspective sales.

These rewards get my sons revved up about cleaning out their closet, since we turn something that is usually a boring chore into something fun and profitable too! Don’t forget to monitor the things that your children put on their tables because they might just be selling something they could find valuable in the future. To be sure, I go over everyone’s boxes and check what’s for sale and record it by taking pictures. This way, we know where an item went when we look for it in the future.

Make it easy to do.

Try to see things through your children’s eyes. To make it easy for younger kids to do their own organization, have their clothes at a height they can reach. Hang lower hanging rods and hooks, and place two hampers (one for light and another for dark-colored clothes) near your children’s door for effortless clothes organizing[1].

Ensure that your kids will understand why they need to do the cleaning, and make the process as seamless as possible. Explain the task thoroughly, keeping in mind their level of thinking. Full understanding is the key to making tasks much simpler. This will also help prepare them in handling other responsibilities in the future.

Make it fun.

Having two sons, I know it can be more frustrating to get boys to care about organization than it is with gi(generally!), so I took steps to make it fun. Fun ideas [2] work the best. Remembering my husband’s penchant for shooting paper balls into a trash can after he works was a simple way to integrate a bit of sport into cleanliness.

We found a small basketball hoop from a toy store to put over both my sons’ hampers so they can shoot their way to cleanliness. Pump them up during cleaning time with fun songs like Eye of the Tiger or some Black Eyed Peas songs to get them energized.

Make it a team effort.

To make it clear that you are not the organization dictator, do the cleaning with your kids. It would help for them to see you as a teammate who joins them in tidying up. Barking orders and then relaxing on the couch with a glass of wine after your kids were just told to spring into action can give them a bad impression of you as a parent.

Set up a house cleaning hour, where everyone is taking care of their own spaces at the same time. Urge your older child to assist the younger, and vice versa.

Make a list.

A Checklist is one of the things that keep our family flowing smoothly. All chores are listed on a board in the kitchen, with each family member with his/her own column to take care of. Each week, we all get together and fill up the checklist, and throughout the week, we check off all that we’ve accomplished. The one who finishes first gets to pick what we do for Sunday afternoon!

Getting your kids to be more organized is a cinch when you follow these steps. Try them out this summer for your children to start their own habits when cleaning up!


About the Author:
Lydia Quibbin-Jones is a work-at-home-mom (WAHM) and organizing maven who attests to the wonders of practical living. A mother of two, she sees every day as a great opportunity to teach her young boys the importance of keeping a neat home. Aside from being a dedicated parent and wife, Lydia works part-time for a light fixture retailer, where she puts into practice many of her homemaking skills.

[1] Feldman, B. Closets, Clothing & Kids…Summer Organizing. Role Mommy. Retrieved June 30, 2011. From http://www.rolemommy.com/blog/closets-clothing-kidssummer-or.php.
[2] 6 Fun Ways to Teach Kids Organization in their Rooms. January 6, 2011. http://stagetecture.com/2011/01/6-fun-ways-to-teach-kids-organization-in-their-rooms/

Last modified on Saturday, 07 July 2012 06:17
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