Deep cleaning your home for spring is a necessary task, albeit a less than pleasant one. During the winter months when your home has been shuttered against the cold air and snow dirt, dust, mold, and other not-so-savory items build up in carpets, settle on surfaces, and the whole mess needs to go.
Depending on the size of your home and the furniture inside it, spring cleaning can be a simple affair or one that might make you want to tear your hair out and wonder why you even have a home anyway. Ancient peoples did okay in caves and rudimentary shelters didn’t they?
But when it comes down to it there’s nothing more satisfying than having a fresh, clean home when spring comes around. And the most satisfying part? We’re going to show you how to get your kids into the cleaning spirit as well.
For most kids the idea of cleaning ranks right up there with a visit to the dentist. The day-to-day maintenance of their rooms or other chores they’re assigned are not met with great enthusiasm, but the thought of a top-to-bottom deep clean might have them on the phone with grandma suggesting an impromptu visit.
One way to make this pill easier to swallow is to tell them that this is a family project and everyone needs to chip in. Hint that there might be some surprises along the way, maybe bribe them with a pizza delivery during a lunch break, and be sure to let them know how wonderful the house will feel and look when it’s all done.
While it might be cute and a little funny to watch a 5-year-old try to wield a tall broom, in the end you know there will be no dirt in the dustpan and you’re likely to have a frustrated child on your hands. Child-sized brooms, mops, dustpans, sponges, and more can be found at most retailers and they come in fun colors and prints. If the inevitable bickering begins over who gets the polka dot set, then let your kids draw from a hat to see who gets what.
You can also use small spray bottles filled with vinegar and water or other child-safe cleaning solution so they can spray and wipe to their heart’s content. Be sure to only fill the bottle halfway so they don’t waste too much and maybe send the family dog to the neighbor’s house.
Kids might not know that spring cleaning doesn’t include the dog and a vinegary pup is the last thing you want in your newly cleaned home.
Kids may balk a bit about giving up that bike they’ve clearly outgrown so now is the time to tell them about all the benefits of charitable donation. They might not understand the financial benefits you’ll reap by donating that old boat that’s been stuck in the garage for years, but they’ll probably understand that their outgrown coat can keep another child warm next winter.
Since donation items need to be boxed anyway, make it a little more fun by allowing your child to decorate their donation box with markers, stickers, or whatever they please. This can help make the whole idea of sifting through their dresser drawers a lot more fun. Additionally, when it’s time to deliver the box to the charity of your choice they can show off their creative skills as well as know they’ve done something nice for others.
Spring cleaning, fall cleaning, or any type of cleaning is not something your kids are going to attack with gusto and glee. However, it’s important to be clear about your expectations, make those expectations age appropriate, and make it as fun and easy as possible to meet those expectations.
While you might find that you end up doing most of the work, have to drop what you’re doing because one child just can’t decide what to give away, or to break up squabbles, the end result is the same. Your windows will sparkle, your floors will shine, the fresh breezes from the open windows will banish the winter funk, and you can relax at the end of the day knowing that you got your kids on board with spring cleaning.
Well, mostly on board.