Congratulations, you’ve officially survived another holiday season! At this point you’re knee-deep in a brand new year–if you’ve been caught up with getting things back to normal, chances are you haven’t gotten around to tidying up after the Christmas madness.
Between the presents, decorations, food and general clutter of daily activities that your home has accumulated over the past month, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed and not know where to start. Instead of having someone else take on the task, turn it into a fun family bonding activity. The added responsibility and accountability will be great for everyone in the long run as well. Recruit your kids and partner in the seemingly insurmountable task and we guarantee that you’ll have your home in tip-top shape in no time!
Make things interesting by hiding treats like candy, chocolate, stickers or small toys in the piles of clothes ahead of time. As the kids help you sort and fold through the pile, they’ll find the prizes which will make things tons more interesting for them. If prizes aren’t up your alley, you can hide tokens that they can collect and exchange for treats later on.
Race for against each other for time, like seeing who can pick up a certain color off a messy floor fastest, who can fix their bed the fastest, or who can get through their chore list earliest. For added competitive effect, you can use an egg timer.
If everyone finishes their chores on time, each gets a treat–this can apply not just to the kids but to mom and dad as well. Rewards can range from skipping a chore of their choice for the next week, choosing what to order for dinner, or points towards earning a new toy or gadget of their choice.
We’ve all seen photos of the baby mop on the internet–what better time to test it out? If your kids are a bit older, you can attach old towels to socks to race around and clean the floors, play trash hockey or any other came you can think of. You get the house clean, have fun and get some exercise all in one go!
Research on cleaning hacks as a family and have each choose which ones to try. This way you get to experiment, and all of you will get to try cool new and hopefully easier ways of doing things around the house.
Have your kids pretend to be spies and send them on a mission to clean a room, or have them pretend to be in an infomercial for a cleaning product as they demonstrate it for an audience. Make sure to have a video cam on hand when you try this, because it’s bound to be priceless.
Admit it, having your name on something gets you more motivated to use it. Get cleaning tools (spray bottles, brushes and dustpans) for each kid and label them all–this will give them ownership of their tasks and pride in getting those task done well. For added effect, you can get organizing bins that they pick out themselves. If it’s visually appealing for them, it will help them stay motivated to keep things tidy.
Give the entire family motivation to clean, like giving away toys to the less fortunate, cleaning out the fridge or pantry to cook for friends, or filling up garbage bags for the dump monster to gobble up. There’s no one who knows what will inspire your family better than you, so get on it!
What are your tips and tricks for making cleaning fun? Share them in the comments below!