The origins of this holiday are unknown, but we”re pretty sure a frustrated mom invented it. Use these tips to make this task less of a chore for the kids (and you).
Define “clean up your room.” Just telling kids to clean their rooms might be overwhelming. Christine Morton, owner of The Organize Co., (theorganizingco.com) recommends breaking down the tasks. “Give small tasks like picking up all the Legos, or putting all the Barbies in one bin,” she says. “It means more steps, but it’s easier and less daunting for them. Plus, it means things are actually organized when they”re put away instead of just a bunch of hodge-podge bins!”
Crank up the tunes. Studies have found that music makes repetitive tasks more enjoyable. It also puts you in a better mood, so you are more likely to complete a task. You have full permission to crank up Bieber or the Trolls soundtrack, and let your kiddos dance as they put their dirty clothes into the hamper.
Make it a game. Few of us actually like to clean, so add an element of play to the task.
- I Spy. Find things that need to be picked up or thrown away. Give your kids clues and see if they can figure out what they are and where they go.
- You Clean, I Clean Challenge. Pick an area of the home that needs to be cleaned and make it a race to see who can clean fastest.
- Got Net. Set up a hamper and/or garbage can like a basketball hoop, and let your child shoot their way to a clean room.
Act the part. Dress up like maids, Cinderella, or butlers and act the part out as you clean. Pretend to film a cleaning commercial and put those kid-size cleaning tools to use, too.
Be consistent. “Building a routine into (kids”) daily rhythm will keep things from getting out of control and will minimize the nagging once they are used to it,” Morton says. Set aside five or 10 minutes each evening for a tidy-up. Ask kids to put dirty clothes in the hamper and put away toys and books.
Reward a job well done. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy a treat with your kids in your newly clean space!