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Clean With Kids & Make It Fun!
One of the things that I hear moms say all the time is that they just don’t have enough time to stay on top of everything. We have so many responsibilities in a single day that sometimes we find our homes just spiraling out of control. How can we keep things clean with kids? They seem to follow us around undoing everything as soon as we finish.
This is where the power clean method comes into play. It is a method that my mom used when I was growing up, and I use it in my own home with my kids(6, 3,1). It is a quick way to gain some traction and stop feeling like you are drowning in work, while also helping to teach your kids some important life skills.
Clean With Kids
The idea is simple. Set the timer, and every single person in the family will move as quickly as possible to get the house clean. When the timer goes off, everyone is done. No exceptions!
It is almost like a game. Make sure that you “explain the rules” excitedly. Make it feel fun rather than like a chore! Give a pep talk and hype up your “team” because the more excited that they are, the better this will work.
This method takes picking up the house from being a huge task to a simple step-by-step activity with a time constraint. By putting a cap on the time frame, kids are more likely to race the clock and not think so much about how much work they are doing. When that timer goes off, they know they are done, and that you will be too. You might be surprised to find your kiddo excited to help because they know that it means you will have the chance to spend time with them afterward.
Related: How To Banish Clutter To Achieve Your Dream Home
Follow The Rules
Make sure that you are stopping with the kids, even if that means that you pick back up after bedtime to finish. Showing them that you are on an equal playing field will make their contribution feel more important, and also emphasize the fact that keeping a clean home is a group effort. When the timer goes off, make sure to step back and make a big deal of your progress. Compliment your kids for working so hard, and point out anything that you noticed made a big difference in how your home feels now.
Related: 6 Steps To Organize Your Kids’ Toys Once and For All
Think Positively of Cleaning
The first couple of times that you do this, expect your kids to resist, especially if they are a bit older. It has been completely ingrained in them that cleaning sucks, and nobody wants to do it.
However, there are a few ways to make it more exciting. Plan something for the time after clean-up like a family game night, or watching a new movie. I strongly advise to make it a family activity so that everyone is working towards this reward together. It will emphasize that concept of your clean home impacting the entire household.
If you are nervous about your kids resisting, shorten the time frame the first time. That way, it feels less overwhelming for the kids. If they aren’t participating well, it might help them see that you really mean they can be done when you set that timer. In the future, they will be more likely to step in and help more.
I started my five-year-old at a five minute clean up, and his reaction amazed me. When we were done he said “Five-minute power cleans are fun! I can’t wait to do it tomorrow!” Seriously. Putting on a smile and making it fun is such a mindset change. You might even find yourself enjoying the process!
Related: Five Mindset Changes To Help Keep Your Home Clean and Tidy
Tips For Kid Cooperation
- Work alongside them. Don’t give them a task and then disappear. Clean the same space as they are. This helps to encourage them and make it feel less overwhelming! (Granted, the baby isn’t much help yet, but this works well with the other two. ;))
- If your children are still really young, try to do several power clean-ups throughout the day rather than one long clean-up. I like to do four or five quick sweeps before we change activities. Before meals and snacks seems to work best. Kids really like to eat, so if they can’t eat until after the clean-up, it provides great motivation!
- Clean up before it all gets overwhelming. Work on developing good habits and teaching your kids to clean as they go. It might feel silly to clean a clean house, but it feels much better than cleaning a dirty one!
- My last tip is to have a plan for the power clean session so that you aren’t just running around burning time. I like to put on some music and set the timer. Then we use laundry baskets from the dollar store and clean in layers:
Cleaning Shouldn’t Be Overwhelming
When you have kids, it seems like it only takes a minute for your house to go from clean to the cover image of a tornado article. I started teaching my kids to clean up as soon as they could walk, and surprisingly enough they can do it! Even Miss Willow(13 months) is starting to put things back where they belong.
Even if your kiddo is tiny, starting this system young will make it so that they are more mindful of the impact that they make on the house as they get older. It is never too early to start teaching good habits! You will be surprised by what your little ones are capable of when you hold them accountable.
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