The next few weeks will see the last opportunity to get a bit of spring cleaning done. And, if you've left it this late, the chances are that you are going to have to plan on doing it with the kids around.
Bearing this in mind. I've been thinking of some ideas of how to tackle spring cleaning when you have the kids around. The solution is simple: just get them to help! Children just love helping out and getting the home ready for summer is a great team activity that creates a bit of bonding time.
Not only will you get things done, but you will have fun doing it. Here are some simple tips that will help you get things up to scratch and keep the whole family busy.
photo: Ryan Harvey
1. Make a plan of action
Split up your tasks amongst yourselves and the kids. Younger children will have to team up with a parent, but the older ones can be given the honour of having their own rooms to take care of. They will also appreciate more grown up tasks.
2. Set expectations
It's important for everyone to know their jobs, but also how much they are supposed to do. If one of the kids is going to spend a couple of hours cleaning the bathroom with you, then it isn't fair if another only spends a minute hiding all their mess in a sock drawer.
3. Talk about products
Before you start, it's probably a good idea to talk about the dangers of cleaning products. The idea is to clean the house ready for summer, not end up in ER!
4. Let them have a say
Also, let's not make this a dictatorship. Give the kids some say in what they want to do. Perhaps they want to spend some time with mummy, some time with daddy and, for the older ones, as little time as possible with anyone.
5. Draw up scorecards
Younger children's minds wander in various directions all the time, so it is a good idea to have some form of overarching strategy to help them stop getting bored. Try drawing up scorecards that they can tick off every time they complete a task.
6. Organize DJ sets
Music is a great way to set the tempo of a big clean up. Make sure everyone has an allotted time for their preferred music. And that includes the parents, too. That will provide some musical education for the kids and some relief from the CBeebies theme tune CD.
7. Take breaks
Make sure the kids have regular drinks breaks. This will keep them hydrated and keep the day separated into easy chunks. However, as everybody probably already knows, breaks do not apply to mum and dad.
8. Organize rubbish collection
Once you are done, it’s time to think about rubbish removal. You can get someone to collect it, or bring everyone and everything to the most exciting theme park in the world. This is also known as the rubbish tip.
9. Dish out your rewards
All hard, honest work should be rewarded, and this is a great time to show a vital life lesson to all of your children. So, when you are done, take the kids straight to Granny’s house and leave them there for a sleepover. After all, you and hubster deserve it.