It’s the perfect time of year to plan a family spring cleaning day and get some major projects checked off the to-do list while we’re all stuck at home anyway. That’s what we did this weekend. Here’s how to make it a success.
If you have a week to plan ahead, it’s best, but you can even plan ahead by about an hour and be just fine! Basically, what you need to do before you gather the kids around to dive into cleaning is to brainstorm a list of all the jobs that need done.
We decided to just focus on the inside jobs this weekend, and next weekend we’re going to tackle the garage and yard. But, you could also mix inside and outside easily.
Instead of just writing the tasks on a piece of paper, grab some fun sticky notes and write one job per note. Be as specific as you need to be.
- Clean the kitchen stainless steel
- Vacuum the living room
- Dust the baseboards downstairs
- Move the couches and vacuum under them and under the cushions
Make sure you talk about this family cleaning day at least the night before. Set a time for it to begin. We decided that Saturday at 10AM gave everyone a chance to sleep in and get ready for the day before we started. This way, we also didn’t catch the kids off-guard. We have several that like to mentally prepare for the next day.
Let the Kids Choose
I think one of the ways to keep the kids motivated while doing chores is to give them a choice as to which jobs they do. So, we put all the sticky notes on the kitchen counter and the kids grabbed one to start. Once they completed the chore, they had to show mom or dad their finished project to get the okay to move on. Knowing their finished job was going to be checked kept everyone honest with a job well done.
We decided to work until lunch time, or until all the jobs were done, whichever came first. We actually were done right about noon, after which we enjoyed pizza together to celebrate.
Celebrate the Teamwork
We’re going to watch a family movie tonight to celebrate (and we should probably bake some cookies too!). But maybe your prize at the end is a trip to the park (when we’re all not in quarantine) or going out for ice cream. It’s fun to have a goal to work toward as a family and then celebrate its completion.
It’s also a great teaching moment in your home, especially if your kids are still small. Working as a team might not have entered into your conversations, but it’s a great way to discuss how to take care of the house as a team when it’s not spring cleaning day.
If you haven’t implemented ongoing chores for your kids, now is a great time to start! You can get a sneak peek into our system and why we decided to pay our kids for their chores.
While the kids were working on cleaning different spots around the house, I was working on decluttering storage closets. I also decluttered my clothes closet using the KonMari method (mostly) – I just don’t thank my discarded clothes before sending them off to Goodwill.
As I was decluttering a whole lot of unworn clothing, it reminded me again that most teens have a small fortune in their rooms with unused sports equipment, electronics, books, clothes, and outgrown toys. You can help your teens declutter their space with a Declutter Cheatsheet.
But don’t stop there! As we’re getting ready to head into the summer months, decluttering can be a great springboard into an online resale business for your teens. If you have an entrepreneurial teen who could benefit from a step-by-step guide to getting an eBay business started, then definitely check out the eBay Reseller Mini Course for Teens.
Then your teen can celebrate their decluttering with a nice fat paycheck!
Additional Resources for Spring Cleaning:
- Teaching Teens How to Declutter (with printable)
- How to Teach Your Teens to Create Income Streams
- Chore System Set-Up
- eBay Reseller Mini Course for Teens
- Teen Declutter Cheatsheet
- 3 Quick Wins for Decluttering
Abby is a former public school teacher, now homeschooling her five children. She’s in the trenches just like you and knows it can be challenging to be home with your kids all day while you struggle to keep up with the housework and educate your kids (and maybe even work on the side!). She blogs over at www.4onemore.com and hosts the Homeschool with Moxie podcast.