If you are a wife and mother (or father), then the struggles of keeping the house clean is not new to you, but the good news is that it does not all have to fall on you. It’s time to get the whole family involved and make cleaning a family affair.
There is no one person in the family that makes all the mess in the house (although some contribute more than others), so keeping the house clean should not be the sole responsibility of one person. Divide, conquer and take some of the stress off yourself. You can thank me later in the comments.
What works for one family may not work for others, so you may need to tailor these to fit your family and their needs.
How to Make Cleaning a Family Affair:
1. Don’t Overdo It—Start Small
If your spouse (or partner) and kids have never lifted a finger until now, they will most likely be resistant to this change if you bring it on with full force. Assign your family members easy, clearly defined tasks that are relevant to them like:
- Putting away their toys in clearly marked bins
- Putting away their own laundry in their closets or dresser
- Bathing and feeding their pets
- Setting the dinner table
- Clearing the dinner table and putting their dishes in the dishwasher
- Folding the bath towels and putting them away in their bathrooms
If it doesn’t all get done immediately, it’s OK, but do praise your family members for helping out and getting things done that would have otherwise been on you to do. Each month, switch up the chores or add a little something extra to gradually take more and more off your plate. Want a printable chore chart to help you organize the daily chores? Click Here to Get a Free Family Chore Chart Printable
Even children as young as 2 years old can understand and are capable of small tasks, such as picking up their own toys in their rooms or in the living room. You may need to model the behavior and actively involve them in the task, but if you make it fun or timed, your toddler will participate and try to complete the task as quickly as possible, which brings me to my next point.
2. Make it Fun
Kids like fun, and they will be more willing to participate and help out if the task is made to be fun, competitive or if there is an incentive. Animals will perform tricks for treats, and your kids will perform chores for incentives.
Go ahead and set a timer to see how many chores they can fulfill in a set amount of time or crank up their favorite song and let that be your timer.
We like to reward our daughter for completing chores with Disney dollars, which I just print from our home computer. When our next Disney vacation approaches, we turn her Disney dollars into real money and we allow her to purchase anything she chooses with her hard-earned money. This approach will help teach your child the value of a dollar and will help instill a strong work ethic. Want to read more about how to teach your child financial sense? Check out this post.
3. Send Gentle Reminders
There will be days when life gets busy for all of you, and the chores for that day may be thrown to the wayside, but all is not lost. Even the most diligent people need gentle reminders sometimes.
Don’t be tempted to jump onto your kids or spouse at first chance because their clothes are still in a neat little pile on their beds and not put away or they placed their toys in the wrong bins. Simply write a friendly note reminding them of their task and their incentives for completing their tasks correctly and in a timely manner.
4. Pay It Forward
Get your family involved in a charity of their choice. Encourage your kids to go through their closets and toy bins and set aside some items to donate to others in need.
Emphasize to your children that these items that they no longer play with or want will be greatly appreciated by other children who may not have as much or be as fortunate as them. We remind our children regularly how fortunate they are to have what they do and to have seen and traveled to the places they’ve been.
If there is no place to donate in your area like a Salvation Army or a Goodwill, then sell your items at a garage sale or on Facebook or eBay and donate the profits to a family in need or a charity of your choice.
5. Live with Less
We usually only buy gifts for our children on Christmas and on their birthdays simply because our families shower them with gifts every other time they see them, which can lead to a lot of clutter.
To help eliminate this clutter, encourage family members to take the kids to a movie, to the park or to the museum instead of giving them a gift. This practice will not only cut out a lot of clutter in their closets and toy bins, but it will also generate a lot of unforgettable memories for your children.
Hopefully you will be able to implement these five tips on how to make cleaning a family affair and see some changes in your own stress level. When everyone pitches in and makes a group effort to keep the house clean and tidy, you will begin to see some immediate positive changes.
Are there ways you get your spouse and kids to help out with the day-to-day household tasks that are not mentioned here? Leave your suggestions and tips in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.
Want to know how to get yourself organized like never before? Check out the Intentionally Organized free course by Abby Lawson at Just a Girl and Her Blog.