The birds are chirping and the sun is warming your face. Green grass is peeking through. The smell of spring is in the air. You step back into your lovely home and suddenly notice all the winter dust and disorder peeking from multiple rooms around the house. As you walk from room to room there are house cleaning needs to be addressed in each room. You can no longer ignore what the winter clouds hid from your view.

You’ve officially been infected with the Spring Cleaning Bug. It’s a great thing to catch this time of year before the bright sun and warmer air lure you to the garden. It’s going to be a big job and you prepare to buckle down. And then you remember….you’re not the only one living in your home! It’s time to involve your kids. Here’s how to get your child to help clean house with you.

Children of all ages can assist in cleaning. Little ones can be given old socks and are the perfect height for dusting floor boards. They can wash door knobs and light switches. Just be prepared to have the lights flicker while you’re dealing with  the light fixtures.


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Teenagers may be as hard as two-year-olds to include in cleaning but the payoffs are numerous. Talk while you clean. Dance to music. Interact and communicate. And of course lots of hands make for light work….or something like that.

When I introduce a cleaning project I present it in shifts. For example, my husband loves the garage and kitchen so I make a list and ask for his priorities in these areas. My son is a gamer so I assign him the task of fully cleaning the computer area and all of the other media areas in the house. One of my daughters is extremely meticulous when she cleans and organizes so I find tasks that suit her personality like cleaning out the utensil door or washing the fronts of cabinets. And I love to dust and vacuum. The lines I can make in the carpet as I vacuum….sheer joy to me.

When focus and patience wane I set a timer. If we can work for seven more minutes we will accomplish a lot. When those seven minutes are up, if there are jobs remaining, we set a timer for six minutes. Then five, four, and so forth. When it’s said and done you’ve added up to thirty additional minutes of work and most likely finished up the work for the day! And when work is a game, a race against the timer, a competition to see which sibling accomplishes more in three minutes, work is FUN!

You know your family better than anyone else. Use that knowledge to involve everyone and play to their strengths and interests. Not only will you have a clean house when you’re done you may have formed new bonds with your family members.

JoyHedding

Joy aka Evil Joy is wife to one Dr. Evil and mother to four children she often refers to as spawn. Joy is a snowboarding fanatic and loves to share her exploits - snowboarding and otherwise - on Instagram. She currently spends copious amounts of time taxiing her children from one place to another. Frequently funny, always honest, and occasionally serious Joy blogs about everything from dealing with messy teenagers to navigating life after PTSD. Joy has been published in the anthologies "Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor" and "Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee" and featured on Sammiches and Psych Meds and In the Powder Room.

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