Practical Ideas Busy Families Use for Spring Cleaning
Looking to take everyone’s mind off coronavirus? Get to work and do some spring cleaning!
Having a cleaner house will make you enjoy it more – and working together as a family will remind you of the strength you have together! In times of uncertainty or feeling lack of control, activities like this help you realize your power.
We put together these six ideas to help you engage your family and tidy up your house. You may be surprised how much easier it is when everyone pitches in.
Have a kick-off meeting and brainstorm all the tasks to be done. Think of an order of events and make simple checklists for each family member to help. In your plan, ideally look for a 4-6-hour window everyone can participate. If you can dedicate 6-8 hours on a day that’s great, and you can also split it up in 2-3-hour windows. Having a start and finish time within a few days will ensure it doesn’t slide and go undone.
Children of almost any age can help when it comes to spring cleaning. Good work candidates can include dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, and of course tidying up their rooms. Think about jobs that can be finished in 20 minutes, or broken into chunks of time for your kids. For older kids, you can also give them a defined area – like a bathroom, closet or other area, that they are accountable for. Make a checklist for them for tasks on their own, and also think of tasks they can help you with (teach them skills for next time).
Along local charities, the Salvation Army and Goodwill, you may find a local Facebook or Nextdoor “free” group that you can list items and have your neighbors pick them up. Some prefer this over Craigslist, while that certainly is an option too. Make sure this stack leaves the house – rent a truck if you need to.
See if there are any annual community clean up activities you can take advantage of. Often your local trash company will offer a time where you can dispose of larger or awkward items. They may include hazardous materials like paint or oil that you want to get rid of. These events are less costly than fees you will see at the dump.
Depending on your circumstances and resources, you may want some outside help. You can find reviews of services in your Nextdoor app, local Facebook groups and Angie’s List. You may know someone who could use the extra work right now. Potentially research specialized jobs for things like blowing off your roof and gutters, pressure washing outside, doing a yard clean-up, or deep cleans in bathrooms and the kitchen.
We recommend playing music, making games of some chores, and having something to celebrate at the end. You can do a before and after house tour, and maybe after eat a favorite meal or watch a special show. Make sure to give direct and specific compliments to your kids for their work, so they can be proud of their efforts.
While the idea of cleaning up gross parts of your house isn’t the most exciting, working together and enjoying the accomplishment is a great way for your family to bond. If there’s any way you can introduce goofiness to the process, you’ll find it’s less painful, and potentially even a little fun.
You've got this!
Chris has worked in tech for 30 years, and healthcare tech for 8 of those. He's on the advisory board of Harvard-Based Think:Kids, and runs Rad Dad Rules. He is the proud Dad of two awesome kids, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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