Even though women seem to have the seasonal cleaning gene (more so than men), that does not mean you should have to do everything on your own. It is both mentally and physically draining for one person to clean a house by himself or herself. When you have an entire family making the messes around the home, it only makes sense that everyone should pitch in and help clean it so you are not cleaning alone.
If you have not already begun teaching your children how to do household chores, now is the perfect time to start. Children as young as two are able to help with simple chores like cleaning non-breakable dishes from the table after meals. They can also help you put dirty clothes into baskets or help you fold after the clothes after you have washed them. As the child gets older, you can add other skills to his or her housecleaning repertoire. Before becoming a teenager, your child will know how to clean a house from top to bottom. Actually getting them to do it, however, is another story.
Laundry is one household chore that most people dislike. It is so easy to leave clothing at the end of the bed, on the floor after a shower or in piles in the floor. Get a number of colored baskets and assign each person a color. Tell them they are responsible for making sure their clothing is placed in the basket or it is not washed. Better yet, teach them to wash their own clothes and that will be one less task on your list.
Having to do dishes is another sticky point in many families. Mom should wash dishes, right? Wrong! If everyone in the family uses the dishes, it is only fair that everyone should help clean them. Some families still have to wash dishes by hand. If that is the case, help your family keep on top of them or you may have dishes stacked for weeks needing to be washed. For those with a dishwasher, make sure everyone in the family is able to load and unload it. Taller family members may have to help shorter ones put things away. Create a chart that clearly shows whose night it is to do dishes and come up with consequences the entire family agrees to in case they do not get done. Having the family help with dishes will mean you have more time to spend with your family.
Determine what needs to be done for your seasonal cleaning. Depending upon how many people you have in the family, you may want to split the group into teams of two. Designate at least one room for each team as well as at least one outdoor activity. Prepare a list of what they should do in each room and explain how the room will look when finished. For outside cleaning, let them know what you expect so they will know when they are done. Let each team choose the room and outdoor cleaning they will do.
Does your family need encouragement to help you? Plan a fun activity you know everyone will enjoy. Explain that if the house is cleaned to a specific degree, you will take them to see the movie everyone wants to see. However, if everyone does not help with the work and there is complaining, you will not go see the movie. This may be just enough of a ‘push’ to get even the fussiest to help.
The above tasks are just part of our deep cleaning series! Be sure to check out the previous posts: