cleaning: an annual ritual that is often anticipated with dread but completed
with satisfaction. Even the most mop-shy among us can relish the squeaky clean
of a thoroughly cleaned and newly organized home. This year, recruit family
members to help make the spring cleaning process relatively quick and painless-and even fun.
spring cleaning as the time to tackle the big picture chores that often get overlooked
during the day-to-day when we tend to focus on small bore tasks that keep our
home humming such as laundry, emptying trash cans and dealing with recycling.
Spring cleaning is a chance to freshen your home by undertaking larger jobs
such as cleaning windows, carpets, drapes and your appliances. We also
recommend switching out your winter and spring clothes and bedding and dusting
your home thoroughly. Not sure what areas of the home to tackle? For a helpful
time-saver, Google "spring cleaning checklist" for handy to-do lists that are
broken down room-by-room.
parents should determine what projects to tackle and then divide the tasks up
by family member. Some tasks such as dusting can be handled by virtually any
age, other chores such as washing drapes, or cleaning an oven, might need to be
done by older children or adults.
your family calendar and schedule the tasks. Chores such as cleaning the garage
that will be handled by the whole family will need large blocks of time
scheduled during days with free time such as weekends. Other tasks such as
changing out winter bedding, or sorting through clothes to donate or pass along
to younger siblings, can be handled by individual children at their discretion.
Just be sure to give children a general deadline-such as all tasks must be
completed by the end of the week-and then empower them to manage their own
up on all needed supplies before diving in. Purchase necessary cleaning
supplies and cardboard boxes to corral items for donation. Research places that
accept donated goods and the hours of operation of the town dump. Consider
outsourcing this research and shopping to older, computer savvy children to
save time and include them in the planning.
cleaning presents the perfect opportunity to winnow down your belongings,
restoring a sense of order and calm to your home. Make time spent dusting
multitask as a chance to vet the objects in your home, tossing what's outdated
or broken and collecting seldom used items for donation. Deputize each family
member to give a through once-over to the clothes and items in their personal
rooms or closets. Then schedule a time to assess common areas such as the
garage or family rooms. Corral all items to be donated in cardboard boxes. Or
consider staging a garage sale to dispose of goods while generating cash.
cleaning will never rank high on anyone's list of leisure pursuits, a little
creativity can go a long way in turning boring chores into a fun game. Consider
injecting a little competition into the tasks to generate interest. Reward the
first child to complete their to-do list with a prize or let the family member
who dusts the most shelves skip another upcoming chore. Incentivize your
children to part with unneeded items by letting them know that for every box
they fill with items to be donated, they can win a coupon redeemable for an ice
cream or an extra TV show. Incentivize yourself and your spouse as well with
similar rewards. A healthy competition will make moving through the tasks
faster and more fun. And when all the chores are complete, schedule a family
outing to the movies or a favorite restaurant as a reward.
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