Thursday, March 22, 2012

Getting Your Kids Involved in Spring Cleaning

20110130 - Spring Cleaning
From edmundwee's photos on
The birds are singing, flowers are blooming and your entire yard is covered in a yellow blanket of pollen.  It must be Spring and with it comes spring cleaning!  Just what you were wanting to do, right?  This Spring, when you decide to crank up the cleaning, make it a family affair and get the kids involved.  I'm not promising that it will be "grumble-free", but the kids can help you check items off your To Do list.

Whether or not you choose to pay your kids for these chores is completely up to you.  Some families pay for chores; others do not.  Regardless of your viewpoint on the monetary side of things, getting kids and teens involved in spring cleaning has positive outcomes.  Your house/yard gets cleaner, it creates a sense of ownership and pride with the finished product and it frees up some of your time so that perhaps you can throw in some relaxing family time with the kids.

Here is a collection of child/teen friendly chores for Spring Cleaning:
Note:  Different ages of kids need different amounts of supervision and different difficulty levels of tasks.  Use your own personal judgement about supervision and types of cleaning products with your kids.  I want everyone to be safe!  

  • Wipe down baseboards with a damp cloth.
  • Clean inside of windows.
  • Wipe down windowsills.
  • Use vacuum attachments to vacuum crevices, under furniture, cobwebs, etc.
  • Go through magazines and make a stack to donate/recycle.  Preschools often love getting magazine donations for art projects.
  • Clean out lower cabinets and wipe down shelves.
  • Make sure all of your plastic storage containers have matching lids.  Recycle any extra components..
  • Go through toys, books and clothes.  Organize into keep, recycle and donate.
  • Wipe down/dust furniture.  Kids are really good at getting those hard to reach, lower table legs.
  • Clean out the pantry.  Donate any non-perishable items that you aren't going to use.
  • Shred papers.
  • And...I am going to say it...clean out the closets.  It is a daunting job but my kids usually find toys they haven't seen in months and start playing with them again.
  • Pull weeds.
  • Spread mulch.
  • Plant spring flowers.
  • Trim bushes.
  • Gather clippings and put in recycle bag.
  • Pick up pine cones.
  • Rake pine needles.  Can you tell that we have a lot of pine trees in our yard?  :)
  • Paint fences, mailboxes, etc.  Kids love to paint and outdoor jobs run a little less risk of getting paint on your carpet or appliances!
  • Clean out the shed or the garage.  Kids can help carry, organize and sweep.
  • Sweep/wash sidewalk and porches.

Outdoor Washing Activities:

Photo by Brittany Whitlock
If you give my kids a bucket of soapy water and a sponge, they will wash just about anything in sight.  They may end up "washing" themselves, but they have a great time doing it and some cleaning gets accomplished in the process.  Here are some items of things that kids can scrub outside:
  • Cars - older kids can also wax the cars.
  • Bicycles, wagons, tricycles
  • Dog houses
  • Trash cans - I gather all the trash cans in the house and let the kids scrub them outside.
  • Outdoor patio furniture
  • Big plastic toys:  slides, kitchen sets, work benches
  • Toy trucks and cars
  • The Dog!
What household chores do your kids help with for Spring Cleaning?  Do you pay them?

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  1. A great one for my young kids is one you posted above. Any type of yard work is great. Pulling weeds, picking up various things and throwing them away are all good options. It also keeps them active outdoors in the sun which is healthy.

    1. I totally agree! My youngest son had to pick up the pine cones out of the back yard yesterday. He decided to kick them like little soccer balls. He was outside for about 30 minutes, just running and kicking pine cones!

  2. My mom always used to make us pull weeds, pick up the fruit that fell on the grass from the trees, mow the lawn, rake, etc. It was good exercise!

  3. I can barely get my kid to pick up her dirty clothes. :-( So yeah, I'm going solo with Spring Cleaning once again. She's just being a butthead, I'm sure she'll start helping when she 'really' wants money.