5 Amazing Cleaning Routines for Kids (That Actually Work)!
Now that School is back in session, life gets back to established routines. Here are 5 Amazing Cleaning Routines for Kids that actually work! We cover routines for:
- Toy pick up
We even cover the inevitable challenge points, sticking points, and what ifs. Consistent implementation will help change your family dynamic.
- Step #1: Clear the bed and make it. (1-2 minutes) No matter how atrocious the bed and floor seem, the first step is to throw EVERYTHING off the bed to the floor. I know, I know. This is how the mess was created in the first place. But it is also an important step in cleaning the room. With the bed clear, it is easy to make. And, a made bed makes any room look cleaner.
- Step #2: Put all clothes on the bed. (2 minutes) Using the “full hands” philosophy, collect every piece of clothing, towel, fabric, etc. Place it all in a pile at the foot of the bed. At this point, do not use time sorting the laundry.
- Step #3: Gather items that belong in the room. (2 minutes) This is where your addiction to baskets actually helps your family. Have a few baskets (boxes, buckets, containers, whatever) standing by to help with sorting. With all of the clothing off the floor, you have two new options: things that stay in the room, and things that do not. Again, using the “full hands” (or basket) principle, move through the room picking up everything you can. When they start to fill up, walk around placing the items where they go, or close to it. Items that do not belong in the room (cups, plates, racoons, welding equipment, animal husbandry supplies), get placed just outside the door in a separate basket. They can be dealt with later. Taking them to their proper home now will prevent you from getting this room clean anytime in the foreseeable EVER.
- Step #4: Get rid of the garbage (2 minutes) Set the can in the middle of the room and quickly toss everything that doesn’t belong into it. Of course, you will likely still need to vacuum. The result of picking up all that is left on the floor creates a magical environment.This room is now officially 99% clean.
- Step #5: Separate the clothing (2 minutes) The clothing in the pile is clean or dirty. Separate this pile into two, making sure to inspect each garment to verify it does not have any spots, stains, or “crime scene evidence” tags. In some cases, it may be necessary to employ the sniff test, but a quick visual inspection for children is not out of the question.
- You are done!
Getting kids to pick up toys and belongings doesn’t have to be a daily struggle. These quick guidelines will help you get closer to a neater house and more harmonious play.
- Only keep toys or things that are thought-provoking: dress-up, blocks, legos, etc. Kids love them and they are good for varying ages: blocks to a baby are totally different to blocks to a five-year old and they will keep playing with the same toys in different ways.
- Choose containers suitable for your child to manipulate. A lot of products out there are for parents to manipulate. Look at your kid’s school if you need a model: things are on low shelves, they are easy to handle for kids, if a kid can’t lift or pick up the bin themselves they won’t clean up or play with it. It’s also easier without lids on them.
- Don’t give too many choices. Kids are a lot more capable then you think: if you observe them at their school they are taking things out on their own and cleaning them up afterwards. You will be surprised what they can accomplish in a structured environment.
If your toy room look cluttered and chaotic, then it looks like that for the kids.
- Another old school rule: if you want to play with something else, you have to first put away what you are playing with.
Kids ages 5 and up are ready to give you a hand with simpler jobs, but before you turn your child loose, have a quick chat about sorting. Explain that lights go together and are usually washed in warm water. Dark clothes and colors are usually washed in cold, and only totally white things can be bleached.
- Your child can check pockets for change or tissues and close up zippers. A younger kid can sort by color, add dryer sheets, match socks, and clean out dryer lint — which they will probably get a big kick out of.
- Teach your child to fold by starting with easy shapes like towels and washcloths. Older kids can pour in the detergent, fold all types of clothes, and put laundry away. You’ll conquer that mountain of dirty clothes, spend time together, and teach your child a super-useful life skill.
Washing dishes seems like a never ending chore. Children who are trained properly can be a big help at getting dishes clean. Whether you are teaching your children to use a dishwasher or wash dishes by hand, the best way to start is with scraping and rinsing. Even 5-6 year old’s can be taught how to scrape and rinse their plates. 7-8 year old’s can help with drying and putting away dishes. By age 9 kids are ready to learn how to wash different types of dishes or load a dishwasher. Be sure to teach safety principles. like how to set the knives aside instead of dumping them into hot soapy water where they would be impossible to see.
It’s best to start with good organizing habits! Limit Keepsakes. Some children let go of things easily, but for those who are stubborn about saving every little thing, offer up a “limiting container.” They can keep all of the keepsakes they want, as long as they fit in a certain box, or on a certain shelf. Teach the “One In, One Out” Rule. When you get a new toy or new jeans, the old ones can be donated. Kids need to understand that storage is finite, and that continuing to collect eventually leads to clutter and chaos.
Give Every Item a Home : Labeling containers can help kids understand where their things belong, and smaller kids can benefit from having picture labels along with words. When kids ask you to find something, point out to them that you know where it is because it has a home. That’s why we have to put things back after using them, so we can find them again!
- Categorize Everything : When I was growing up, most of us learned the Sesame Street song, “One of These Things is Not Like the Other.” Four objects were presented: Three had a common theme, and the other item did not belong. By the time you’d finished the song, you had chosen which one didn’t belong. Look for opportunities, like this one, to teach categorizing to kids, as it is a crucial skill in sorting and organizing.
- Use Lists : You can make packing lists for kids when you are going on a trip, or have them help you make shopping and to-do lists. Kids love to cross things off and you’re teaching them how to organize their thoughts. Lists can also be helpful for reducing your need to nag when there are several tasks that need to be done.
Remember #cleaningroutines can be Fun! Make it a singing and dancing party.
Crank the tunes and make cleaning a PARTY. Try creating a “Cleaning Tunes” playlist in iTunes full of songs to get the kids energized to move. & Be sure to sing!
Via Clean Mama
Want to teach your kids how to help around the house with daily tasks and chores? Make it fun and easy for them to help out! Clean Mama has the Ultimate Happy HOME Cleaning Routine Plus FREE Printable Checklist.
Love this! She has chore lists for the kids too! Included are a weekly or daily cleaning chart, depending on what works for your family and schedule.
Got some awesome cleaning routines that work for you and your family? Leave a comment below:
Karen & The Cleaning Crew