June 11, 2015
30+ Things Your Kids Can Clean : A Room-by-room Guide for the Home
With the onset of summer and the end of the school year, it isn’t long before both moms and kids crave a little routine and order. A looser summer schedule brings both freedom and a little extra chaos as messes tend to accumulate a little faster and are a little more rampant throughout the house.
To help offset the inevitable, I like to have my children help clean whenever and wherever possible. Even little ones can learn how to help with simple tasks that help to instill a sense of responsibility and pride. Older children benefit from routine and expectations to help the home run smoothly as well.
Whether you choose to use these room-by-room cleaning suggestions as chores or as incentives is up to you. These are some of the cleaning tasks that have been helpful and realistic in my home that I hope will inspire you to use them as a springboard for your family.
- Make bed. I use a fitted sheet on the kids’ beds paired with a washable quilt or duvet. This makes it easier for kids to simply pull up the cover and put the pillow at the top.
- Help put away clean clothes as they are able. Start with putting away socks and move on to other items as kids get older.
- Put dirty clothes in laundry basket.
- Put toys away. We try to use the rule that before a new toy or activity is taken out, the unused one needs to be put away. We do several sweeps a day and check them before a special activity (screen time, snack time, friend time).
- Wipe down counter. A damp and wrung out microfiber cloth with water works perfectly for cleaning up little spatters and spills. No harsh cleaners necessary.
- Clean mirror. A barely damp microfiber cloth is great for this task.
- Refills empty toilet paper and tissue boxes.
- Collect garbage.
- Wipe down baseboards and around the perimeter of the bathroom with baby wipes.
- Wipe baseboards with baby wipes.
- Wipe light switches and door knobs.
- Pick up toys. Check under couch and furniture for errant toys and odds and ends.
- Help unload the dishwasher. Younger children can help sort silverware and older children can put away breakables, dishes and glasses.
- Set the table.
- Clear plates at the table, bringing dishes to sink.
- Little ones can be taught how to use a small dustpan and broom to gather up crumbs and other little odds and ends as well as emptying it in to the garbage.
- A handheld vacuum cleaner also works well for children to help with vacuuming up crumbs, small scraps, and kitchen floor debris.
- Wipe the table down.
- Help empty trash and sort recyclables.
- Help sort by color (whites, brights, and darks).
- Sort and pair up socks.
- Help make matches with pajamas and outfits.
- Put clothes on hangers.
- Collect garbage in the laundry room. I have a small trash basket in the laundry room for lint, tags, etc. that the kids take care of emptying when asked.
- Take care of water and food for pets. My oldest started this routine around 5 years old.
- ‘Help’ with brushing and bathing.
- Gather up pet toys at the end of the day to store in basket or container.
My Favorite Ways to Get Help in a Hurry
- Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes and work to clean an entire area or trouble spot.
- Chore charts work well in our house to assure that kids have a visual reminder to check off daily.
- Use completed tasks as ‘rewards’: once your clean room is cleaned up you can go play with your friends, take something else out, have screen time, etc.
- Let kids help build a chore chart or responsibility chart. Taking ownership in the creation of the tasks will ensure a better success rate!
Here are a couple more ideas to encourage cleaning up – click on the images to go straight to the posts.
This post is part of my SIMPLE SUMMER CHALLENGE – throughout the month I’m sharing ways to keep up with routines while having lots of fun in the process. Go here to see the introduction post, and here to see all the posts in this series. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram for more on this summer challenge!