It’s time to give the house its annual spring cleaning, but you shouldn’t have to do it all by yourself. How do you motivate the family to pitch in? The job goes so much faster with happy, helping hands. What does it take to keep a smile on faces as they sweep and dust?
As the leading provider of cleaning services here in Chicago, we’re busy putting a springtime shine into our homes too. Over the years, we’ve come up with different ways to turn spring cleaning into a fun family activity, so we’d like to share our favorite tips. We know these ideas will work for you.
1. Start with a Family Meeting
• Get the family together, and agree on an upcoming Saturday or Sunday. Discuss a start and finish time so that everyone knows what to expect.
• Take advantage of your advanced planning by clipping coupons and hunting for bargains on cleaning supplies. This is a good time to replace worn-out brooms and mops.
• Collect sturdy cardboard boxes to hold things that you want to get rid of. Dress them up with bright labels that designate which cartons hold items for donation, recycling or cashing in at a future garage sale.
• Assemble all weapons of mass dust-busting destruction the day before in a central location. Stock a station with buckets, rags, cleaners and those new brooms and mops.
Power Tip: A small wheeled cart makes it easier to keep cleaning supplies together as you work from room to room.
2. Make It Fun for the Little Ones
• Inspire your littlest ones to give up old toys with a game of “Fill It Up.” For every box they fill with worn-out things, they get to buy one new toy.
• Turn room cleaning into a treasure hunt with small tokens hidden in drawers and closets. Let the kids cash in their little rewards for a cookie or candy snack.
• Divide that messy room, and conquer it with several kids and a timer. Give each one a specific area, and start the countdown to see who can get the most done in 10 minutes.
• Dress the kids up with big, fuzzy socks on their hands and feet. Show them how to herd dust bunnies across the floor and gather them up for fun dust-busting.
Power Tip: Younger children have short attention spans, so be understanding if little ones lose interest in an assignment after half an hour.
3. Motivate the Older Kids
• Teenagers don’t turn up their noses at vacuuming if the rooms are inviting. Sprinkle fragrant bath salts on carpets to improve the atmosphere and add freshness to fibers.
• Inspire them to really clean out closets and drawers by giving them their own garage sale boxes. They can keep the proceeds from all their old clothes, games and gadgets.
• Show them how the bubbling action of baking soda and vinegar clears a drain, and then watch them have fun creating volcanoes as they freshen sinks and tubs.
• Let the older kids mix target practice and window cleaning. They’ll have a blast soaking dirty panes with squirt guns loaded with a solution of half vinegar and half water.
Power Tip: Newspapers work well for polishing up streak-free windows, but coffee filters come in handy too. Both lint-free materials leave glass sparkling.
4. Inspire the Whole Team
• Stay flexible as you assign different jobs. If the kids want to trade chores, let them. If they have ideas about how to make a job easier, encourage their creativity.
• Agree to a schedule so that you can take a break every hour or so. Use that time to treat the team to quick snacks that help recharge energy levels.
• Play plenty of music. Let the kids listen to their own tunes with ear buds, or put a family favorite on the home music system. Encourage dancing while cleaning.
• Make it clear that the family gets a great reward for a job well done. You might splurge on a movie-night out or add a new video game to the console collection.
We’re Always Ready
This year, get the job done without heavy sighs and exaggerated eye rolling. Don’t think of it as a duty. Instead, approach spring cleaning as an opportunity for the whole family to work together and have fun too.
If you decide to take it easy this year, we offer floor-to-ceiling spring cleaning services across all of Chicago and the suburbs. We’re always ready to back you up with the best residential cleaning available, so just give us a call here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba.