Tidy Tuesday: Getting Kids To Clean

Since the kids are on summer vacation (or might be soon in your case), the house may be getting unorganized and messy faster than it did when they were in school. Getting kids to do chores sometimes is more effort than just doing it yourself, but worth the reward if they are picking up good habits.

Laundry in our house is always an issue. If it isn’t piled up in dirty laundry baskets, it’s piled up waiting to be put away. Making the trip upstairs to put it away seems like a chore on it’s own so is often skipped. I know this needs to be changed, and I plan to get the kids involved.

Starting yesterday we came up with a plan to tackle the laundry. Every day, somewhere shortly after everyone is fully awake and had breakfast, we are putting away a few clothes each. Since both kids have a horrible habit of going outside for a few minutes, coming back in wet or muddy, and changing clothes, this adds to the laundry. So we’ve decided that whenever they change their clothes for whatever reason (or use extra towels making several trips to the pool during the day), they have to put away extra clothes. They’ll slowly realize making more laundry is extra work for mom and extra work for them, too.

Putting away their clothes doesn’t come without a reward though - each trip gets a dime in their chore jar. There’s other things around the house they can do for extra money as well. One of the easiest is taking our pop bottles that we toss under the sink and putting them in a bag (in our state we return cans and bottles for money). Another is for my 8 yr old to take the trash to the curb each week. My 5 yr old can clear the table, although I’m rethinking this one after she broke a bowl dropping it into the sink. Oops!

In addition the the laundry, we’re trying to get into the habit of doing one extra chore a day that doesn’t take too long (I do want them to enjoy their summer after all! I was a bit spoiled and never had to do any chores……as a result my organizing skills aren’t too great and I’m not the best housekeeper. I’d like them to be taught different without robbing their childhood).

Depending on the age, there’s a wide range of chores kids can do. Some of the following include:

- Laundry or Putting Away Their Clothes (as mentioned in detail)
- Loading Dishwasher, Putting Away Dishes
- Washing Windows (little kids think this is fun, but make sure you have safe window cleaner and stress the importance of being careful with cleaners)
- Sweeping (I’ve found they can sweep alright, but you may need to help them scoop it up)
- Just plain cleaning (hand them a wet rag and let them loose!)
- Picking up (especially their rooms - sometimes we work on both rooms all together to make it go faster. It doesn’t seem so overwhelming this way.)

Those are just a few ideas for chores kids can do for money, or just to keep your house better organized. Before you know it they’ll be wanting the house to look nice right along with you and have good solid habits!

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