3 Ways to Encourage Your Kids to Spring Clean

Spring cleaning is an annual task that almost everyone dreads. Fortunately, spring cleaning can be the perfect time to help your kids develop a good work ethic and enlist extra hands for the job.

Try these ideas to get your kids involved in your spring cleaning efforts and teach them the importance of hard work:

1. Play an Easter Game. It would be rather cruel to enlist the help of your kids on Easter Sunday. However, you can use the day prior to Easter or the day after Easter to entice them into spring cleaning by playing an Easter themed game.

  • Hide a few chocolate Easter eggs under piles of clothes and shoe boxes in their closets and tell them that if they can neatly pass folded clothes to you to put into the storage bins, they’ll find several Easter chocolates to munch on.
  • To your kids, it will be an Easter egg hunt. To you, it’ll simply be a way to start a new spring cleaning tradition while creating a mutually beneficial situation for both you and your children. Ensure that all the candy is accounted for, lest you have a surprise during next year’s cleaning.

2. Be honest. Older children, especially teens, won’t be tempted by a few pieces of chocolate. Rather than dressing the day up as an Easter egg hunt, be honest. Tell the older kids that you need help getting some spring cleaning done and offer a fun ending to your busy day of cleaning.

  • Offer to end the day by getting their choice of takeout and renting a movie of their choosing. Not only will this give your family time to bond, but you’ll also get some spring cleaning done. In all aspects, this is a winning situation!
  • Refrain from approaching your teens the day of your spring cleaning. They may already have plans. Approach them a few days in advance and set up a day that is convenient for everyone involved.
  • Older children can handle bigger tasks. It’s best to let them choose a task (from a list that you’ve created) and tackle it on their own. By doing so, they’ll feel as if they had a say in the task at hand.

3. Rewards. Kids of all ages respond well to rewards. As mentioned above, a piece of chocolate or a slice of pizza will help entice your kids into spring cleaning. However, a larger reward will have your kids jumping for joy on the day of your spring cleaning adventure.

  • Offer to purchase your child a game for their gaming system if they help you spring clean the house and keep their room clean for a month thereafter.
  • Sweeten the deal for yourself by offering them a subscription to GameFly, a game delivery service which operates much like Netflix. Offer the subscription in exchange for spring cleaning, and offer to keep the subscription active as long as their room is kept tidy and their chores are done.
  • A subscription to GameFly can cost as little as $5.95 per month. Younger kids may enjoy a subscription to Pogo.com (also $5.95 per month) or even a personal subscription to Netflix ($7.99 per month).

Remember, there’s a difference between bribing and incentivizing. Incentivizing consists of providing a reward as motivation for completing a safe and beneficial task.  In psychological talk, we call it contingency management.

Kids respond tremendously well to all types of rewards and only you can judge what rewards will properly motivate yours. Treat your kid to a reward and earn yourself an extra set of hands for spring cleaning.

Living a Simple Life

Hammock and simple lifeThe title is one that can truly be applied to your life.  Our lives can be much simpler if we learn to merely focus on what is more important. As women we tend to add a multitude of things to our lives because we are known as multi-taskers but we need to learn how to trim down on the obligations we take on.  When we can accomplish that small task we will be much happier.

Now in order to accomplish a simpler life we can apply some of the following tips:

  • Reduce the Clutter - you will be amazed and how much more at ease you will feel when you have reduced the unnecessary clutter.  Truly assess the clothes in your closet and instead of thinking that the style will come back or that you are planning to lose weight, remove the items you no longer use.  The same goes for the piles of magazines with the design ideas or recipes you hoped to use.  Instead, rip out the pages, and place in a folder and recycle the magazines.
  • Electronics/Gadgets – It’s amazing how many remote controls we will accumulate.  Consider obtaining one that will work for all your items such as television, DVR, DVD player,  stereo,  etc.  Have you looked at your kitchen counters lately?  How many of those appliances do you truly use?  Consider removing the ones you don’t use and enjoy a clean and clutter-free kitchen counter.
  • Using a calendar – sounds easy enough but you’d be surprised how actually keeping track of all your appointments will help you better assess your schedule.  This is also an opportune time to re-evaluate all the activities you or your family are involved in.  Do you truly have to attend each and every activity?  Sometimes we as moms feel that we must entertain our children with many activities when in reality they are much happier staying home.  Removing the excessive activities will help you and your family relax, enjoy your family time and have less stress.
  • Learn to say ‘No’ – this may be perhaps the most important tip of all.  Again we as women and moms, fall prey to every invitation and feel obligated to participate.  It is much easier for you and your family if you learn the simple word , ‘No’.  If that is difficult to say, try this phrase- ‘I simply can’t say yes to that’.  Notice how you are not coming out and say the word ‘No’ but you are not saying ‘Yes’ either.
  • Make time for you – it is very important to make time for you.  It can simply consist of taking a bubble bath or setting time aside to read your favorite book or magazine.  Whatever it is that will make you relax and avoid all the craziness that may be going on around you, it is wise for your health and the sake of those around you.  If you need to get up 30 minutes earlier or stay up longer in the evenings, do it! You will see the changes in you, your family and those around you, when you implement this simple yet very important tip.

Living life simply is one that is very rewarding. When you do so, you eliminate many of the useless cares and are able to focus on what’s really important to you. Give it a try!