Spring Cleaning with Kids

Spring cleaning with your kids. Did your blood pressure just rise and your head shake “no!”??? Come read our tips for spring cleaning (or anytime cleaning) with kids. Make memories together while you get your house in tip-top shape!

More resources for getting and keeping your house clean: DIY Cleaning Binder Printables + Spring Cleaning Checklist –  How to Create a Cleaning Schedule –  Easy Spring Cleaning Tips for Outdoor Spaces

Kids And Spring Cleaning, From Remodelaholic

 

1. Work together

While divide-and-conquer can be a great cleaning strategy, sending a child to do a task on their own might feel like a punishment to them. Team up to work on one area together. Give them a job within their reach (like dusting baseboards or wiping walls) while you work up higher.
Spring Cleaning With Kids From Remodelaholic

2. Make it a game

Channel your inner Mary Poppins, toss in a spoonful of sugar “and *snap* the job’s a game!”
  • Crown a Spring Cleaning Queen or King (with a dollar store crown) who gets to choose the next area to clean and give “orders”.
  • If you can do it safely, put the kids on your shoulders to get the cobwebs from the corners and dust ceiling fans, molding above windows, or high shelves.
  • As you purge a closet, play dress-up with your cast-offs. Kids love when parents dress up.
  • If your kids handle competition well, race to get jobs done, emphasizing that the job must be done well to win. Make sure the kids win every once in a while.

3. Crank the tunes

An upbeat song makes any task better. Take turns choosing the next song or race to see if you can finish the current chore before the song is over. Try this highly rated Bluetooth Speaker from Target to keep the tunes with you in every room!
Alternative: A good kids’ podcast! We love Circle Round Folktales and Tumble Science Podcasts for Kids

4. Dance!

Once that music is on, move your body!  Dance with the broom or mop or duster. And any cleaning tool you have can become a microphone for singing while you dance!
Pictured here are my kiddos with a Swiffer Sweep and Trap. (It’s been replaced by the Swiffer Sweep and Vac.) These products are light enough, even little kiddos can try it out… and believe me they loved it!
Cleaning with kids can be fun! From Remodelaholic

5. Make it special

Bring in something new, like kid-sized cleaning gloves or special dusting “wands”. Get your cleaning garb on with matching aprons or a bandana for each family member. Let the little ones do things that they normally wouldn’t get to do, like using the spray bottles themselves or climbing up a sturdy step stool (under supervision) to dust or wash windows for spring cleaning.
P&G and Home Depot Cleaning with kids for Spring (19 of 19)

6. Incentivize!

Even as an adult, I sometimes need an incentive to make myself finish everything on my list. Set reasonable goals for what you want to accomplish during your spring cleaning, break it into manageable parts, and then brainstorm with your little helpers what reward you’ll receive for finishing each part. (Older kids can manage a larger reward at the end of a big day of cleaning.) Our printable cleaning binder pack has blank lists for you to fill with tasks, then check them off as you work toward your reward.
DIY Cleaning Binder Printable Set, Spring Cleaning Checklist, And Kids Chore Chart @Remodelaholic (8)

7. Work in spurts

You know how sometimes you get more cleaning done in your house in the 15 minutes before someone comes over than you do the rest of the week? Put that cleaning adrenaline to work and keep your little helpers engaged by working in shorter spurts. Clean as much as you can for 15 minutes and then take a break. Repeat until your house is sparkling clean! Keep track of the time with an adorable kitchen timer.

8. Remember, nothing is too small!

Don’t forget that little ones can be happy doing something small.  Give them a dampened paper towel and have them wipe off drawer fronts or surface clean their toys. Point out that their little fingers are better than yours for getting into the smallest spaces!
P&G and Home Depot Cleaning with kids for Spring (8 of 19)
Don’t miss this: Editable Magnetic Chore Chart for Kids

9. Let them help purge toys and switch out clothes

A big part of spring cleaning is getting rid of the things that you don’t want, need, or love anymore.
Toys
Parting with toys can be hard for little ones, but having a say in the matter helps ease the pain. Here’s a simple process to try:
  1. Set a goal for how many toys they need to get rid of (8 toys, or this box full) and agree that anything that’s broken must go.
  2. Divide their toys into piles: what they want to keep, what’s broken, and what they can give away.
  3. Talk it out.
    • Remind kids that when donating toys, another child will be so happy to have a “new” toy, just like when the toy was new to your child.
    • Explain how blessed they are to have such a large “keep” pile and point out all the fun they can have with those toys.
    • Discuss the growth your child has made and what he or she has learned from the toys. Remind your kids that new toys will be wanted as they continue to grow and learn new things.

Clothes

Part of spring cleaning is switching out winter clothes for summer. Kids can:
  1. Pair up gloves or mittens and winter socks.
  2. Help give the winter clothes a good wash. Kids can empty any pockets, zip up zippers, and check for rips or stains as well as add detergent to the washer or push the start button.
  3. Sort clothes into piles: what will still fit next year, what will be too small, what can be given away and what’s worn out or damaged. Apply the “talk it out” strategies (from above) if kids resist giving away/throwing out clothes.
  4. Fold the clean clothes and place them in a sturdy latching storage bin.
Spring Cleaning With Kids, Winter Clothes, From Remodelaholic

10. When motivation wanes….

If your kids are having a hard time staying motivated, help them do one thing that creates a truly noticeable change, such as:
  • wiping fingerprints off a really dirty door (this would be the garage door in our house!)
  • dusting decorations on a shelf that rarely gets noticed
  • cleaning the glass on framed wall art
  • washing the top of the refrigerator
  • sorting books by size or color and putting them back on the shelf

Point out the huge difference their work made and thank them for helping your house look and smell and feel soooo nice!

Best of luck to you on your spring cleaning with kids journey! Stay positive and enjoy this time with your kids. Teach them that cleaning can be fun!

More on kids from Remodelaholic:

 

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Ten Tips For Cleaning With Kids From Remodelaholic
Originally published 04.22.2014 // Updated 02.19.2021

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12 Comments

  1. I love these tips. While I don’t have little ones, it’s good to think about purging and cleaning even the little stuff myself. Also, I’m loving that rug in the last photo. Is it recent? Please share more info! Thanks!

  2. Love #6. haha. When it comes to cleaning…I need bribed too.
    It’s never to early to start with the littles. My niece bribes her little 2-yr. old with chocolate
    teddy grahams. Works for me. 😉

  3. Let the kids help while they are young and when they really like to do it! Once they are teenagers it won’t be so easy….lol! Great tips!

  4. Love to be able to open the windows wide and let in the fresh air. The smell of everything fresh and clean is my incentive.

  5. Cleaning the windows is a great way to bring in Spring. All that Spring sunshine shines a little brighter with clean windows.

  6. After I finish spring cleaning I am planning to buy some colorful home decor to add some color to our home.

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