Ever feel more like a maid than a parent? To change your family’s attitude toward cleaning and give yourself a break, try implementing a family cleaning schedule. It is time to get everyone to do their fair share. Additionally, I share 6 useful tips for raising a tidy family.
You go from room to room, cleaning up after your kids and making the house look nice, and by the time you’re done they’ve messed it up again. Many parents make the mistake of doing all the household chores themselves, either because they want them done a certain way or because they are tired of battles with the kids. However, this can leave you feeling worn out and unappreciated. What’s worse? It can leave your children with a sense of entitlement. That is why you will love using a handy dandy family cleaning schedule so everyone is on board helping out.
How To Get The Whole Family Cleaning
A family cleaning schedule is just what you need to make sure everyone pitches in to get the job done. It is a good idea to customize the family cleaning schedule to suit your family. You may be a super tidy mom and feel it is important to do daily cleaning tasks. Or you may be more like me. Everyone pick up after yourself as you go, this includes a daily clean in the kitchen, and everything else can wait till the weekend!
Printable Family Cleaning Schedule
Here’s how to make your own family cleaning schedule (or you can just print mine!)
First, make a list of the cleaning tasks.
Which cleaning tasks do you consider essential on a daily basis and on a weekly basis? Write them all down.
Second, assign tasks.
Then you can assign tasks to suit the age of the family members or you can allow each family member to pick tasks. You set the rules such as each family member will do 5 tasks each week (for example). Have them place their initials by the task when it is complete. First come, first serve for tasks or as assigned.
Third, set the deadline.
You set the timeline. Decide whether cleaning items can be done any time throughout the week or if they need to all be done a group clean up time.
To make things as easy as possible for you, I have included my family cleaning schedule template for you. Here is the weekly cleaning schedule printable pdf.
You can try out our free printable family cleaning schedule template and make adjustments as needed. Having a checklist cleaning schedule helps make expectations clear as well as providing accountability. I suggest having each family member use their initials by the check mark space so that you can see if anyone is having to carry too much of the cleaning load.
Tips For Raising A Tidy Family
Don’t worry about being a perfectionist. Trying to keep things pristine will just stress you out and cause your kids to dread cleanup time. At some point, good enough is good enough. Focus more on establishing habits and positive feelings toward cleaning than on making everything look perfect.
Make Cleaning Fun
A huge part of the success of chore time is the attitude you take. First, find a different name for it. “Chore Time” sounds boring and hard; use a more neutral word (like “Cleanup Time”) or create a fun, unique name. When you break out the family cleaning schedule, play music and stay positive.
To raise a tidy family, associate cleanup time with cleaning games, music, and fun. Turn on some upbeat music and dance while you put clothes and books away. Strap Swiffer pads onto your children’s feet and let them “skate” around the kitchen to clean the floor. Tell kids that the toys are snakes or sharks and they have to wrestle them back to their spots. The more fun children have, the less whining you’ll hear and the happier everyone will be.
Use Positive Reinforcement
No, I am not talking about rewards. I am talking about positive framing and kind words. To ease the transition from nagging your kids to watching them clean on their own, help them recognize the positive feelings associated with cleaning. When you all finish cleaning up, point out how much better the house feels. If you ingrain a sense of happiness associated with a clean space, kids will start to notice and dislike untidiness. Good feelings are a powerful motivator, and eventually most kids will tidy up without being asked. Notice their tidy habits and praise them for being responsible.
Keep Chores Short
Dragging out cleaning time is a sure way to make kids grumpy and resistant. To keep young children happy and get the job done fast, turn cleaning into a competition. Set a timer and see who can pick up the most in 5 minutes. Or challenge younger kids to see who can pick up the most blue items, the most red, the biggest ones, etc. in a certain amount of time. When kids see that they can have fun and quickly move to the next activity, they’ll put up less of a fight.
Allow older kids to do some cleaning now and some later if they find that helps them to work better. Stress that they can do their items off the family cleaning schedule when they please, as long as they get them done by the deadline you set.
Work As A Team
Kids should definitely learn to clean up their own messes and not treat mom or dad as a maid service. But kids aren’t born knowing how to clean! Cheerfully pitch in and clean together as you teach your children how to do things properly. Not only will your kids be learning how to clean better, it will be more fun for them as they get used to the cleaning process. Raising a tidy family is doesn’t happen without you you sometimes showing them how as you clean together.
Organize And Declutter
This is one of the most important tips for raising a tidy family: organize and de-clutter! The fewer items you have to put away, the easier the family cleaning schedule will be to complete. Go through your child’s room with him and get rid of any toys and clothes he hasn’t used in the last 6 months. Establish a habit of going through your kids’ stuff every few months. Make sure everything you keep has a place.
Teach your kids the “one-in-one-out” rule: every time a toy comes in the house, one goes out. This will keep clutter to a minimum and make the next organizing session much smoother. Plus, kids might think twice about asking for a new toy if they know they’ll have to get rid of one.
Lead By Example
Kids learn as much or more by your example than from the things you say. So do your best to be an example of tidiness. Keep your space neat, avoid complaining about cleaning, and pick up after yourself before moving on to the next activity.
Attempting all of these strategies at once may be intimidating and frustrating. Instead, incorporate these cleaning tips into your family routine one at a time, and soon cleaning time won’t be such a chore and you will find raising a tidy family very rewarding. Be sure to introduce the family cleaning schedule and customize it to fit your family. Feel free to share your tips for raising a tidy family in the comments!