Get kids to clean!
It's easy with these 8 cleaning tips...

Are you trying to get kids to clean? Unsuccessfully? Follow these cleaning tips and you will have an easy time of getting your kids on board now to share the household cleaning.

1. Be consistent!
Once kids know what they're cleaning (their bedroom or a zone of the house) they will know the expectations from the cleaning checklist for that room.

2. Be predictable!
Have a designated time frame to clean together as a family. Once I chose a time and stuck to it, my kids began to accept it and even look forward to it (really!)

3. Be a part of the team!
Kids need to see that cleaning is not just kid stuff. Most kids emulate adults, so guess what? If you clean with kids alongside you, and it's a fun time, then they are more likely to make a habit out of being tidy and enjoy taking pride in their space.

4. Clean for yourselves not just for guests!
Do your kids see a flurry of tidying and cleaning that doesn't happen unless you expect company? In our family, we clean Friday afternoon in anticipation of the weekend. It takes some time for kids to have an intrinsic desire to live in a tidy and clean space, but if you model that cleaning is only for when you have company, it will be longer. Honor your home and your family by keeping your house clean so you yourselves can enjoy the fruits of your own work.

5. Practice what you preach!
Keep your own space tidy. This one can be a challenge for me personally. Which room falls apart the easiest in my own house? I'm embarrassed to say my own bedroom. I tend to stash stuff in there (unfolded laundry, for example) if I'm in a hurry to tidy up. During our Friday clean, however, I do my bedroom and bathroom first, and I'm sure to say “I want my own room clean because it just feels better.” Before too long, you may notice your child noticing their own messy room.

6. Realize the power of cool new stuff!
This is a big one. If you want to get kids to clean, it's a lot easier with the right tools. Kids are also motivated by new things, though, so in combination with the other tips, this can be the jump start you need.

Buy a little cleaning caddy for each child, or for each room/zone. The novelty of owning new gloves, or an apron, or a spray bottle with a mild cleaner can really ignite enthusiasm in a young person.

7. Have fun!
Put loud music on and let them choose. Make some silly rules for everyone to follow, like you have to run outside of your zone. Get creative! The sillier the better.

8. When they're done, check their work!
This is to keep them accountable, but also to cultivate pride in their work. It's great to get kids to clean, but remember that your ultimate goal is to cultivate good habits. Use it as an opportunity to celebrate their work, however modest. Try to resist the temptation to clean over what they've done, even though it undoubtedly will not be as clean as if you had done it. Remember your goal of their participation and buy-in to the household.

If the checklist isn't complete, remind them to go through the checklist find what's missing without your help – that way, they learn to evaluate their own work. If they're totally slacking, here is my best idea to motivate kids. You could also use the games to make it fun. So don't despair! You can get kids to clean and participate in the household work. It can be fun and rewarding for everyone, resulting not only in shared work, but mutual extra free time! Go for it!

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