New Year’s Cleaning for You and the Kids!

New Year’s Cleaning for You and the Kids!

“New Year, New Me” and all its glory typically includes pantry purges, a detox or two, regular trips to the gym and the dreaded January “spring” clean. January cleaning is an annual task that almost everyone hates. Fortunately, January 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 January cleaning efforts and teach them the importance of hard work:

1. Turn cleaning into a game

Send your kids on a “leftover Christmas’s presents hunt” a few days/week early. Hide a few stocking stuffer type items 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 leftover Christmas presents from Santa to play with.

  • To your kids, it will be a treasure hunt. To you, it’ll simply be a way to start a new January cleaning tradition while creating a mutually beneficial situation for both you and your children. Ensure that all the gifts are accounted for, lest you have a surprise during next year’s cleaning.

If you don’t want to use small presents, create tokens for your kids to “find” while cleaning. At the end of January cleaning, they can then turn in those tokens for prizes {books, music, a sweet treat, etc.}.

2. Be honest and plan ahead

Older children, especially teens, won’t be tempted by a few little presents. Rather than dressing the day up as a treasure hunt, be honest. Tell the older kids that you need help getting some cleaning and purging 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 cleaning done. In all aspects, this is a winning situation!
  • Be sure to let everybody know about the cleaning day well in advance. Your older children may need time to clear their schedules in order to be available to participate.
  • 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 new book from their wishlist 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 a favorite online game or iPad app. 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.

Remember, there’s a difference between bribing and incentivizing. Incentivizing consists of providing a reward as motivation for completing a safe and beneficial task. 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.


Join Single Moms Planet mailing list and stay in the know.



    Single Mom Planet is the only organization solely dedicated to the concept of Helping Single Moms, Help Themselves. Through interactive training & programs, Single Moms are provided the tools to receive job training, mentorship, scholarship programs, health beauty & fitness classes, low cost day care referrals, and small business seminars. We help Single Moms create a better life for their children & themselves. Empower A Single Mom, Empower The World!
    Leave a Reply