*Post written in collaboration with Argos.
As a parent, I know too well the struggle of trying to keep a house clean and tidy when there are children involved.
Whether you are a stay at home parent trying to keep things in order during the day, or a working parent coming home and trying to get the house sorted, it can be tough. Real tough. Going through the house from room to room tidying, only for your children to follow behind making more mess. Mopping the floor to find big muddy prints from the kids and/ or pets soon after. Tiny figures/ building bricks/ any other fiddly toy (why do they make them so small these days?!) managing to find their way in to every corner and crevice of the house (and secretly being tempted to just vacuum them up). I love my children to bits, but boy, are they messy.
There is always so much cleaning and housework to do in a family home, that if you don’t manage things properly, it can start to get on top of you. No one wants to spend all of their time off trying to catch up on housework, so it’s a good idea to get everyone to pitch in so things can get done much quicker. I know sometimes that is easier said than done, and requests to tidy up often fall on deaf ears. But there are ways to get the whole family involved in (and enjoying being a part of) the cleaning routine.
My top tips for cleaning with kids –
Break Tasks into Manageable Sections
Asking a five year old to ‘clean their bedroom’ will probably result in very little getting done because the task is overwhelming. Even as adults, we look at large tasks and wonder where to begin. Breaking up the cleaning tasks in to smaller, more manageable sections will make things much easier. Instructions like ‘tidy the lego in to the box’ or ‘put all of the clothes in to the washing basket’ help children workout exactly what is expected of them. Older children could be given a checklist of each of the tasks involved.
Have a Routine
Randomly announcing that you want the children to do chores is going to be met with groans, so it’s good to have a routine and keep things pretty regular. Set aside a bit of time each day and dedicate it to cleaning tasks. Younger children could be given ten minutes a day to put away all of their toys before bed, or older children could stack the dishwasher each day when they get home from school. If you do something every day, it will become second nature.
Divide Cleaning Tasks
Make a big list of all of the cleaning tasks that need to be done around the house, and then let kids decide what they want to do. The way we work it is we had a big pin board, split in to two sections. On the left, we have chores to be done, and on the right we have completed chores. Each day my children have 3 tasks to complete. They have the freedom to choose from any of the cleaning jobs on the left of the board, which they move to the right once they’ve completed. The kids love having the freedom to choose their own chores!
Going in the opposite direction, you can take the decision away and add an element of pot luck. Throw all of the jobs in to a big jar, and let the kids pick them out. You can make this fun by adding in things like ‘extra time on the iPad’ or ’50p extra pocket money’ so kids could also pick out a treat from the lucky dip!
Make Things Fun
Children find cleaning boring, so make it fun! Get out the buckets and pretend to be pirates scrubbing the deck. The kids will love it, and you’ll get clean floors out of it too, it’s a win win! If you struggle to get the kids to pick up after themselves, turn it in to a game and see how quickly they can get everything back in to the toy box. If they beat the timer, they win a prize.
When we’re having a big cleaning session, we like to put on the radio and turn it up loud, dancing around the house while we work. It’s a great workout, too!
Give the Kids ‘Grown Up Tasks’
I remember being fascinated with the vacuum cleaner when I was younger, and my children are the same. Our vacuum cleaner is too big for the kids to use, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help out. We often attach the smaller turbo attachment to our Vax vacuum cleaner and let Neil do the stairs, or Caitlin do the sofa. They think it’s great that they get the responsibility of the ‘bigger jobs’.
If you want some more great tips on getting the kids involved in the cleaning, head on over to Argos where you can find more fun family cleaning ideas by clicking here.
Argos would like to see how you enjoy cleaning as a family. Share a photo of you and your family having fun with the cleaning and you could win a fantastic prize! Argos are offering one lucky family £250 of Argos vouchers to spend on an item from the floor-care range.
To enter, simply share your photo via social media with the hashtag #CleaningWithKidsComp
Three photos will be nominated by myself and two other judges to go to a final round, and a winner will then be selected by an independent judge.
Photo entries can be submitted via Twitter and Instagram, remember to use the #CleaningWithKidsComp hashtag so that we can see your entry. Remember to tag in @blogmummylauren on Twitter, and @bloggermummylauren on Instagram!
For full terms and conditions of this competition, click here. By entering, you agree that you have read and understood the terms and conditions.
So, what are you waiting for, share your fun, family cleaning photos with the #CleaningWithKidsComp and you could win this fantastic prize. Good luck!
Do you have any great tips for getting the family involved in the cleaning? I’d love to hear them, let me know in the comments below!