Spring is a season of sunshine, blooming flowers, and discovering the clutter and dust accumulated from a winter inside your gorgeous home. You may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of whipping your space into shape for spring and summer entertaining — and even if you've had your offspring help with the chores in years past, you might not look forward to poking and prodding them again. Take a deep breath! Read on for a few tips to streamline your spring cleaning by involving your children in effective and developmentally-appropriate ways.
Declutter, Purge, Organize
A traditional part of spring cleaning is the idea of getting rid of excess stuff — and kids can do this too! Sharing is already a skill we teach children from toddlerhood, so use those same ideas to help them learn to purge toys. By preschool age, children are cognitively ready to categorize items into groups, so use a simple scale by asking, "Is this something you play with every day, once in a while, or almost never?" (Or simply check out what's at the very bottom of the toybox). Who knew that spring cleaning could be a valuable lesson in building compassion?
Intentionally plan time to teach your children each step of the cleaning process. It may be tempting to jump in and complete a task for them — especially when they're tiny — but that robs them of the ability to build self-sufficiency. Let them make mistakes and praise the things they do well, setting manageable goals so they feel confident in their work. Hold them to age-appropriate standards so that they can gauge for themselves when the toilet is adequately clean or whether they need to wipe down the table one more time. And, yes, you'll have to adjust your work pace for now — but as spring cleaning rolls around again and again, they'll be ready to go!
Let Them Have Fun
As sneaky as it sounds, remember that your kids don't know that cleaning the house probably isn't the most fun activity you could ever do together! Help them associate the cleaning process (not just the end result) with positive emotions. Put on music and dance, turn cleaning into a game or competition, tell jokes, and be sure to take plenty of snack breaks. Let them pretend that duster is a magic wand or that they're racing down the ice like Olympic curlers while they mop the hallway.
The good news? The flexible open floorplans of Embassy Homes mean that cleaning is far easier than when you have multitudes of corners and small spaces requiring detailed attention. The even better news? Your Embassy Home is so gorgeous that we guarantee visitors will never notice if there’s one tiny drip of melted ice cream on the granite kitchen island from your post-cleaning celebrations. If you play your cards right, your child will be looking forward to the next time they get to wipe down the window panes! Come for the nature and stay for the neighbors.