Messy kids? Four achievable cleaning tips to teach kids at any age

Home 18 Apr 24 By

Eurasian three year old girl who is wearing pajamas gives her mom a high-five after helping her do the laundry at home.

Turn chores into child’s play with our expert cleaning tips for kids – perfect for busy parents seeking harmony at home!

By Simone Tsigolis, Founder and CEO of Jetlag Remedy

Teaching children to clean isn’t solely about having an extra pair of hands to help around the house (although a great bonus!), but instils good habits and self-sufficiency that will carry into teenage and adulthood. 

You can start by incorporating small, digestible cleaning tasks into their children’s daily routine, to help them learn the value of taking care of their home and respecting shared spaces. Additionally, these lessons in discipline and responsibility extend well beyond cleanliness and lay the foundation for other life skills, including time management and organisation. 

Kid-friendly cleaning: 4 tips to make tidying fun and rewarding!

Unsure where to start? Here are four simple tips to follow to encourage your children – at any age – to participate in keeping your home clean and comfortable.

1. Make cleaning fun for kids

The simplest way to motivate your children to participate in the cleaning and maintenance of the home is to make it fun and enjoyable. It’s important for kids to recognise cleaning should be a habit that doesn’t need to feel like a chore they dread doing. Consider playing their favourite music or turning the activity into a game. For instance, whomever cleans their designated area or completes their task first, wins a prize, or a prize or toy that can only be found when organising or cleaning a certain room effectively. Similarly incentives can go a long way to motivating children. A reward system whereby they are given 30-minutes of screentime, pocket money or snacks can shift their perception on cleaning and encourage them to participate. 

2. Make cleaning part of their routine for kids

As humans, we crave routine and so do our kids. Use visuals, such as a diagram, checklist or table to visually show tasks to be completed in a given day or week (and those that have been completed) to help your children better understand their role and what to expect. Assigning tasks each child is responsible for creates clear expectations and goals and sets up a routine for them to follow throughout the week. By making cleaning routine, it reduces decision-making, reinforces positive habits and instills a sense of responsibility and independence in your child. They will feel valued knowing they have control and ownership over tasks and that you trust them to complete them. 

Headshot: Simone Tsigolis is the Founder and CEO of Jetlag Remedy
Simone Tsigolis is the Founder and CEO of Jetlag Remedy (Image: Supplied)

3. Keep cleaning tasks for kids small

Dirt, mess and disorganisation can be overwhelming for anyone, and this applies to your kids too! It is important to start small. Rather than assign large and daunting cleaning projects to your child, break these up into smaller, manageable tasks. For instance, rather than cleaning or reorganising their entire bedroom, they could start by making the bed everyday and putting toys away at the end of the day. As your children grow, they can take on larger tasks, such as washing the dishes and vacuuming.

4. Teamwork makes the dream work

While it is important to teach your children to be responsible and independent, cleaning together can make the process feel easier, less tedious, more manageable and fun. It can also make cleaning feel less of a burden for you as a parent and a task you are solely responsible for. By working together, your children learn the importance of the entire family contributing to the cleanliness and maintenance of the home and will become more thoughtful and respectful of the spaces you share.

Simone Tsigolis is the Founder and CEO of Jetlag Remedy, a growing leader offering premier, value-added housekeeping and cleaning services to create more mental freedom for busy Australians. Simone saw a gap in the market for caring, passionate cleaners who would walk in and get the job done (plus more). Dedicated to cleanliness and a commitment to delivering 5-star customer service, Simone has guided her business on a journey of growth and success.

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