This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. Click through to download your free copy of my 7 page printable set of chore charts and daily routine charts for kids. This post also includes helpful tips to make cleaning easier, and ideas for getting kids to help with the housework.
I have a little secret to share with you today. I found one way to get my boys interested in housework. I got them their own cleaning basket. Pictured here you’ll see two versions of our family’s cleaning baskets, my blue basket filled with all the cleaning supplies I need to clean, and my son’s green basket which contains a spray water bottle, sponge, and dish towels.
At his young age, my four-year old can’t really help me clean, but I think giving him his own basket is a great way to help him feel more involved. I want him to feel like he’s making a contribution to the housework. My son does not clean with any chemicals, he only imitates cleaning at this point. My hope is to get him interested in helping with the housework at an early age so that when he is old enough to truly help, it won’t be a chore. I picked up our baskets at the dollar store and I purchased the rest of our cleaning supplies at Kroger – King Soopers. These were on the same aisle with brooms & mops, light bulbs, and laundry supplies. #CollectiveBias #InstaClean
If you find yourself with only 10 minutes to clean, having a basket filled with everything you need to complete a quick clean-up helps cut down on time spent looking for supplies.
Tutorial: What I keep in my 10 Minutes to Clean, Cleaning Basket
- Windex® Crystal Rain™ (I like Crystal Rain – it smells nice)
- Pledge® Multi Surface Rainshower®
- Pledge® Lemon Clean
- Small broom and pan
- Small cleaning towel
- Cleaning brush
- 4-8 Paper towels – folded
- Cleaning gloves
With this short list of supplies I was able to clean the granite countertops in my kitchen, my stainless steel microwave, my gas burner stovetop, my wooden bar stools, and sweep up bits of debris off the hardwood floor. Whew!
A short 15-second Instagram video where I’ll show you what’s in my son’s basket.
I’m going to keep a 10 Minutes to Clean cleaning basket in every major cleaning location in my home. For me, that’s the master and guest bathrooms, and the kitchen. Having the supplies on hand in each room means I can grab a quick ten minutes to clean when I have time, and I won’t need to go looking for paper towels, rags, gloves or anything else. Ahhh – some order to my cleaning routine!
Free Printable Chore Charts
Speaking of routines, I’ve been thinking about my four year-old and how my husband and I would like to give him some additional responsibilities. We’ve taught him to take his dish to the sink after each meal, and he’s usually really good about keeping things off the floor in his room. I created some daily routine and chore charts, and I’m sharing them here to help anyone who would like to start helping kids track their daily efforts. The daily routine charts consist of five pages and the chore charts consist of two pages. I’ve also included a blank template with chore and routine images so you can customize your chart to meet your needs.
There are almost no words on the daily routine or chore charts. I picked graphics that had images of kids completing their chores to make it easy for my son to know which step in our routine, or which chore is on the list. He’s too young for many of the chores, but I wanted these charts to be flexible enough for parents to use with older children as well. Since he’s so young, we’ll likely use only one or two of the daily routine charts at first.
My boys love stickers so my plan is to add a sticker to their daily routine chart every time they complete a task. Once they fill in an entire page, they get a treat. They might get their favorite book or puzzle, or get an extra half-hour outside on the playground. I think this is a great way to teach accountability and responsibility early-on. Again, I don’t have any huge expectations, I’m just introducing my son to some new concepts that will help us stay on track for his future growth.
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More Tips to get Kids interested in Helping with the Housework
- Sing a song – we sing “Clean up, Clean up… clap-clap, clap-clap-clap.” This works when you have a two and a four year-old.
- If one child starts helping I’ll call him by name and tell him thank you. I also let him know what a great job he’s doing. The other one usually jumps in to help out shortly thereafter.
- If my boys resist cleaning, I’ll offer to help them by putting their toys in a box in the garage. I’ll say, “You need to clean up these blocks or mommy’s going to clean them up by putting them in the garage.” They already know that when a toy is banished to the garage they may not see it again for a day or two.
Tips to Make Cleaning Easier
Cleaning is a task that has to be done. A few simple tips for making cleaning less like a chore and a bit more fun.
- Put on comfortable clothes and shoes
- Tune into your favorite radio station, or songs on your iPod
- Empty the dishwasher and reload with any new dishes (if you’re working in the kitchen)
- Clear the clutter (I’ll just put things in laundry baskets and hide them away if I only have a few minutes before company arrives)
- Put on your favorite apron
- Keep things like gloves and hair ties handy in case you need them
- Grab your 10 Minutes to Clean basket and clean things easily
This gas stove came with our 30+ year-old house. I don’t know how old it is but I love it when it’s clean. It gets loads of use. Let me just say that if you cook with butter, oils, bacon, and just about everything else, you already know what the stovetop looked like when I started – yucky. And now… Now it’s all sparkly clean – and it smells nice too. Seeing it this clean: makes me happy.
Have any special tips for teaching kids to clean? As the mother of two young boys I’m always looking for great ideas. Please leave me a comment – I love hearing from my readers.
P.S. – I blog to encourage moms, offer free preschool tools, and share ideas for family fun. If you enjoy recipes, free printables, crafts and games for little ones, ideas for family fun and encouraging posts for moms, sign up and have Happy and Blessed Home delivered to your inbox. Simply enter your e-mail address here:
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