Summer is quickly approaching and that means the kids are home and the house is probably going to be messier than usual.
If you're a working mom, you might not be home to manage clean up, and even when you get home, you might not always have time to pick up yourself.
If you're a stay-at-home mom or work from home, you have to find interesting ways to keep the kids entertained, and managing cleaning up even when you're home isn't easy.
Keeping the house clean isn't everyone's favorite thing to do. When your kids think of summer, they imagine playing on the beach or going off to the pool with their friends.
So how do you survive summer vacation?
How do you keep the house clean during summer vacation? Can it be done?
We've gathered some cleaning tips for moms to help you plan ahead and survive the summer, whether you're at home or at work. These tips can be easily taught to a baby sitter or relative, and should be spoken to your children beforehand. Don't pull this out of a hat the day after kids are home for summer vacation.
It's funny what a simple conversation can do to set the expectation and help you manage. If your kids understand what you expect, they'll understand why there are consequences when they don't adhere to your expectations.
If you let them know that keeping the house clean is important and even implement rewards if the house is picked up, then they'll understand that they're held responsible.
At any age, rewards speak clearly.
Decide before hand who's responsible for cleaning what.
Each kid could be responsible for his or her room or a chore such as vacuuming or washing dishes, etc. or one of each. This helps your kids prepare themselves.
This helps them understand what their responsibility is, and expectations are clear.
Decide beforehand the rewards.
- Daily electronic time (part fun, part educational)
- Weekly trips, including the pool, zoo or themepark
- One roadtrip/vacation
This will help your kids look forward to an event or activity. If feesible, you can plan daily or bi-weekly trips or activities outside the house.
Don't make the kids clean every day if possible. Don't wear them out. It is summer vacation after all. But note, it's important to clean at least three times per week so the mess won't pile on. Do what works for your family.
The point is to set the rules and rewards beforehand so everyone is clear about the expectations.
Learn more about how to get the kids to clean
2. The "Clean Up" game
Depending on the age of your children, the Clean Up game can be modified. The main idea of this game is that there is a designated time for cleaning up.
You can add the song to the game if you have smaller children. For older children, you can simply put on a fun song and everyone agrees to help clean up during that song or a few songs.
The point is that everyone is working together at an agreed time and the house gets picked up quickly and efficiently, opening up the rest of the day for summer activities.
It helps kids if they know others are helping and everyone is working together and if there is a reward or destination afterward.
3. Stock up
Stocking up is not necessarily associated with cleaning, but it's important in surviving the summer months with children.
Stock up on snacks, games and activities. Add this to your initial conversation and let the kids know what activities are available when they're "booooored!"
In addition, stock up the family car with the essentials.
- Safety, first-aid kit
- Sports equipment, uniforms, extra socks
- Extra swimsuits for each kid
- Extra shoes and sandles
- Extra change of clothes for each kid
- Case of water
4. Host a garage sale
This is a great way to clean out the house and get the kids involved. You can also decide whether to allow your kids to actually sell some of their possessions to make a little bit of summer vacation money.
Garage sales not only give the family something to do for a weekend, but help get the house clean.
Get rid of winter clothes that won't fit the kids next year. Sell things you aren't using anymore.
And you make some extra cash!