Creating A Summer Cleaning Routine for Kids | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Creating A Summer Cleaning Routine for Kids

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Creating A Summer Cleaning Routine for Kids

Do your kids help you clean the house in the summer?  Or during the school year?  Or both?  There are lots of different philosophies on kids and chores, especially for summertime.

Some people want their kids to be able to have fun on their summer holidays and not worry about chores.  Others feel that with the kids home there's more mess, and the kids should help clean it up.

I fall mostly in the second camp.  I know many parents get overwhelmed keeping up with cleaning, while also taking care of their kids all day, and trying to spend time making memories together.

So it can be helpful to have your kids chip in and help clean the house.  It's also a great life learning experience and it teaches them to be more responsible.  Summertime can be a great opportunity to help your kids learn some new tasks too because they have time to practice them and gain mastery and independence.

But, involving your kids in cleaning often means extra work as a parent during that learning process.  Not to mention the grumbles that may happen :)  It's definitely a trade-off.  And how you decide to handle cleaning tasks in your home will be different than how someone else may do it.

Last week I mentioned in my Organizing Our Summer post that I'd talk about our summer cleaning plans.  So today I want to let you in on how things are going to work this summer.  And share some tips to help you put together a summer cleaning routine for your kids.

Last Year's Summer Cleaning Routine

Last year we had a daily cleaning time, where the kids learned how to do some regular cleaning tasks and we did some of them every day.  Here's what it looked like.

It worked really well overall and I had hoped to do it again this summer.   But as I mentioned last week, I didn't include a daily cleaning time in our summer routine this year.  There are a few reasons for this.

  1. With me working more this summer, we'll be rushing out of the house many mornings to get the kids to day camps or grandparents' homes.  So trying to fit chores into that mix just felt too stressful.  It's summer and I feel bad already that I'll have to rush my kids at all in the mornings. We do that enough during the school year!  
  2. The kids have become used to their weekly cleaning chores that they've been doing all through this past school year.  They usually do them on the weekend and it doesn't take them a long time now that they've become pretty proficient at them.  
  3. With me working more I'm planning to have someone come in to clean the house a few times this summer.  I don't want to have to spend the time I'm at home doing a lot of cleaning.  With this unplanned extra income this summer I figured hiring cleaning help would be a good little splurge, so we can all enjoy the time we're at home more :)
Putting that all together, I knew I couldn't do the same thing as last year.  So here's what I came up with for our cleaning routine this summer.

It looks similar, but there are several key differences.  I'll break down each section below.

Regular Chores

These chores are the chores we usually do all year.  Some are daily and some are weekly.  There are other cleaning tasks not on this list for my hubby and I, but I didn't want the list to get too long.

I like to include this list at the top of the summer routine to remind everyone of what we all contribute to our home and family.

Weekly Cleaning Schedule

This is the new weekly cleaning schedule for the kids.

The top two lines of each week's chores are what they've been doing the last 10 months (vacuuming couches and cleaning bathrooms).  Underneath that I added a 3rd cleaning task for each of them.

They should be able to do all 3 tasks in less than 30 minutes on the weekend.  And if we go away for the weekend they'll do them before or after we go.

Because we'll have a house cleaner here a few times, sometimes there will be no need to do some of their chores.  So I added a few substitutions for those weeks.

Chores to Earn Extra Screen Time

And just like last year, I added a list of chores the kids can choose to do to earn extra screen time.  It's the currency that means the most to them right now :)

Last year our schedule was so full that we didn't have a lot of time to do the extra chores or fit in the additional screen time.  So it turned out that not much was done from the list.  Not a bit deal, but it meant I had to do more of the tasks myself.

This year since our routine is a bit more open, and has some free time built in, we should be able to find time to do the extra chores and to enjoy the extra screen time.

Your Turn!

Do you want to create summer cleaning routine for your kids?  First, think about whether you want them to clean daily or weekly.  Next think of some tasks you'd like them to do (keeping in mind their ages and ability levels).  Then, match up days/weeks and chores on a list or chart.

There are lots more tips in this post:  10 Tips For Setting Up A Cleaning Routine For Kids.

Do you have a cleaning routine for your kids?  Is it a weekly or a daily routine?  How did you set it up?  Any tips to add to the list?  What are your kids' favourite chores?

Happy organizing!

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You can see all my summer-related organizing posts here: