Friday, July 22, 2011

Cleaning with Kids

I tried a different approach this past week when we teamed up as a family to clean house, and it really worked!

I went to each room that needed cleaning and wrote down all the individual tasks that needed doing. I put the list of tasks on a small piece of paper and taped it to the light switch in that room.

Because the cleaning was broken down into small tasks, it all got done! (These lists are for weekly cleaning tasks, not heavy deep cleaning, and we started in the morning when the house was still reasonably tidy.)

For example, the kitchen list looked like this:


dispose of leftovers in fridge

wipe down fridge & dishwasher doors/handles

scour sink & faucet, rinse well

wipe down counters with disinfectant

clean microwave inside & out

clean stove top (& pans), wipe down front

sweep and mop floor

empty trash & recycling

add to the shopping list any supplies needed

The kids would mark off what they completed, but left the lists in place. I came through when they were done and double checked that each task had been completed properly.

There were a few things that I marked with an "M" meaning Mom would do them (toilets, for example). Mostly because I knew otherwise, they wouldn't get done! :)

I typed the lists up and will just print, cut, and tape the lists up next time. There's something about being able to mark something off a list that is incredibly satisfying, even for kids. :)

My house was clean in record time and I was one happy momma!


If you're reading this on a feed reader or on Facebook, check out the blog homepage at and follow me on twitter @cleverhomeblog


  1. Love it! I had an alternate verson of this, but yours sounds easier. Will have to try it soon!

  2. This is a brilliant idea! On Saturdays I've started handing the kids (mine are 1, 3, 5 and 7) short lists with doable tasks, but my husband - when he's home - is usually wandering around asking what he should do. This is a great alternative to all of those!