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Photo by: Annie Shea

Spring Cleaning: Get the Kids Involved

May 3, 2011

With the arrival of spring comes the desire for all things fresh and new. After suffering through a long and stifling winter, trapped indoors with those you love and cherish, the thought of sending them outside until further notice, while you dive into the task of spring cleaning is a natural reaction. But don’t be too quick to tackle this daunting task alone. Keeping your children out of the process may seem easier at first, but by doing so, you might also be missing an opportunity to teach them some ‘downsizing’ skills of their own while also tapping into their natural gifts of generosity.

Here are a few tips to make Spring Cleaning an activity that can be treasured, rather than dreaded, for your entire family:

Adopt a charity for your family
Before bringing in new toys, bicycles or sporting equipment, ask your children to choose items from their old “stash” to be given to children who do not have these items.

Have a ‘try on’ day to see what can still be used from last summer’s clothes
Bag everything that no longer fits that day and donate it to the same charity. Deliver these items to that charity together, so your kids can see the results of their gifts.

Children are naturally territorial, so assign them a territory they are responsible for both inside and outside the home
Make it a series of short, quick tasks that can be done before they are released to the outdoors. Allow the older children to take down the curtains, so they can be laundered. Another can strip the beds. Another can gather the trash and take it to the curb.

Don’t forget outdoor areas
Make it a race to see who can pick up the greatest number of sticks, rocks, trash, that has gathered in the yard over the winter.

Reward your family with a trip to the ice cream shop or another outdoor activity, such as a cookout. By making it fun for everyone, including yourself, spring cleaning can be an annual event that your family looks forward to each year, as they welcome the freshness of spring.

Janet is the author of The Parent’s Guide to Uncluttering Your Home, scheduled to be released in 2011 through Atlantic Publishing. She launched Abbandoned Ministries late in 2010, which leads others through her writing and speaking to seek God, as Abba, during times of abandonment. She currently writes monthly for Christian Woman Today, The Christian Pulse, the grief website Open to Hope, and Mamapedia.

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