The annual spring clean is a healthy habit to teach your children. It is best if you model it for them throughout your whole home and yard, but even if you don’t, you can always start now by cleaning their room. Spring is nature’s start of the year where beavers build dams, birds build nests, and farmers plant crops. It is the perfect time for an annual thorough cleaning of your kid’s room.
If you and your children develop spring cleaning as a family habit, it will provide them a welcomed “fresh start” in their personal space each and every year. Always break the task of cleaning their entire room into clear logical manageable steps when you teach your children how to spring clean their rooms so that this spring job is clearly achievable and not overwhelming.
For toddlers and children up to 4 years old, you can make each step into a fun game where they can help you. Children ages 5 years old through adulthood can follow a simple clear plan of action or checklist with age appropriate tasks. Try to make spring cleaning as positive, light-hearted, and fun as possible. You can turn on music while you clean, play games, take time to listen to your children tell you about their life, and plan a “reward” for when the task of cleaning their room is complete. A reward or fun outing is a great way to instill the “work hard, play hard” mentality in the proper order. This task will be easiest if you set aside a half day or full day in devoted to thoroughly spring cleaning your children’s room.
Spring Cleaning Step 1:
Remove all rugs, curtains, blinds, sheets, pillows, and stuffed animals from the room. Wash them at home or take them to a laundry service to be washed while you are cleaning the rest of the children’s room. If there are dirty clothes on the floor of the room or under the bed, collect all of them and wash them too. Flip and rotate the bed mattress if necessary.
Spring Cleaning Step 2:
Put away all the items on table tops, night stands, or flat surfaces that do not belong there. Clean all items that belong on those surfaces, e.g. bedside lamps, knickknacks, picture frames, etc. Clean frames on the wall and mirrors on the wall or behind the door.
Spring Cleaning Step 3:
Clean and polish all the bedroom furniture. Move the bed so that you can clean underneath it as well as behind it. Push the bedroom furniture away from the walls so that you can clean the back of the furniture, behind the furniture, and under the furniture. Clean the windows, window sills, fans, and lights in the room. Wipe down and touch up walls if necessary. Next vacuum and steam clean the perimeter of the room. Move the furniture back in place when the carpet dries (if you have carpet) and clean the floor in the rest of the room.
Spring Cleaning Step 4:
Go through all the toys in the room in order to throw out what is broken and give away what is no longer wanted by your child. Next go through all the clothing in each drawer–one drawer at a time–to remove clothing that is too small or unwanted. Finally go through all the clothes in the closet, start with one side or section at a time, to cull out what is the wrong size or unwanted. If your children are under 8 years old, make it a game to find the clothes that are the wrong size. For older children and teens, enlist their help in identifying items that are no longer wanted and clothing that is not in style or the correct size.
Spring Cleaning Step 5:
Put mattress covers and clean sheets on the bed. Put pillow covers and pillow cases on clean or new pillows. Put away clean stuffed animals and clean clothing from Spring Cleaning Step 1 after discarding worn out, broken, or unwanted items. Hang the clean blinds and/or curtains. Set down the clean rugs back in your children’s room.
Once you and your children have completed all 5 steps to thoroughly spring clean their rooms their personal spaces will be ready for an entire year of playing, learning, relaxing, and resting.
“Springtime Bird Questions” — Barb Ogg, PhD; University of Nebraska-Lincoln
“Beaver Dams” — Bob Arnebeck, BeaveReality Nature Journal
Additional Helpful Resources:
“Just for Kids: Online Interactive Bird Games” — Audobon Society
“Learning About Earning: How spring cleaning can empower your kids” — Rheney Williams, The Washington Post
“Spring Cleaning: 13 Fun Ways to Get Your Kids Involved” — Dina Brooks, Education.com
“Spring Cleaning: Kids Edition (Day 1)” — Jenae Jacobson, MA, I Can Teach My Child
“Teaching Kids to Clean: Tips, Age Appropriate Cleaning Lists, & Free Chore Charts” — Jamerrill Stewart, Free Homeschool Deals