Okay, I know this sounds impossible, but I actually got my kids (and husband!) to VOLUNTEER to spring clean my house! No, I didn’t bribe them, or threaten them. This time. 🙂
So here’s how I did it: I made a list of all of the things that needed spring cleaning: organizing closets, rearranging gardening supplies, cleaning out the fridge, cleaning windows – you get the idea. It felt good just to make the list of all the things I’d been wanting to clean and organize over the winter. Then, I called a family meeting on a Sunday morning and served up everyone’s favorite breakfast — huevos rancheros!
This wasn’t a “bribe”, exactly, but it helped when setting them up to volunteer for spring cleaning. I WAS PREPARED. I put up giant Post-it Notes on the walls and listed all of the individual things that needed to be cleaned. Instead of demanding that they participate, I started with a perk: I told them that we would be hosting a party for family and friends in a month, and we needed to get our house and property in tip-top shape for our visitors. They were thrilled to hear about our future guests and we talked about fun things to do with them. So far, so good.
Then, I told them to write their names next to the tasks listed on the Post-it Notes. When they saw something that they hated doing — like cleaning toilets or washing out garbage cans, they jumped up to claim the things that they considered easier jobs. What happened next was shocking. They actually signed up for EVERYTHING ON MY LIST!
When they asked me why I didn’t sign up for anything, I told them that I’m responsible for making sure that they have all the cleaning supplies, organizational materials, and guidance they need. Couldn’t believe it but they bought it! Phew! I didn’t need to nag about getting it done because they all knew the deadline — the weekend of our party!
And that’s how you get your family to VOLUNTEER to do chores!