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How to Motivate Kids to Clean

how to motivate kids to clean Are you looking for ideas to keep your home organized this year? Once you find the best routine for your family, the next hurdle is how to motivate the kids to clean! Trying to get the kids motivated to help can be frustrating, as it frequently breeds a case of the grumps. Here are six tips on dealing with grumpy kids. Before we get started on how to motivate your kids to clean let’s talk about having grace with yourself. It’s a new year and you are gung-ho telling yourself, “This year will be different!” The year starts of perfectly then *BAM*! Life throws a curve. Your routine is in a spiral and you never truly gain the previous momentum. This leaves the feeling of another failed New Year’s Resolution. This year start slowly and steadily embrace a new viewpoint for your old resolution.

Adopt this philosophy: Keep the clutter moving and the laundry fluffed!

how to motivate kids to clean 2 You live in your home, so focus on keeping it fresh and clean. Striving for a model home when you live with kids will only lead to frustration.

Motivating the Kids

I have found two tools that help motivate kids to clean. One is using a point system to earn prizes from the treasure box. The other is a chore card. I’ll explain both! Point System chore cards pointsMy kids earn a Pohl Point (since our last name is Pohl) for every chore they complete. Download Point Printable here I give bonus points when they work with a positive attitude, without being reminded, or after helping a sibling. However, they pay me points for poor work and grumbling attitudes. At the end of the week and after they have earned X amount of points they get to choose from the treasure box. My kids are super motivated with this method and yours will be too!

I wanted to fill our treasure box with meaningful and economical items. At Family Christian’s toy department I found a spinning rack with containers filled with perfect little toys that have a positive inscription. The tween area has small buttons, bookmarks, pens, and notebooks that are a great too. Also, I find great treasure box items in the clearance section of the store. I can fill the box for less than $20 and it lasts for weeks! treasure box Chore Cards A chore card an individual card with step by step directions for one particular chore. It’s ideal for kids age 5 and up. You can find the full Chore Card System Packet here. Like a mini laminated tutorial. Each chore in our home has a chore card. The chore cards for my younger kids include pictures. This saves me from becoming a broken record. In the morning I divvy up the chores my kids are to complete and clip them to their clipboard. Typically, I assign one to two chores per person daily. With the directions in hand, literally, my expectations are clear. After completion, the card is flipped over to the backside which says DONE! Then I know to check their work. I also made cards for their morning and night time routines. Keep the daily cleaning schedule simple. Set specific things you plan to accomplish each day. To catch the missed messes plan a deeper clean every few weeks. Remember, the idea is to keep things clean and fresh, not perfect. Keep the clutter moving and the laundry fluffed!

Encouragement for Mom

When my three girls were under six years old I did my best to keep up with our home. Having a preschooler, toddler and infant the mess would easily get out of hand. I refused to let anyone in my home unless it was perfectly clean. My uptight attitude changed one day when a friend showed up unexpectedly.

I heard the knock at the door. Perfection turned my stomach into knots as I reluctantly opened the door and presented a warm hesitant smile. She leaned forward, expecting to enter. I opened the door further and through my smile said, “I’m happy to see you…. Would you like to come in?” I ushered her to our beautiful sitting area. A formal room we rarely used. Nevertheless, with little effort you could see the pile of dishes that covered the table, the toys that lined the hallway, and mountain of dirty clothes that flowed out of the laundry room. I swallowed deeply and offered her a freshly brewed cup of coffee with a slice of cake. She accepted. I served her the refreshments and plopped down next to her. She looked at me with grief in her eyes and said, “I was just diagnosed with stage four breast cancer.” I embraced her and silently prayed, “Thank you God for the wisdom to lay down my pride by not turning her away at the door.” In that moment I learned, God cares about my clean heart more than my clean house!

Momma, your day to day tedious tasks make a difference in God’s Kingdom. Contrary to our cultural belief, home is our first ministry, an important one. Taking care of our family takes diligence and a willingness to be flexible. It is both rewarding and challenging. Smack dab in the middle of the chaos, diapers, hand-me-downs, temper-tantrums, adolescence, and school – it is easy to be drained and lose sight of the big picture. I am often encouraged by, 1 Timothy 5:9-10 NIV. “No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.” First on the list, of life time achievement deeds, is bringing up children. That has always brought me peace and continues to bring value to my ministry as the care taker of my home. I hope it does for you as well. Keep in touch! Let me know how you’re keeping the kids motivated to clean. Written by Michelle {at} Blooming With Joy {dot} com

9 thoughts on “How to Motivate Kids to Clean”

  • Robi+

    This is great! I love your practical ideas, and even more I want to say THANK you for the grace part and sharing that story. God ded loves a clean heart mre than a clean house. Inspiring!

  • Jasmine

    I love this article! Thanks for sharing.

  • Connie Carmichael
    Connie Carmichael January 7, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Michelle, I absolutely loved this post!!!!! I too have had times when I didn't want anyone to come over due to me not being physically able to keep things done as well as I feel they should be. You gave me a wonderful NEW way to look at going ahead and letting people come on in with your story of the person diagnosed with cancer. You just never know what trial others are going through and I would hate to miss God's amazing opportunity to encourage, give hope, or just listen. I love the chore cards. Especially the little reminders at the bottom of them for the kids to be motivated to pray, think of others, or even to acknowledge their own needs. God is so good!!! I am so happy that we met even though it was for a short period of time, I know God placed you in my life for reasons like this post. Thank you!!!!!! Keep them coming.

  • AWhetter

    Beautifully written, with both practical, useful tips & encouragement. Thank you for these thoughts and reminder to keep a Godly perspective of our home & attitude towards it.

  • Karen W

    I love the treasure box idea. It seems goodies always motivate my kids to get stuff done,so this is something I may have to try.

  • Jamie

    Great tips - our son is a teen and we're trying so hard to teach him how important it is to help out...and not expect something for it, every time!! :)

  • Alana (@ I have a Future and a Hope)

    I love the story your shared about God caring about our clean heart more than my clean house. I struggle with not inviting others over because I feel like I will be judged, but I have to remember I could be missing an opportunity to minister to someones heart. Laying down pride is so hard.

  • Susie Keithley

    Awesome article Michelle. BloomingWithJoy.com

  • Estelle

    I love how encouraging you are to your kids; and the chore cards and little toy items with inscriptions are clever.

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