When our family started homeschooling, suddenly the house was a thousand times more of a disaster because the house was our home base. And it was grating on my nerves to walk through our home and see so many messes. Unfortunately, no matter how much I begged or demanded that my kids work on cleaning, I never got the results of a truly tidy home like I wanted.
But then I realized that, unsurprisingly, my kids didn’t find cleaning fun. And that they resented me asking them to clean up because they felt like it would take too long.
And that’s when we shifted.
Instead of being in a perpetual state of cleaning, we worked to make it a bit more fun and for a set time. I know that sounds unrealistic, but we have managed to make it work with our 3 kids under the age of 7 and every single mom I share this tip with has said their family loves it and it works for them!
Watch the video on tidying up.
The easiest way to get kids to help tidy and clean the house
First, we have Amazon Prime and with our membership one of the perks is being able to make music playlists that don’t play commercials or anything extra. And they offer a small upgrade for all music on Music Unlimited. Start a 30 day free trial through our affiliate link!
We used this perk by sitting down as a family to create 2 specific playlists. One is called the “Morning Pickup Playlist” and the second is just the “Pick-Up Playlist”.
The way it works is that each person in the family gets to choose ONE song they personally really love. That guarantees that everyone gets to sing and dance their heart out at least for a bit. And what happens is that all together we have a set amount of time for cleaning.
As our family grows, so does the playlist. The reason this isn’t bad or a struggle is because with more people, we tend to have more messes.
Currently our Morning pickup is around 21 minutes. Our children have learned the order of the music so they can also have a good idea of feeling like they’re half done or almost done! Everyone sings out really loudly for the last song [for us our morning music is praise music, so we end on the doxology] because it’s a great way to start our day but we also sing so loudly because we’re so thankful to be done with the cleaning!!
Because we believe in natural and logical consequences, if anyone is caught not working during a song, they have to re-do that specific song or songs.
We also have the regular pick up playlist and it’s used at most just once a day either right before bedtime [dance party clean up!] or at some point when there is a huge mess that needs to be cleaned.
What are the benefits of a pick-up playlist to keep a tidy house with children?
- Everyone cleans, even the adults; therefore it sets the example and exhibits teamwork.
- It allows us to divide and conquer house cleaning. Typically everyone chooses a room. If they finish before time is up, they help someone else.
- It’s a set amount of time so it’s much easier to feel like you’ve done a lot in a little bit of time while the kids don’t feel like they’re going to be cleaning all day.
- Using music means that natural consequences are easier to enforce; therefore, over time it means everyone typically sticks to the routine.
- It’s a daily expectation so after the initial clean, tidying becomes easier and maintaining the house is more of a breeze.
- If your kids learn to put away as they get out, it helps them understand how they can cut down on their time cleaning. Because if everyone is done before the music is over, it’s just a dance party… and who doesn’t enjoy that?
- Children learn necessary life skills for cleaning and keeping their belongings organized.
More cleaning tips
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Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!