September is just around the corner, which means kids and families alike will soon have to transition from vacation-mode into student life and head back to school.
Starting off a new series of classes and adapting into a fall routine, it is important to be prepared and get organized. Tackling assorted cleaning tasks and projects during the last few weeks of summer may feel overwhelming, but it can be fun and effective when the whole family is involved.
"Getting ready for back-to-school can be easy when approached as a team," says JUSTJUNK President Mike Thorne. "Sticking to a clear schedule and allowing kids to have direct input in the cleaning process is key to successful end-of-summer organization."
Looking to get organized for the new season? JUSTJUNK offers the following tips for the whole family to get things ready for back-to-school:
1. Select Simple and Age-appropriate Tasks
Children can begin doing small tasks on a regular basis as young as eighteen months. They won’t be taking out the garbage anytime soon, but they will begin to understand the layout of your home and that packaging for certain snacks and other items go in the garbage when they are done using them. Older children are more used to routine, able to do things like sweep, take out garbage, dust, etc. Tasks may take a little longer, may be more complex and require a little heavier lifting, but ensuring that you assign jobs that children are capable of doing - with clear end goals - will give more impatient kids an end in sight.
2. Stick to the Schedule
There may be a lot to do, and enough people to do it all in one day, but you don’t want to exhaust your family with a session of binge-cleaning. Make lists of what needs to be done, who can do it and when, and consult with your kids in this phase. Allowing children involvement in the planning process and getting them to help develop a set cleaning schedule will lead to a smoother cleaning session and create a strong sense of accomplishment.
3. Offer Rewards
It’s all well and good to see a clean space as a reward for all their hard work, but where we see a job well done, your kids may not. Instill a sense of accomplishment for the whole family with mini-rewards for each individual task, whether that be screen-time, out-doors time or a small family break for a treat between tasks.
4. Tailor the Chores to Your Kids
Has one of your kids shown a liking for certain chores? Tailoring chores to your kids’ preferences not only gets the job done, but can also give them the sense that they’re listened to and creates a great environment for cleaning. Be attentive to their strengths and how they can make the process better because it’s summer and no one REALLY wants to be cleaning the whole time.
5. Pile Appropriately
You don’t want to pile all your items randomly throughout the house. Prepare a dedicated space to put items that need to be donated or picked up by a junk service that doesn’t invade their space. Between tasks, they can retreat for a quick break and recharge in their own space without worry that they must clean up after the cleanup!