If you’re part of a typical American family, you may find it tricky to get everyone engaged and motivated to maintain the household. Many chores, like everyday tidying to big cleaning tasks, preventive maintenance to larger repairs, can result in rolled eyes, arguments, and negotiations. Both spouses and kids can be holdouts (given the task), but don’t give up! A well-run household—where everyone is an active and willing participant—can be a reality.
We consulted the pros to round up the most motivating tips to get your family involved with all aspects of home maintenance.
Find the Strategy that Works for Your Family
- Which motivators get your family moving? The experts at Houzz recommend involving the whole family in deciding what constitutes “clean enough,” dividing chores among everyone, and fostering responsibility for one’s own messes (meaning even kids know they need to clean up after themselves—no one else will do it for them).
- Clean up after your kid and you’ll have a clean house for a day. Teach them how to clean and you’ll have a clean house forever, says the team at The Spruce.
- To get your family on board with cleaning, start with a well-planned family meeting, says blogger Maureen Campaiola on A Mess Free Life.
Go for Speed, Efficiency, and Organization
- Chores don’t have to take up a whole afternoon or weekend. Check out blogger Elizabeth Voyles’s “10 Cleaning Hacks Your Kids Can Handle Today” over on Organized Mom.
- Organization helps tackle any household task. If your family is overwhelmed or doesn’t know where to start, Care.com’s “The Ultimate Household Chore List” helps you prioritize, get going, and stay motivated.
- From using slime to gather crumbs to rolling lint catchers to tidy up glitter, Red Tricycle’s creative “23 Life-Saving House cleaning Hacks” will inspire both kids and parents to tidy up.
Watch the Pros at Work
- Elle Walker, cofounder of WhatsUpMoms, hosts a video on “5 Tricks to Get Your Kids to CLEAN UP!” that includes turning cleaning up into a game, using special cleaning tools, and explaining the (much less attractive) alternative of a dirty, messy home.
- How to divide household chores? Relationship expert Dr. Karyn Gordon discusses how to get family support and whether to hire help on Cityline.
- If you have younger kids, music can be a great motivator. Show them this catchy video from ABCkidTV and they’ll soon be singing the “Clean Up Song”—and cleaning up themselves!
Involving the whole family in regular chores and maintenance doesn’t just mean a well-kept house—it also fosters pride of ownership and lifelong responsibility among both kids and parents. With good communication and speedy conflict resolution, your well-maintained home can be a true team effort.