Friday, November 18, 2011

15 Minute Cleaning Frenzy! Getting Kids to Clean

I have great difficulty getting my children to cooperate for cleaning. One of the only ways I have ever been able to get them to cooperate without any fight is what I call the "15 Minute Cleaning Frenzy." This is sort of a take off of something Fly Lady does. I yell "Go!" and turn on my iPod as loud as we will tolerate throughout the house. Usually I play music they enjoy (Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, current dance songs that are appropriate with language). They run for their rooms and start cleaning as fast as they can. I usually tell them that 15 minutes is about 4 songs. I call out a number for each song: "Song 1 done...Song 2 starting" to give them an idea how much time we have left. The original idea for this plan was that I would give them 15 minute increments to clean. Then when the songs are over, they quit wherever the are no matter if they are finished or not. After some time has passed, I call 15 minute frenzy again and they do it again.

What is interesting is what ends up happening. Without fail, they forget that they get the breaks. They actually get into it and when I call "Song 3" they will yell and say, "I need more time! Can we let it keep playing?" I am always amazed when this happens.

There are a few KEY things about this way of cleaning.
  • I always present it as a game and something that's funny.
  • I ALWAYS play too. One of the things that really gets them going is that as soon as I yell "Go!", I start running. Literally. That way whenever they look downstairs at me, they see I'm cleaning too and that I'm running too. They always think that's funny. Sometimes I like to skid through the living room on my socks so they think I'm REALLY into the race aspect of it.

Great music for cleaning...well, this is interesting topic. I do NOT like to clean to nice, relaxing music. I want to dance while I'm cleaning, or it's just that: cleaning. There are some great soundtracks or songs for cleaning that I personally like and are on my iPod, but one of my favorites is AWOL; the soundtrack to To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar. This is full of great stuff and it's great for making you feel like a woman as well! My favorite track is "The Body Beautiful." The only problem is that it is not downloadable from iTunes. I used to have this CD and I'm still looking for it!

    8 comments:

    M-R said...

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea! I'm definitely going to try this with my kids. I think they are almost at the right age for it. I hate cleaning, but like to play loud music when I do it so it's more fun. This is a great way to get the kids involved too. Thanks Melinda!

    Dannelle said...

    Wish I would have thought of this when my girls were growing up! Clever idea!

    Michele said...

    I SEW love this idea but I'm sure as pie that it will be a couple of years before I can get my kids to do this...they are almost 3 and almost 5. A girl can dream though, right?

    Linz said...

    This is a great idea! We do a "Household Roundup" right before bed, which is simulare, but this sounds more fun! :)

    Mrs.Pickles said...

    Great Idea.i wonder if it will work on my Husband...lol

    The Thompsons said...

    I'm all about the upbeat music as well when cleaning, running, do anything that needs to get done! Great idea! I love it.

    Eden said...

    We do this when the living room is a mess. I turn on an album called Polkasonic which is some wild and crazy fast polka music and that really gets them moving.

    Habibti at Home said...

    You are adorable! Think this might work for husbands? Mine hasn't spent 15 minutes cleaning since LAST thanksgiving when I was frazzled. Anyway, I love this. You are a very cool mom!