Spring has sprung! Well slightly. We've had a couple of nice days here in London - I'm seeing crocuses and daffs popping up - so as far as I'm concerned, we're there. The good news - longer, lighter days... the bad news - it's probably time to Spring clean.
Why do we clean in Spring?
According to Wikipedia the tradition comes from Iran where - the practice of "khooneh tekouni" (which apparently, literally means 'shaking the house') prior to the Persian New Year (which falls on the first day of Spring); and/or the Jewish tradition of cleaning the home prior to Passover.
My Mum says perhaps it's because the dust is that much more visible in bright sunshine... Not of course that there's so much as speck of dust in my house of course...
Well, maybe some. It depends how closely you look :)
It's a long way off needing the Kim & Aggie treatment, but nonetheless a little 'Spring Clean' probably wouldn't hurt our place. Plus, in addition to the clean, I'd also really like to clear out some of the 'stuff' we've accumulated over the last year.
So I'm planning to get the family involved - (erm - the baby's exempt (she's got a note from her Mum excusing her)) but I don't see any reason why my eldest can't lend a hand too.
If you, like me, think a little Spring Clean is in order, but you don't see why you should be the only one to suffer it (and indeed why should you?), I've pulled together a few tips to try to make the process as family-friendly and as painless as possible:
- Try and make it fun. Sadly none of us have Mary Poppins powers (if only I could just snap my fingers and the house would magically tidy itself). Where you can, make it into a game - e.g. if you're trying to persuade your little one to put their toys away try something like - see how many of your toys you can put away in one minute, then count down from sixty out loud, offering encouragement as they go.
- Pop on some music - the more upbeat the better. Bop as you clean and tidy.
- Split up what needs doing into manageable tasks and delegate the child friendly bits - younger children do best when cleaning alongside you, whereas tweens/teens will probably surprise you if you give them a little bit of responsibility and trust them to do a particular task all by themselves. Make a list and tick off the tasks as you go.
- Resist the urge to take over. Offer support and encouragement; and where appropriate tips / assistance. Try not to criticise, you'll just leave your child feeling disheartened and less inclined to try.
- Reward! With the best will in the world, a Spring Clean isn't the most fun thing to do, so once you're finished, you'll definitely deserve some sort of a reward. Again, make sure the reward best suits the child - e.g. pizza for dinner, a family outing the following day, a film etc... Don't forget to reward yourself too! You definitely deserve it :)
Image credit spisharam