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Ahh, kids. They are such darling little mess makers. Once upon a time we had four little girls who were quite skilled at getting all kinds of toys out at once, leaving trails of wrappers, and hoarding. And then we decided we’d had enough of their messes and did something about it. Enter the One Hour Kids Cleaning Challenge.
Four kids. One hour. Minimal parental participation. (That means we directed, but didn’t do much heavy lifting. 😉 )
To start, each child needs their own basket for gathering their stuff from throughout the house.
These baskets from Dollar Tree are great and would work well for this.
Once your kids have their nice new baskets, send them off throughout the house. They need to gather everything that is their own personal belonging and take it to their bedroom or playroom or wherever you have their toys stored in your home.
Let them know that anything that is left out after the gathering is either garbage or a donation, so this is not the time to be lazy.
Next, they need to put everything from their baskets in its correct place. And quickly!
Step 3: Make their bed. It’s ok if they don’t do a great job. If they begin making their bed every day, in a month’s time they will make great strides! (Take pictures on Day 1 to compare on Day 30. I promise, there will be great improvement!)
Next, you will need 2 boxes: Garbage and Donation.
Even young kids can identify what is garbage, so put them to work! While they are throwing things away, you can gather items to donate. For older kids, they should be capable of identifying items they no longer use. Give them a set amount of time to get rid of garbage and identify donation items so they stay on track. 20 minutes should be enough time.
How much better are everyone’s rooms looking at this point?! They are doing great, and pretty much all on their own.
Now that beds are made, toys are in place, trash is handled and unused items are ready for donation, it’s time to dust. Little kids can dust with damp rags, and you can follow behind them with the spray. Older kids can handle this chore on their own. Once everything is dusted, it’s time to vacuum.
And that’s it. ONE HOUR and your kids have carved more than a path to their beds- they can actually see the floor and everything is in its place.
If your kids do this weekly, it will be so much faster for you to do a thorough clean once a month or so. Some day they will have houses and it’s great that they are learning how to maintain their spaces at such an early age!
You can read about the adult version, the One Hour Power Clean here.