Doing the Impossible: How to Make Housework Fun

Photo by flattop341 (Flickr)

I need to tell you a secret, but you have to promise not to laugh, OK? Alright, here it goes: Cleaning is fun. Don’t roll your eyes at the screen or throw your hands up in confusion. I am being serious! Some of my best childhood memories involve cleaning a family room filled with toys or organizing a dresser cluttered with trinkets and wrinkled clothes. Cleaning can be fun if you make it a game, and kids might even request to play the game another day. Here are eight creative ways to get your family involved in the chores so your home can shine like new.

The Race is On

I might not be in my teens anymore, but I still play this racing game with my wife. A little competition can get the slowest cleaners moving faster. To start the game, pick a room and race each other to see who can finish first. I usually can finish a chore in half the time it typically takes me when the prize is bragging rights.

Music Time

Sometimes, all I need is a little inspiration to get me off the couch and scrubbing the house. Music does just that, and I am not afraid of breaking out my best dance moves (for the sake of the cleaning, of course).

Treats In Between

I have already talked about my love of food before, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I will clean almost anything for food. I break out the chocolate or gummy bears, and every time I complete a task, I reward myself with one small, tasty treat.

Don’t Let the Timer Sound

When I was little, my siblings and I would set a timer as we cleaned. When it got close to the last few seconds, we would run like crazy to the couch, the obvious safety zone, and when the timer sounded, we pretended it was a bomb. If you didn’t make it to the couch, you fell dramatically to the ground. We continued playing until the entire house was clean.

Draw a Chore

My dad created a chore jar the moment I was born; he saw how messy kids were and came up with a solution. If you left something out on the floor and someone caught you, you had to draw a chore out of the jar. It was a great way to get deep cleaning done, and it motivated us to clean up after ourselves. On Saturdays, we all had to draw three jobs to do that day, and even though we knew it meant work, it was always fun to be surprised with random chores.

Celebration Feast

Cleaning can be hard, especially for children who don’t always appreciate the reward at the end. Plan a feast when all of the cleaning tasks have been completed. It motivates everyone, but it is a fun way to get children involved. Let them help choose what is on the menu and the chores that need to be completed.

Party it Up

If you have roommates, then this is a great way to get everyone involved and having fun for a day of cleaning. Order some pizza, drinks, and cookies, and blast some music as you scrub down the entire place. Enjoy laughing with your friends as you chow down on your favorite foods.

Find the Surprise

Toy rooms and bedrooms can turn into war zones fast, and hiding a surprise in the wreckage makes cleaning a blast. Buy a couple of dollar-store toys for the kids and hide them in the mess. As the kids clean, they get to find a surprise or two under the piles. Use your imagination and the creativity that comes with kids to create your own special cleaning game. As your kids, and you, beg for another day of cleaning, you will understand me when I say that cleaning is fun.

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