New This Month

Science Says Your Kids Should Help with Spring Cleaning

There are several long-term benefits for kids who help out with chores.

family spring cleaning close up
Photography by: Free Stock Photos

As you prepare your spring cleaning to-do list, you might feel a bit overwhelmed with all that needs to be done. However, you can make fast work of all those chores if you enlist your family to help out. Not only will this get your house clean faster, but there are several long-term benefits for kids who help with housework -- studies have proven it!


The Benefits of Chores for Kids

According to the Washington Times, only 28 percent of today's parents ask their children to do chores. However, studies have linked chores to several positive character traits later in life. 


The source notes kids who start doing chores around age 3 or 4 are more likely to be well-adjusted adults, have better relationships, empathize with others and succeed in their careers. All that to say, yes, you should ask your kids to help out with spring cleaning!


It's not always easy to get kids on board with chores, so Gregg Murset, CEO of BusyKid, an online chore system that teaches children about finances, has some tips to make spring cleaning fun for the whole family. 


Make a Plan

The more organized you are from the outset of the project, the easier it will be to get everyone involved. Make a list of all the chores you want done, as well as your timeline, and then assign tasks to everyone. 


"Sit down as a family and discuss the projects, the deadlines and who is tackling what," says Murset.


[CHECK OUT: Martha's Spring-Cleaning Checklist]


Practice Teamwork

You can make your spring cleaning much more fun by creating teams and competing a little, says Murset: "Instead of having each person take on individual projects, team up to make the jobs go faster. Put on matching colored outfits and race to see who can finish their cleaning project the fastest, while delivering the best results."


Making the chores into a game can be an effective way to minimize complaining. If you have younger children, Murset suggests you make them the unofficial referees of the competition: "Since younger children cannot help as much with cleaning, put them in charge of quality control with a pair of white gloves and a magnifying glass!"


Look Beyond Your Home

Don't limit your efforts to your own home, either. If your local park needs a cleanup or a relative could use some household help, add those tasks to your list, as well. 


"Carve out a few hours to take on a community project as a family -- clean your park, paint a neighbors fence, etc.," says Murset. 


Celebrate a Job Well Done

When everything is completed, Murset recommends treating your kids (and yourself) to a celebratory meal. 


"Thank everyone for their hard work... and order take-out," he says. "Pick up some ice cream for dessert, and [use] recyclable paper dishes and silverware so you don’t have to wash one more thing."