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Sneaky tricks to get kids involved with household chores

Merry Maids offers cleaning hacks to get kids

Merry Maids offers cleaning hacks to get kids involved with household chores. Credit: iStock

As many parents can attest, getting their kids to help with household chores is a chore itself.

Debra Johnson, home cleaning expert for Merry Maids, came up with creative cleaning tricks to help turn seasonal chores into fun family activities.

Host a fashion show: Go through the closets and play dress up with kids. "Put away the 'showstopping' outfits and make piles of those items that no longer fit to donate or discard," Johnson says. "Before you know it, the bedroom closets are cleaned out, organized and ready for a fresh start, helping to make your family's everyday routines a bit easier."

Be comfortable with bribes: "If your significant other requires some convincing to help with cleaning, spark his or her interest by giving a gift, such as a new tool to use around the house," Johnson says. "A power washer is not only an efficient way to clean patios and vinyl siding, but will help get moms and dads excited about seasonal cleaning projects so that families can start enjoying the outdoor space." 
 
Go skating over dust: Move furniture or rugs off of the hardwood surfaces in your living room or dining room, Johnson suggests. "When the kids get home, help them fashion a pair of "skates" by wrapping their feet in microfiber cloths and have them slide around the floor to see who can collect the most dust. Keep a trash bag handy to collect all of the dust so it doesn't end up back on the floor. Once the dust has been picked up, vacuuming and washing the floors should be a breeze. The kids will think it's an indoor skating day."
 
Celebrate Christmas in the summer: Go through the den or playroom as a family and pull out old toys or games that are no longer being used so you can give them away to a local charity or donation center. "Everyone can feel good about helping kids and families in need, and parents can rest assured that the playroom is a little bit cleaner," she said. "You'll also rediscover games and toys that may have been hiding."

Institute a finders-keepers rule: To get the little ones to help with cleaning under couch cushions or beds, institute a finders-keepers rule, letting them know that any money found while cleaning is theirs for the taking. "Hide coins in the places that need the most attention and provide each child with a jar to collect their cleaning savings in for an ice cream or new toy," Johnson says. "After the space is cleared of loose change, it will be easier to vacuum any remaining dirt or dust before replacing the cushions and making the bed."

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