The party's over: How to get your kids to help with clean-up
Your holiday party was a huge success and now comes the hard part -- clean-up. You don't have to do it all yourself. With some clever tips, you can get your kids to help with the clean-up efforts.
Make clean-up fun
Your kids will be less apt to help out if they view cleaning up as extra chores. Instead, make clean-up fun by turning it into a game. Make a list of tasks for each child to accomplish and pit them against each other to see who can finish first. Reward the family with a meal out at a restaurant the next day. The winner of the clean-up contest can choose the dessert or appetizers.
Find more ways to make cleaning fun for your kids >>
Tackle the big tasks first
The biggest thing about party clean-up is the mounds of trash. Oftentimes, trash and recycle bins are overflowing after a holiday party. Assign a child or two to be responsible for bagging and taking out the trash. One child can go around from room to room with a trash bag collecting all leftover items that need thrown away. Another can collect bottles, cans and other recyclables.
Print out this recycle chart >>
Choose age-appropriate tasks
Even preschool-age children can help with cleaning and organizing if they are assigned the right tasks. Allow the little ones to help wipe down counters, load the dishwasher and put away decorations or games, while older children take on the bigger tasks such as storing leftover food or scrubbing pots and pans.
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Turn up the volume
Everyone loves Christmas music. Turn on some upbeat holiday music and turn up the volume. Music makes cleaning a whole lot easier. Vacuuming, dusting and other tasks become a little more appealing to the tune of Jingle Bell Rock.
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Don't stress about it
It would be nice to clean your house spic-and-span right after the party ends, but that's just not reasonable. Instead, clean up the obvious spills on the carpet and furniture to avoid stains, take out the trash and recycling, vacuum up crumbs that can attract bugs, and put away leftover foods. Everything else can wait until morning.