5 Methods for Motivating Your Family to Clean


5 Methods for Motivating Your Family to Clean

Are you tired of nagging your kids to clean their rooms? Are you tired of asking your partner to clean out the basement? When you’re exhausted from nagging, reminding, and pleading, it’s time to resort to other tactics. Here are a few ways to motivate your family to clean house.

1. Stop playing pick-up. Don’t clean up after your family members. If you’re the type who goes behind your kids picking up the trail of endless clutter they leave like bread crumbs, stop doing it. As long as you continue to pick up after them, they’ll continue to be lazy and messy. Why bother cleaning up after yourself when you have someone else to do it for you?

2. Stop cleaning their rooms. Are you still making your teenage son or daughter’s bed? If your kids are old enough to clean their rooms, by all means, let them. Parents often continue to clean up after their children into their children’s teenage and adult years. This is something that you should stop doing. If your kids are old enough to clean up after themselves, then allow them to do so.

3. Take a day or two off from doing housework. This may not sound like an appealing idea especially if you detest a messy house, but it’s an effective way to motivate your family to help out with the household chores. When your daughter’s favorite jeans are still in the hamper and your partner can’t find that report they need for work, they’ll get the message. The point is to get them to stop taking you for granted and get them to appreciate all you do for them on a daily basis. Sometimes that only becomes apparent once your loving family members have to become responsible for their own belongings and living space.kid cleaning

4. But you don’t have to let the whole house become a total disaster in order to enlist the assistance of your family members. It usually doesn’t have to go that far in order to get your message across. Consider it your way of giving your family a gentle nudge. After all, it beats nagging, yelling, and stomping your feet to get anything done. Once you get your family motivated to clean the house, thank them for their help then give them a gentle reminder that housework is not just a one-time event. It’s an ongoing process. Even more so, it’s a family affair.

5. Show your family that housework doesn’t have to be all drudgery. Make it fun. Turn on some music and dance while you clean. Create games such as having the kids search for missing household or personal items in a sort of household treasure hunt. See who can clean their room the quickest. Create incentives like an increase in allowance, an extended bedtime, or an outing. Be creative. Use your imagination. Getting the whole family involved in housework can be more fun than you imagined. Chores will get done faster and everyone will have more time to relax.

For more on this subject, check out these books:

Winning the Chores Wars: How to Get Your Child to Do Household Chores

Have Your Children Help – The Move and Save Method

Or try these apps for Android:

Cozi Family Organizer 


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5 Responses to 5 Methods for Motivating Your Family to Clean

  1. Fitz November 15, 2015 at 10:16 pm #

    1-3: already tried them, no effect. #4: we are there are have been for some time. #5: Parent now so depressed no energy to “make it fun” and no money for allowance. Kids are 22, 19 & 13.
    Only thing that seems to motivate them is when one of their friends or mine comes over ( which has been extremely rare for the last several years) or when the organizer I have paid for is coming. Ha Ha Ha! (sarcastic laughter). Now what?

  2. Matthew Hauserman December 12, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

    22 and 19 year olds are easy. Clean the shit or get your own place. Trust me it worked when I was 18-21. The 13 year old may fall in suit after that as well. Sometimes love has to be tough.

  3. Tim Richmond January 2, 2017 at 12:12 pm #

    I’m sick of it, I have to clean up after my entire family and they just don’t care… If I stop doing it… they just live in the mess. I cannot influence them at all. I feel like I’m talking a foreign language or they are just laughing at me… frankly I feel like walking out and leaving them behind over this… I hold down a full time Job and have to clean, launder, shop, taxi and finance manage the household…. I have three kids and a partner that acts like a fourth! Sick of IT!!!

  4. XYZ December 13, 2017 at 6:55 am #

    This is a fallacy of false choice. It’s okay to expect equality in doing chores from all members of the family and to impose consequences for non-participation. Nagging, yelling, stomping your feet are childish and show a lack of leadership. Someone with your credentials should be aware that there are effective methods for getting results, most importantly being consistent and predictable. If kids know in advance that they won’t be allowed to play video games until the living room is clean, they’ll do it. Make a list of what the chores are for each room for them to follow and show them how to do each one (that can be written on the list too to help them remember). If they’ve seen in the past that you won’t really enforce the consequence, it will take time for them to adapt to the new rules of consistency. But, they WILL adapt.

  5. XYZ December 13, 2017 at 6:57 am #

    It’s not even really tough love, it’s just reasonable expectations and respect.

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