Messes don’t take a break, but when the weather is warm and the sun is shining, the last thing anyone wants to do is get stuck cleaning. In the summer, when our living space extends outdoors, it seems there’s even more to tidy and less time to relax.
So, we implemented some summer cleaning hacks that get everyone involved and cut the cleaning time in half. The best part? We have a lot of fun doing them and there are very few kid-complaints! While we still need to tidy up the inside of the house, the outside gets the most focus in the summer. Here are five of our favorite summer cleaning hacks.
You may have played the popular game Whack-a-Mole that this cleaning hack got its name from and, like the game, this rug cleaning trick is especially fun for the kids. Throughout the month, take turns draping our outdoor and indoor area rugs over a couple of saw horses in the backyard. Two at a time, with one child on each side, have the kids smack at the rug with small brooms. It may sound ridiculous, but the kids will love beating on the rug and it will get rid of the dust that has been stuck in there.
- Clean the Toys in the Pool
With bathing suits and sunscreen on, have the kids toss all of their dirty outdoor toys into a kiddie pool once a week (you can grab one here for less than $10 with my Amazon affiliate link). Just pour in a cap of kid-friendly liquid soap and fill the pool up with water from the hose until the bubbles are substantial (because bubbles are a must, of course!). Have the kids sit next to the pool and clean the toys or hop right in with them. Honestly, the toys probably don’t need to be cleaned every week like this, but the kids enjoy it, so let them clean and cool off. Place the toys on a beach towel to dry in the sun.
- Window Washing Race
The cooler months bring plenty of indoor window washing, but the summer is a great time to clean the outside. With a spray bottle of vinegar and water, let the kids spray down the windows that they can reach. Have timed races to see who can finish all of their windows first. By turning it into a game, there’s far less complaining.
TIP: Crumble newspaper into a ball in place of paper towels. It works so well!
- Bike Wash Stations
I don’t know about your kids, but ours love to ride their bikes when the weather is nice. A great way to keep them clean by setting up a Bike Wash Station (think car wash for bikes!) in the driveway. Have buckets, washcloths and sponges for washing and rinsing, as well as vinegar and water spray bottles for shining up the chrome. Grab some dollar-store toothbrushes (get 6 for $1) so they can get around the bike spokes. The bonus is that the driveway gets hosed off and cleaned, too!
TIP: wash the car while they wash their bikes! 😉
- Timed Tidying
Like the window washing races, another idea that we do in our house is a 5-minute pick-up OUTSIDE. With a timer set to five minutes, we straighten up the patio and porch, put away toys, store bikes, and put shoes away. When we all work together, our outdoor space is clean in no time. I love our back screened-in-porch, but when it is cluttered with toys or shoes, it drives me CRAZY. This literally takes 3-5 minutes to clean, at the most, so it’s no big deal to do this once or twice a day.
If we “beat the clock” and have everything done before the timer goes off, we have a few extra minutes for a board game or to watch a show that we all love (like a kid’s cooking show).
Cleaning doesn’t have to be a something that the kids dread if you turn it into a game. The quicker and more efficient you are in getting things done, the more time you’ll have to spend with the ones you love doing the things you want to do.
Happy summer cleaning, friends!
Ps- join my declutter list and I’ll send you a declutter challenge (free) and send you my free cleaning printables. 🙂