We are all about raising capable kids around here, which is why the cleaning zones method works like a charm! Keep the house clean while also teaching your kids how a little hard work goes a long way. Include them in your kids' daily chores and you'll see a difference in their confidence and work ethic! Use our FREE printable to set up your zones!
Chores are a great way for kids to help out around the house or even earn an allowance. But sometimes those daily chores just aren't enough. You can't expect your kids to clean the whole house every day, because that's not realistic. However, most days you need more cleaning and tidying than those chore sticks can bring.
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Enter the zone cleaning method! Take the pressure off of you to clean up your problem areas every day and get the whole family involved. Don't worry, we're about to lay it all out for you. Let's rock your world and change your family for the better! P.S. Don't forget to grab your free printable at the end!!
THE WHY BEHIND THE CLEANING ZONES METHOD
It creates an unbalanced family when kids are raised in an environment where they don't have to contribute. If Mom and Dad are the only ones who cook, clean, and do chores around the house, then the kids don't really have the chance to learn those life skills they need to be functioning adults. Help your kids out! Set them up to be good spouses, parents, roommates, employees, or coworkers.
Helping around the house creates capable kids who are confident in their abilities! They'll love being part of the family team and it helps to engrain those hard-working values that we all hope our kids will have.
Setting up the different zones in your house not only helps to create a balanced family but also ensures that the kids learn how to do all the tasks they'll need to do once they're grown and out on their own. Since they are (most likely) the ones who are helping to make the mess in the house, it only makes sense that they should help clean up!
HOW TO SET UP ZONES
Figure out the common “problem areas” in your house and turn those into your zones. (We're not talking bedrooms; those are included in the daily school year and summer checklists for kids.) Here are the zones and how they need to be cleaned or tidied in our house:
- Mud Room – Pick up the floor, tidy cubbies, use electric sweeper on the floor, clean bathroom sink, floor, toilet, and mirror.
- TV Room – Pick up anything that doesn't belong, vacuum floor and couch cushions, tidy cushions, and pillows.
- Desk Area – Tidy desk, clean floor, organize drawers, empty pencil sharpener, and garbage.
- Kitchen/Dining Area – Clear and wipe off counters and table, load/unload the dishwasher, sweep and steam mop floor.
Obviously not everybody will have the same zones as we have because every house is different, so create zones that fit your house!
CLEANING ZONES METHOD CAN WORK FOR YOU
Cleaning zones is part of our daily chores for kids. It's a responsibility on their daily clipboards and is non-negotiable, it has to be done! We work it into our daily block schedule and try to do it around the same time every day. Each kid is assigned a zone, which we rotate weekly. This gives them plenty of time to master those skills required, but also keeps them from getting burnt out. (We even do this when we're on vacation!)
If you have more zones than kids, no worries! Either double up on the number of zones they have or help them clean the zones they're not assigned to. We're all about creating that balanced family who all pitches in, remember?
Oh, and want a helpful tip? Put the kids in charge of signing off on their siblings' zones! They'll be so much pickier about each other and will make sure nothing is missed. We still sign off on the zones at the end, but this has helped to catch some things and makes our job easier. #ParentWin
CUSTOMIZE YOUR OWN ZONES PRINTABLE!
Yep, you read that right. We made a super cute printable just for you! Simply print it out on 8.5×11 paper and fill in your zones with what all needs to be completed in them. Laminate it or put it in a page protector, and hang it on a clipboard where everybody can see it. Then, use a wet erase marker to write the name of who is in charge of the zone that week. Simply erase and rotate zones every week so nobody gets burnt out! Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
SIMPLIFY EVEN MORE OF YOUR LIFE
If this all sounds right up your alley and you want even more great ideas for your life, then you definitely want to check out Productivity Boot Camp! It's a super fun online video program that will help you create different systems (like the cleaning zones method) to organize your life.
Doesn't that sound so helpful?! Use the code FCFBLOG for 10% off at checkout, just because!
Alright, well there you have it! Create those zones that will raise capable kids and balance out your family. You'll never look back! What are the zones you've set up for your house? Let us know in the comments!
Looking for more great ideas?
- Teach your kids the value of a dollar. We're talking the best way to save money and we have a super cute printable to help them reach their savings goals!
- Cooking is an important skill your kids will need to master before they leave the nest. Start them off as young as you can and start holding cooking classes!
- Beat the boredom! Use bored sticks for your younger kids and these fun boredom busters for your tweens and teens!
Hi Jordan! I am implementing the clipboard system as we begin the school year and also want to do zone cleaning! My question is, if “clean your zone” is a daily task on the clipboard does that mean, for example, that the child has to vacuum the TV room every single day that week? Like is it the exact same expectation each day or just general tidy every day and vacuum once a week? Or for bathrooms, cleaning the toilet or something just 1x that week and how do you keep track of those things? Love this idea! Thanks!
It all depends on what works best for your family! We usually assign a zone per week and swap them up every week because we’ve found it’s easier for them to know what all needs to be done in that zone if they focus on it every day for a week, especially the younger kids. But if your kids do better to have something new to do every day, then go for it! It just ends up being a little more work for you to remember to assign a new zone every day. As far as how much they do to the zone, that all depends on how messy it gets! If the carpet is a complete mess every day with dirt or crumbs, then they’re expected to vacuum or sweep it up. The same goes for any other zone and cleaning task. It has to pass the mom eye test! Just do what works best for you and your family. We have 10 people and a dog living in our house, so it’s likely to get messy a lot quicker than houses with less people!
How old are your children when you begin assigning them zones?
They’re usually old enough around 4 to be able to handle a zone by themselves. But we’ll pair the younger ones with the older ones before that to have them get into the habit of helping before then! Kids have a natural desire to want to help when they’re young, so we like to encourage that!
what happens if you one your children does not do what you expect in an area… My 8 year old is great with cleaning his zone but his 5 year old brother is always cutting corners and it leave myself, dad or big brother to go over the room he is assigned again. (note: he usually get the tv room or laundry room as hes only 5) I have twin 7 month olds and juggling all my chores and going over their work is very tedious.
When he is done, be sure to walk back through the area and show him how you expect it to be done. Use it as a teaching opportunity! On the other hand, he’s only 5 so set your expectations accordingly and know that it’s not going to be 100% perfect.