Friday, December 28, 2012

Cleaning the Bathroom with Kids

Well as anyone with children would know, it can be difficult to keep up with a good proper house clean with the kids clamouring for your attention or simply getting in the way. Thankfully my girls, who are now 8 and 10, are in the position to start to be of a real help around the house which is making life a little easier.

They are of course expected to tidy their rooms and I also ask that they keep their bathroom tidy as The Papa and I have a separate ensuite and theirs is the one visitors use.

On Christmas eve I asked The Fashionista to tidy her room for Christmas Day. After a wee while I went into her room and there she was laying across her desk stool like superwoman! I asked her if she thought that she had super powers and that her room would get cleaned by her simply laying on the stool? She cleverly detected my sarcasm (I know but sometimes it's just slips out) and she replied that she just simply didn't know which bit to do first. This seems to be a common problem with both girls and then they get sidetracked and the room stays untidy until I step in to help ... sound familar?

It got me to thinking, that even when they do finish cleaning a room, I am often not satisfied with the end results. I unwisely expect them to meet my adult standards. The Fashionista thinks that her wardrobe is there to simply shove things in when I ask her to tidy her bedroom floor. As for Agent Smelly, she just plays, and then at the last minute, when she realises her Mama's near boiling point, shoves things anywhere that they'll fit and then she can't find anything later.  I have also found a few items in the laundry basket after they have "tidied" their rooms that I am sure have only been tried on and then simply thrown on the floor. Apparently it is easier to throw things in the hamper than to hang them up or refold them to put away.

Rather than me nag, or repeat myself over and over again, or simply end up doing things myself, that it would be easier if they knew exactly what was required when I asked them to tidy or clean a room ... hence my new cleaning checklists.

I have just starting printing room by room cleaning checklists onto A5 paper and laminating them. They are in big type so that they are easy for the kids to read, This means each room's checklist will end up taking a few pages which I have popped onto rings for ease.

I decided to start with cleaning the main (their) bathroom, so that I could write down the procedure as I went along. When I explained what I was up to, both girls very eagerly came along to help. They really seemed to enjoy giving the bathroom a thorough clean, in fact a couple of times I had to tell them to stop as it couldn't possibly get any cleaner. The funny thing is now that they know exaclty how much work is involved in cleaning the bathroom properly they decided to put some stuff away that they had sitting on the window sill and vanity, so that there wont be quite so much for them to move next time.

For our bathroom and seperate toilet, all the cleaning supplies are in blue (I have also use blue for the checklists) and only let the children use natural cleaners. 

Here's a copy of what's on our bathroom checklist, remember it is aimed at children so I have made it rather detailed. Feel free to copy and paste if it would be of any use to your kids. (Cleaning windows and mopping floors is something that I have not included as it's something I do for the whole house.)

  Gather supplies in the blue plastic tub:
·       cleaning cloths (blue)
·       one sheet of newspaper
·       old toothbrush
·       a general natural spray cleaner for the shower, mirror, etc
·       sponge / squeegee for the shower and bath
·       plastic gloves (optional for you to wear)
·       vacuum Cleaner

  Pick up everything up off of the floor and counters, and put it away.
  Remove items that are left permanently on the bench (whilst you clean basins, mirrors, etc so they don’t get broken) also out of the way outside the room.
  Place floor rugs and rubbish bin just outside the door but not in your way.
  Place dirty towels and flannels in the correct laundry baskets


  Spray shower cleaner in the bathtub and shower, be sure to get it on both the walls and shower door.
  Spray mirror cleaner onto the mirror.
  Use a crumpled piece of newspaper (or mirror cloth) to wipe the mirror.
  Wipe the mirror frame with a clean cloth.

Use a cloth, which you must rinse when it gets dirty and between each activity to:
  clean the sink tap(s) and chrome sink plug hole(s). You may require the toothbrush to get around the edges of the taps and the edges of the sink hole.
  Ditto with the bath tap(s) and chrome bath plug hole(s).
  clean the sink(s), then counter, and the vanity cupboards. Don’t forget the cupboard skirting board.

Spray cleaner and then with a new damp cloth
  wipe off any marks on the walls
  wipe the window sills
  wipe the skirting boards down

Use another new clean damp cloth to
  wipe the items that sit permanently on the bench, and then return them to their places on the vanity bench top.
  wipe around power points and light switches. Make sure cloth is slightly damp, not wet, around electrical fixtures!
  wipe the doorknobs
  Wet your sponge and squeegee to scrub the shower. Remember to do the outside of the door too.
  Clean the shower taps and shower head.
  Scrub / wipe out the bathtub.

  Vacuum the floors. Pay special attention to the edges of the floor, near the walls, and under counters.
  Vacuum the bathroom mats
  Let Mum know if the floor needs mopping, otherwise replace the mats on the bathroom floor.
  Empty the rubbish bin and return it.
  Put out fresh towels and a flannel
  Put away supplies; dirty cloths into the laundry tub and your blue plastic tub with supplies into the laundry cupboard.

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right!



  1. Hi, I absolutely LOVE this! I still remember being a kid and being told to do something but with no specifics of what to do, I had no clue how to do it, so would just sort of muck around in my room.

    Detailing steps out is critical and often the kids love to clean, once they have been taught how.

    Loving your blog by the way!

    ¸..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
    ¸.·´ ..·´¨¨))
    ((¸¸.·´ ..·´ -:¦:- Lisa
    -:¦:- ((¸¸.·´*

    1. Hi Lisa, So cool to have you comment! I have just finished a set of instructions for the girls on how to clean their bedrooms. If you want copies love just email me and I'll forward them through. You can change them to suit your needs :)


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