Coming Clean!

By Lavonne Kroeker, PHEc

Oh, I want to clean – spring brings those well-intentioned thoughts to my mind.  Growing up, my mom set the example with her list in the cupboard door where she kept track of the rooms that she had brought to a sparkling clean – walls washed, drawers sorted, shelves wiped and corners dusted.  What a great feeling!

How about involving your kids in this ritual of springtime goodness?  Pick a Saturday and tackle just one room – Turn up the tunes and let the little ones wipe the bottom of the wall while the older ones pull out a box to fill up with unwanted items for the thrift store!  Of course, this project will not be as efficient as a one-person job but it will reap benefits.  You get to spend some fun, productive time with your kids, your kids learn by working alongside you how to get into those small corners where the dust bunnies live and your room will be cleaner than before you started, hopefully!

Finally, just a few words of caution:

  • Careful with chemicals and kids – stick with rooms that don’t require the “big guns” when it comes to cleaning agents, or stick with kid-safe supplies.
  • Keep it small and manageable – even without involving the kids, tackling the whole house at one time is intimidating.  By sticking to one room, everyone will get to experience the feeling of accomplishment when the job is done.  And the shorter time span from start to finish will hopefully mean the kids are engaged from start to finish!
  • Keep it fun – your kids do not have the experience you have in getting spots off walls or vacuuming the floor so remember the process is just as much a part of this as the end result.  Get the kids to think of a reward for the whole family once the room is done!



As a professional home economist, Lavonne Kroeker has worked in a wide variety of settings – an adult learning centre, child welfare, private industry and since 2007, as a Rural Leadership Specialist with Mantioba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives.  Her job involves “creating leaders” in rural communities – whether its supporting volunteer 4-H leaders, chairing a Safety Day committee, developing programming for women in business or organizing training for farm women, there is never a dull day!  Besides her day job, Lavonne enjoys volleyball, biking, creative pursuits and almost any outdoor activity!