The Problem with Kids Cleaning for Pesach

The Problem with Kids Cleaning for Pesach

(An oldie but goodie from 3 years ago)

This morning, I ran into my neighbor who has 6 kids under the age of 7. Her kids are home today for election today, and she quipped: “Not getting any cleaning done today, that’s for sure!”

“Just wait,” I told her, “in 10 years those same kids who make it impossible to clean will clean the house FOR YOU. You’ll be sitting pretty!”

There’s always a lot for moms to get done before Pesach, even with older kids around. But it does make it a lot easier…

Let me clarify. I’ve discovered that there are 3 different age-group categories when it comes to Pesach-cleaning helpers.

In my house, the high-school-age and older kids would rather not clean. They do the minimum I require of them. Though they help with other stuff: shopping, taking the younger kids out, etc.

The under-8 crowd REALLY want to clean, but they’re not especially focused or helpful.

Therefore, for as long as I can remember, my best Pesach cleaning helpers have been my 8-13-year-olds. They still think Pesach cleaning is kind of exciting. And they can maintain focus for more than 4 minutes before wandering off to play. And the decent but not tantalizingly high hourly wage I pay them to help (if they continue cleaning beyond the required amount of time) is still a huge motivator.

In keeping with this tradition, my biggest helper this year has been Yoel, my 11-year-old son.
He’s been making his way quickly through different jobs I give him around the house.
Maybe too quickly?

This morning, right after giving chizuk to my neighbor, I took a peek underneath the stairs where we keep backpacks and coats. Yoel had just cleaned there. And he did a nice job. It was all cleaned out.
But then I noticed one small thing he had missed…


  1. That’s so funny!!! Yup bigger than a kzayis.

  2. So true my 11 year old daughter is my biggest helper!

  3. Bs”d
    Yep, my daughter whose 10 helped me quite a lot! Its a good idea to give them some to.keep
    their motivation.

  4. Oopsie, no biggy. Or is it. Yeah, it’s kinda of a biggy. Lol, Baruch Hashem for bedikas chametz.

  5. Chana Jenny, I love reading your posts of your family. they should all be blessed!
    I am in a different stage, my children are older, (youngest is 26) and I cannot depend on them for help like I did years ago because Bh’ they have families, and are living in different cities. I have had to learn to also clean/declutter/pack away chametz utensils differently where its much less work involved for me to clean and after pesach to unpack. we all figure out what works for us and our family stages.

  6. My daughter’s school gave the kids a chart for helping parents clean. Every day they did 5 things and the parents signed off on it they got a sticker. (She’s under 8.) So most days involved me trying to find random, easy things she could do to “help” me clean… and ultimately get the sticker. Mitoch Shelo lishma ba lishma?? Meanwhile her 4 year old sister just wanders around with a handful of baby wipes, wiping off any surface in arm’s reach. Bless them!

  7. Savta Ima

    Yup, Ima the Mashgiach is still not altogether off the hook, lol.
    My favorite find a long, long time ago, was what i THOUGHT was a paper napkin stuck behind the foot of a radiator. It took a lot of tugging for some reason. When i finally unsnagged it and dragged it out, it turned out to be the lost afikoman! Wrapped in a napkin. Which one of the kids had hid there not one but 2 pesachs ago! Not chometz, but a satisfying find, and great comic relief.

  8. Im glad i read this because i was getting quite disappointed with this year’s cleaning team (my big boys) whom last year and the year before were such a great help to me. Now i know its a norm.
    And yes, they run small errands and entertain the little ones minimally, but all the heavy work is on me. Baruch Hashem.

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