Keep Clutter at Bay
- What: All Family Clean Up
- When: Once a month
- Why: Avoid living in squalor or doing all the chores
- Where: Your home
I got sick of doing everything myself. I took the cue from my kids’ school and decided they could pitch in with housework. My kids’ school put my kids to work cleaning and taking care of the school grounds before I thought of the idea. I pulled up to pick them up a bit early one day and discovered kids on the sidewalk. It turns out the teachers had them weeding – their assigned task for that day of school clean up. Other kids cleaned the banisters, took out the trash, and various other chores that needed to get done to avoid drowning in dirt (or worse). The possibilities flashed before my eyes, and All Family Clean Up was born.
Now, once a month on the weekend, we have All Family Clean Up. Whatever needs extra attention, from getting the grubby bits of food out of the cracks of the dining room table to eliminating whatever grows in hidden corners of the kitchen, we all help out.
Each clean up (and I mean clean, not pick up like the normal clean up time that happens every evening) lasts roughly an hour. Five people working for one hour equals roughly five hours of housekeeping. I write down things as I notice them getting out of hand over the month. Then we all pitch in to fix it during the monthly cleaning session on the first Sunday monthly.
My kids have started noticing things and making suggestions for the clean up list, which I find exhilarating. (I had no idea they noticed.) This past month, we moved the sofa cushions and vacuumed or put away all the treasures we found and plumped the cushions, sorted the toy vehicles back onto their shelves, organized their play kitchen, and cleaned out the car. We’ve also done yard work, cleaned the actual kitchen, and many other tasks. It goes much faster with more people working on it, and I spend less time cleaning.
I highly recommend setting aside a time for your family to help out. It works wonders for the attitudes and the house.