Saturday, June 2, 2012

Summer Clean-up

I don't know about the rest of you, but when I've got the house to myself, getting ambitious and busy with cleaning is much easier than when there are people all over the house. I stay home with my kids, and I am of the opinion that because I am home, the household chores need to be kept up by me. I have no problem with that. But when summer hits, I just want to play all day, like a kid, and leave the chores to the wind. Summer vacation means that the kids will be home all day, every day. But for me, that also means that my husband will be home, too. Being a teacher, his summers are spent at home (at least until we find the necessity for him to get a summer job). So, it seems like it's that much harder to keep things in order in my house during the summer. Not that my hubby doesn't help out. He does. But there seems to be no routine anymore. I sleep in. I read all morning, and stuff just doesn't seem to happen on a regular basis. I want to be able to jump at the chance for a family outing on a moment's notice. And somehow, doing the cleaning clouds the idea that that will be possible.

I am definitely a "color inside the lines" kind of a girl. I like schedules and routines. Oh, sure, I'd like to think that I can "laze" about all day, doing nothing without regard to any kind of schedule. But then I'm frustrated because my carpets flinch when I run the vacuum because they don't know what the ruckus is all about, and the floors can't remember when the last time a mop was applied. Not to mention the bathroom mirrors that distort your reflection because of the fingerprints and toothpaste splatter and the piles of laundry that have been sitting so long they can't remember when they were last in the closet.

SO, as the end of school approached, I decided that I needed to do something to combat that. The boys have had "mini" chores to do each day. One simple task to keep them involved, and something to base their meager allowance on. But I decided that since I've got a household full of people every day, I had better utilize them. I created a new schedule for the week. Each day has a room that is to be cleaned. But it's not just a basic "Monday clean the Front Room" kind of chore chart. I needed specifics, and ways to be sure all the bases were covered. This chart has two columns. One labeled "Mom's Chores" and one labeled "Boy's Chores." Under each heading are all the responsibilities that for the assigned room. For example, in the Front Room, my responsibilities are to: dust the piano and book shelves, remove and put away anything that doesn't belong in that room, and vacuum. The boys need to: take all story books back to their bedroom bookshelf, put away any toys left in the room, and take out the garbage (I have a small waste basket for tissues and dryer sheets).

Each day has a room and each room has specific assignments. There are between 3 and 5 things that need taken care of in each room. And like magic, my house is perpetually clean and the boys are involved. We have successfully made it through one week of cleaning together every day after breakfast and I have heard several times from my boys, "I like doing chores together." If I can keep this up, my house will be lovely all summer, and after a while my kids may start keeping things neat and orderly without a reminder (we can all hope, right?).

And because everything is always better with music, here is thePianoGuys' latest video. Here's to a clean house and a summer with a routine!


Carrie said...

Your back! Hooray, I've missed your blog. I, too, am trying to have a scheduled routine for summer days. So far mine looks like this- Monday, music; Tuesday, friend or outing; Wednesday, craft/art; Thursday, science; Friday, outdoors/sport.
You wouldn't know by looking at that list that my house is perpetually a mess. (and I am not saying that like people who say it but you look at their house at it is actually tidy and orderly. Mine really IS a mess) so I am shamelessly stealing your idea. I am optimistic that it will work only because I actually did get some tidying help from kids today.
So, one room a day- does that include kids bedrooms?
Thanks for sharing.

Elizabeth said...

Jilly-Jill, you totally rock! I hope your summer cleaning schedule is still on track and if it's not that you can get back on track. I think I need that sort of thing too. Your boys are cute and you are cute for teaching them what's important.

xo -E