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A Housekeeping System That is So Much More

Jan 12, 2008
LIke any job, keeping your home clean is better accomplished through a system. Using a home cleaning system, you are able to keep up with the individual tasks, remember to do all the "little things," and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Additionally, if the system can include all members of the family, you may achieve some level of family harmony and bring a sense of accomplishment and cooperation to your home that you would not have had otherwise.

The system my family has used for several years now relies on smaller daily tasks rather than one big day of chores. We have a schedule where each person has a different room or area of the house to take care of each week day.

For example, on Mondays Mom is responsible for the kitchen (including the stove top, inside the drawers, the refrigerator, the cabinets, and the sinks). Each of the older kids is responsible for the family room or living room (they switch off monthly). Their tasks include putting things away, dusting, and washing the inside of the windows. I find they can generally get this job done in 10-15 minutes. One of us parents may help out if the room is especially messy or according to the child's age.

We find doing small tasks throughout the week is easier on the kids than being responsible for many tasks on the weekend. And if the "cleaning" is done weekly, it is easy and quick to straighten the room throughout the week, plus, if you get your jobs done each day, the whole house is never a complete mess which can be so overwhelming. Examples of other daily tasks the kids do include dusting and vacuuming the stairs, collecting the trash throughout the house and taking the big can out to the curb, a portion of their bathroom, straightening and sweeping the mud room, and straightening the game closet.

On Saturdays we have scheduled tasks that need to be done less often, including yard work, cleaning out the garage, washing the cars, or cleaning the exterior windows. By assigning teams (one parent plus one or two kids) to work on these special jobs on Saturday, we add variety to the chores and a chance for Mom and Dad to spend constructive time with the kids. We also accomplish those jobs that often get left to "Whenever I have time," or whenever things are so dirty or out of place that we can't stand it anymore. We find this eliminates stress in the home and who couldn't do with a little less stress?

Of course, life gets busy some times and we genuinely don't have time to accomplish our daily tasks, or some days the whole house is just a mess. At those times, it is easy to step back and call for everyone to do a quick run through their "areas." We can often straighten the house in 30 minutes this way without overwhelming anyone. It gives us a sense of accomplishment and removes the stress that is a messy house.

We like to reward the kids with a treat or movie on the weekend if they have done all their work. Spending time rewarding our selves allows us to reflect on the fact that a a clean and organized home is easier to live in, that we all have to work together to get the job done, and that the kids are making a really important contribution to our family life.
About the Author
Jeremy teaches people how to find motorcycle trailer hitches and helps people get the best use from their trailer hitch bike racks.
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