This weekend my kids wanted to go to the park. They wanted to swim. My husband said, “We need one day to clean up. Every room in the house looks like a hurricane hit it!” He went in the backyard to start there.
I came up with a plan to surface clean the whole house in just 15 minutes. It was even like a game- and everybody won.
“Let’s set the timer for 15 minutes and each of us takes a section of the house to clean. Let’s see if we can do it in just 15 minutes.” We quickly came up with a game plan.
My two younger kids immediately said which rooms they wanted- my 5-year-old cleaned the living room/ toy room and my 7-year-old wanted to clean the two bathrooms. I gave her non-toxic spray and cleaning rags so she could clean the counters, sink, and then toilets, which she has done before. She knows to clear off the counters before spraying and to do the toilets after she wipes the flushing handle.
We quickly assigned the others. My 9-year-old took on the room he shares with his older brother, which meant he had to make both beds, not just his own, and clean up everybody’s things- no griping, which surprised me. My 10-year-old straightened up the family room, which also meant putting things away in the right place, shoes, toys, etc., even if they weren’t his.
I took on sweeping the downstairs and straightening up the kitchen, loading dirty dishes in the dishwasher and washing pots and pans. I was the only one who needed more than 15 minutes, but not much more.
There wasn’t fighting. The set amount of time was just enough to get the job done, but it also kept them on task.
Afterwards, we had more than enough time to play!
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