How do you manage keeping a house somewhat sane with five kids, two leopard geckos, two cats, a beta fish and a Matthew? That must be exhausting!
Oh. You're adorable. I don't do chores. Seriously. I'm the project manager of my household. I delegate. I erased the idea of being "caught up" on laundry because what's the point? The pile has a mind of it's own. I stopped folding laundry in September of 2014. It was life-changing.
My children have an amazing amount of chores. They are completed by 4:30 pm and my house is somewhat sane until dinner time. The other two times I need them to clean things, I do as follows...
Clean your room!!
Instead of “hey child, go clean your room”, it’s much more effective if you go in and sweep all their junk into a pile. Then have a list posted with categories in the order you want the kid to work.
This is my list:
1- make your bed
2- sort all the clothes in your room, clean to a pile on your bed, dirty to the hamper
3- find the 5 biggest things in the pile and put them away
5- big toys
7- the rest
8- sort and put away the clean clothes from your bed
If the kid is little or sluggish, bribe them. Give them a mini Marshmellow or semi-sweet chocolate chip for each number... you can even go up incrementally (1 mallow for task 1, 2 for task 2... to keep them motivated) Don’t like sugar? Cheetos work just as well, IME. Make it fun and drop it into their mouth like a baby bird getting a worm. Make them say “cheep cheep” if you do that. Yes, even the 12 year olds.
If the pile is 90% toys? Split the big pile into multiple smaller piles and give them a treat when each one is finished.
If these don’t work? Or they lose steam? Play the “number game” or the “color game”:
- Tidy 5 things then come get a Cheeto!
- Tidy 7 BLUE things and then come get a Cheeto!
- Put away 4 books and then come get a Cheeto!
- Throw all your stuffies at your head board and shout “GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAL” if they don’t bounce back off the bed.
What if I need a deeper house cleaning? Like for a party or Our Lord and Savior Ruth Bader Ginsburg is visiting?
"Tasks in a hat"
Balance it with 2:1 chores:break tasks.
- Tidy living room
- Clean Bathroom #1
- Do laundry load
- Clean family room
(Use the broom for all the clutter in each room)
- Dance break!! (Wooden spoon microphones enhance this break)
- Cookie break!!
- Story time break!!
- FLOOR IS LAVA BREAK!!!
Also? Do it in two phases... Phase two has the deeper cleaning like vacuuming, washing and dusting if you do that kind of stuff. Can’t really draw the “vacuum living room” before you tidy it...