Monday, January 18, 2010

Starting The New Year Right

I have tried and tried and TRIED all sorts of things to keep this house clean. Store bought and homemade just to help the girls stay on top of their chores. Even having them pay each other to do their work if they did not get it done. All either didn't work, or worked for a short while, then fizzled out.

FINALLY I have something that works! :D :D :D We have been doing it for two weeks now, and I can say I am happy happy HAPPY!

I have shared before about how I took some things from Flylady. Each child has their own zone in the house (a room they are in charge of making sure stays clean and orderly). And since they all share a room, the room is divided into zones and each child is responsible for keeping their room zone clean (which includes their bed). We also made a rule that there are no toys in the room, and no books in the room. They may have a book they are currently reading near their bedside, but not the plethora of books that they used to bring in there (I love that my girls love books, but BOY it was getting BAD).

The other thing that is the REAL key to this is to make sure things revolve around meals. I know it sounds silly and simple. And maybe it is, but it WORKS!

Each chore is written on a card. It is broken down into easy steps (especially the younger the child). MM cannot read yet, so she also has pictures on her card that we worked through together to help give her clues as to what the card says.

The cards are on the TO DO side, and once a card is completed, it is moved to the ALL DONE side. Easy Peasy, huh?


The names are blocked out for privacy reasons. Each child has their own color for their cards.

So there are before breakfast chores which, if everything was done like it should, should only take about 15 minutes to complete.
MAKE BED
TIDY ROOM ZONE
GET DRESSED AND BRUSH HAIR
(Because EE's zone is the kitchen, she has to unload the dishwasher so it is ready to load with dishes from the day, starting with breakfast dishes)

Then after breakfast chores:
CLEAR SPOT AT TABLE (they each eat on a tray like from school cafeteria and they leave the tray and their cup to be used for each meal in their spot, but make sure their tray is clean and clear and their spot at the table is clean and clear - dishes put directly into dishwasher)
BEGIN SCHOOLWORK
(Again with EE's Zone being the kitchen, she has extra after the meal, so while above is for all children, below is just for the kitchen zone)
SINK CLEAN AND CLEAR (again the Flylady clean sink thing)
COUNTERS CLEAR AND WIPED DOWN
CHAIRS AT THE COUNTER CLEAR (sometimes the chairs at the kitchen counter are used as a hot spot to collect items)
WIPE DOWN TABLE
WIPE DOWN CHAIRS/BENCHES (if needed)

Then before you eat lunch:
CLEAN UP SCHOOLWORK
ZONE CHECK - CLEAN AND CLEAR

Then after you eat lunch:
CLEAR SPOT AT TABLE (leaving only tray and cup)
(Again with EE's Zone being the kitchen, she has extra after the meal, so while above is for all children, below is just for the kitchen zone)
SINK CLEAN AND CLEAR (again the Flylady clean sink thing)
COUNTERS CLEAR AND WIPED DOWN
CHAIRS AT THE COUNTER CLEAR (sometimes the chairs at the kitchen counter are used as a hot spot to collect items)
WIPE DOWN TABLE
WIPE DOWN CHAIRS/BENCHES (if needed)
RUN A RINSE ON THE DISHWASHER (we do not rinse our dishes, so this is not a waste of water, but helping to keep the dishes moist so the food washes off them)

This next set of chores are called the 4:30PM chores simply because that is when we start them. They look like a lot, but honestly, it is mostly upkeep. These chores, if the girls have been keeping up with everything, these chores (except for Friday, more on that in a minute), take no more than 30 minutes to do EACH DAY! They are based on each child's zones, as well as another job they have been given the responsibility for. On Friday's, it is major cleaning day, so in their zones, extra responsibilities, and bedroom, deeper cleaning is done - this adds about 30-45 minutes to cleaning during this time. The reward of getting this done sooner rather than later, is that when you are done, you are able to sit and listen to an audio book or audio theatre.

Everyone's have these 4:30PM chores in common:
ALL TOYS, GAMES, BOOKS AND SCHOOLWORK BACK WHERE THEY BELONG - NICE AND ORDERLY
CHECK ROOM: BED MADE AND ROOM ZONE CLEAR
CLEAN 15 ITEMS IN BASEMENT
2 ITEM GIVEAWAY (this is our decluttering, once the child has done a decent job, this will not be needed but maybe once a week)
ZONE CHECK - CLEAN AND CLEAR

MM's extra responsibility is the hallway upstairs between the children's bedrooms
CHECK HALLWAY - NO TRASH, NO CLOTHES, NO TOYS
FRIDAY!!! VACUUM ZONE, BEDROOM, HALLWAY and JJ'S ROOM

EE's extra job is the children's bathroom. She has one card with everything broken down as to what is expected. The front looks like this:
SINK CLEAN AND CLEAR
COUNTERS CLEAN AND ORDERLY
EMPTY TRASH IF NEEDED
FLOOR CLEAN AND CLEAR (behind toilet too)
FLUSH POTTY (if needed)

The back of the card is for Friday cleaning and looks like this
FRIDAY!!!
SCRUB TUB
WASH TOWELS (the hamper for dirty bath towels is in their bathroom)
FOLD AND PUT AWAY WASHED TOWELS
SCRUB TOILET
SWEEP FLOOR
PUT CLEAN TOWEL ON ROD

AA's extra job is the main bathroom (which is small, but important that it looks nice because guests use it), and the entry way (again, important that it looks nice so that guests feel welcome. On Friday, she vacuums her zone and the stairs going upstairs.
ENTRYWAY: CLEAN AND ORDERLY - NOTHING ON FLOOR
MAIN BATHROOM: SINK CLEAN AND CLEAR, COUNTERS CLEAN AND ORDERLY, EMPTY TRASH IF NEEDED, FLOOR CLEAN AND CLEAR and if it is FRIDAY!!!! SRUB TOILET, PUT OLD TOWEL IN HAMPER UPSTAIRS TO BE WASHED AND PUT CLEAN TOWEL ON ROD

After dinner chores are a bit different because instead of eating in the kitchen, we are eating in the dining room, which is part of AA's zone:
CLEAN ENTIRE SPOT INTO DISHWASHER
WASH AND DRY TRAY AND PUT IN TRAY SPOT (there is a spot where the trays belong)
Kitchen chores (for EE):
MAKE SURE KITCHEN TABLE COMPLETELY CLEAR (no trays)
WIPE TABLE
WIPE DOWN CHAIRS/BENCHES (no only if needed, this is to be done)
PUT ALL NAPKINS INTO DIRTY HAMPER
CLEAR KITCHEN FLOOR (nothing should be on the floor)
SWEEP KITCHEN FLOOR (under and around table, stove, fridge, etc.)
SINK CLEAN AND CLEAR
WIPE STOVETOP DOWN
POTS AND PANS WASHED AND HUNG TO DRY
COUNTERS CLEAR AND WIPED DOWN
AFTER ALL DISHES ARE PUT IN DISHWASHER, RUN THE LOAD WITH SOAP
(Dining room chores for AA):
MAKE SURE DINING TABLE COMPLETELY CLEAR (no trays)
WIPE TABLE
WIPE DOWN CHAIRS
PUT ALL NAPKINS INTO DIRTY HAMPER
CLEAR FLOOR UNDER AND AROUND TABLE
VACUUM (whoever thought of carpet in a dining room?!?!) FLOOR

Bedtime Routine:
PUT ON NIGHTIE
GO POTTY
GET DRINK
BRUSH TEETH
BRUSH HAIR

OK... all this has been working GREAT! Like I said, the key is to revolve around meals instead of times. If something HAS to be done before you eat, it will be done. This is especially nice for me, who does NOT do well on a schedule and likes things to be flexible. If things get REALLY hectic through the day, or we are gone for most of the day, as long as the 4:30 and after dinner jobs get done, the house stays clean. The other times for jobs are really just checks to make sure things are being stayed up on.

NOW I just need to make ME one of these things. :D And have the kids help keep me accountable! Exercise, school planning, cleaning my room, laundry, finances/computer time, cooking the meals, training the kids to cook meals, sewing (I plan on sewing AA's wardrobe this year WITH her help!), scrapping (this is something that I might just call art and we al do ART doing school time).

1 comment:

Tara said...

I'm gonna give this a try! Thank you so much for posting this!