The past couple of days, in addition to schoolwork, the kids and I have had what we now call “Away Days”. You might think that we have been adventuring around, but in reality we have been deep cleaning bedrooms. This is something I usually attempt about every three to four months (sooner if I can’t walk to the beds) but this time we tried something a little different and it worked pretty well. Adapting some of what I’ve recently learned and what I already knew about ‘deep cleaning’, this is how we went about the tasks. I made 4 signs, “Put Away”, “Give Away”, “Pack Away”, and “Throw Away” and attached them to 3 laundry baskets and a trash can, respectively. Then I set the timer for 30 minutes and the three of us started working on my son’s room using the baskets for our sorting. After 30 minutes was up, we took a 10 minute break, then I set the timer for another 30 minutes, took the containers, went into my daughter’s room to clean and sort. We went back and forth like this until both rooms were completely de-cluttered. The rule was if you touched something it had to go into one of the four containers. After everything was sorted, we started with the “Put Away” container. Everything had to have a home in order to keep the item in the room. I gave them to the count of ten. After that time I asked them re-evaluate and to decide if it was just clutter or something they really wanted. A lot of things ended up in the “Give Away” or “Pack Away” piles after they thought about it. After packing the “Give Away” and “Pack Away” piles, we took the checklist I had made and finished all the tasks on the list. Their rooms look quite nice and they are very pleased with the results. I was very happy that I was able to get them to actually work together and not argue or fight. By everyone knowing what each pile was for the whole job was lot smoother and amazingly fast.
Yesterday, after schoolwork and skating, I attacked my bedroom with the same method and the same results. We will be tackling different rooms a little at a time until the whole house is the way I want it. Hopefully, by using the checklist each night before bed, we’ll be able to maintain order a little better.
What I’ve done is placed ‘X’s on the tasks that I don’t require them to do each day. That way the job doesn’t seem so overwhelming. I’ve made a list for each child to put into their own notebook along with other checklists to help them do their chores efficiently.