Wednesday, March 30, 2011

All in a Day: Housecleaning

Today the All in a Day bloggers are discussing how we tackle housecleaning, which can be a never-ending job with a large family!

We have used various systems through the years.  At times, we have had a big cleaning day one day a week.  At other times, we have divided up the jobs/rooms over the course of a week and cleaned certain areas each day. 

Before we moved, this was the system we had in place:

Monday:  We all cleaned our bedrooms.

Tuesday:  We deep-cleaned all the bathrooms.  I also focused on laundry and ironing.

Wednesday:  We thoroughly cleaned the kitchen, and I let the children sign up for the detail jobs of their choosing, such as cleaning out the microwave, wiping down the white cabinet fronts, scrubbing out the sink, etc.

Thursday:  We cleaned the family room, dining room, and foyer.

Friday:  We cleaned the bonus room/school room.

Saturday:  We tackled the porches and van, and sometimes weeded or raked or did other yard jobs, as needed.

To maintain, the children and I straightened or quick-cleaned our assigned jurisdictions each morning throughout the week. 

Disclaimer:  This looked great on paper and worked well when we followed the plan!  Of course, it didn't always work out as perfectly as it sounds here!  

Since moving, we have been cleaning one day a week -- on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning.  Each child cleans their assigned jurisdictions, and I clean mine.  This is working for now. 

I have used the idea of Jurisdictions, or areas of responsibility, for the last twelve or thirteen years. The idea is to not just give your children little jobs to do, but to give them whole rooms or areas of jurisdiction, to be responsible for cleaning and maintaining throughout the week.  This teaches them responsibility and has proven to be more effective and efficient than just assigning random jobs.

One thing that has never worked for me is the rotating job chart!!  They take a long time to set up, and I could never keep up with whose turn it was to do what!  With so many children, it just became too complicated!  It was definitely more work than it was worth!

A workable system needs to be relatively simple to create and keep going, or it will soon fall by the wayside.  It also needs to fit where your family is Right Now.

There are two other tools that I use from time to time, as needed.  One is the Master Job List, usually written on a legal pad.  I go around the house and write down every job I can think of that needs to be done, and then the children sign up for jobs, one at a time until they are all taken.  At times, I've assigned point or monetary values to the jobs, which increases motivation exponentially! This is a great way to quickly tackle a house that is a mess.

The other tool is Individual Job Lists.  I usually write these on index cards.  I write each child's name on top and each job I want them to complete on the card.  When all of their assigned jobs are done, they can have Free Time!  This is as simple as it gets, and it works!

When all else fails, the best idea is to invite guests over for dinner!  Amazing how that motivates a good old-fashioned house cleaning!!!   ;)

I don't know about you, but I'm eager to discover how the other All in a Day bloggers manage to keep their homes spic and span!!  ;)  Check out what they have to say:

Carrie @ Our Full House

Christi @ Where the Creek Meets the Lake

Elizabeth @ Yes They're All Ours

Kathy @ Kathy Mom of Many

Kristy @ Homemaker's Cottage

Lori @ Happy Busy Mama

Monica @ Natural Mama

Renee @ Bakers Dozen

Please leave a comment sharing your system, or link your blog with us. 

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MamaAnt said...

Sounds like a plan! I like the card idea and will use that sometimes too.

Happy Busy Mama said...

You inspired me to look at grouping jobs as jurisdictions. However, some of my little ones could not say the big one, so we settled on areas. It does work well. The only job we split up is KP duty. Do you have sone person do it all or spread KP around?

No Ordinary Me said...

I agree with you on the "areas" besides rotating chore charts. I enjoyed what you shared.

mamamia said...

We have struggled along with the rotating job list for ages! I'm going to toss it in the bin with great pleasure and try some of your ideas!
I find that i'm just grabbing the nearest child and asking them to do what's needed right now, which can be grossly unfair for the teens who just stuck their head out their bedroom to chat while I'm cooking dinner, lol!
Thanks for the tips, I think we can incorporate them without too much trouble. :)

busymomof10 said...

On using Jurisdictions vs. Rotating Jobs:

We usually re-evaluate and re-assign jurisdictions as needed, once or twice a year. Before the start of a new school year is a natural time. This allows your children to really master one area, before moving on.

It also teaches them to see the bigger picture -- to enter a room and learn to SEE the things that need done in it!

It also prevents the problems that come from one child's job depending on another's -- such as "I can't vacuum the carpet, because he didn't pick up the toys." OR "I can't mop because she hasn't swept yet."

For young children, I give a smaller, less important room or an area of responsibility such as being in charge of all the trash or the recylcing, etc.


busymomof10 said...

KP -- Maybe that should be an All in a Day post of its own!

Right now, we attack it as a team -- usually me and the youngest kids (I'm looking for a name for the younger half, like maybe "The Fantastic FIve?") or whoever else is around and can be coerced into helping! It goes back to your algebra equation . . . .

TheyCallMeMom said...

We actually do the rotating chores here. I made a wheel and paired up the children. Every morning the wheel turns and the 12 set chores are divided among 4 chore teams. This makes so each team has each chore for a three day span. The children and I can glance at the wheel to know who's job is what and there are no charts to keep making. This one is laminated on the bulletin board above the kitchen table. It has really made things stream line. When we do weekly chores we work as a team tacking each room as a group, each with individual jobs. We do this on a need-to-do basis.

Ms. Sigurdson said...

When I have several young children at home, and many jobs that need to be done quickly, motivation can be an issue. One day, out of frustration, mostly, I wrote each job on lined paper, and cut the paper into strips- one for each job. I put some random fun jobs on the papers, too- eat a marshmallow, or take a 15 minute break. I put the jobs into a cup, and said, you need to do the same number of jobs as your age. Somehow, picking the jobs randomly kept the kids motivated! It also freed me up to supervise everyone or help with a hard job. We use this every time there's a lot to clean and attitudes are less than enthusiastic.

oswaldo thomas said...

I do love cleaning my house for my family. But of course, If the room or the house is so dirty I think I may be needing their help.
House Cleaning Boston

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