Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The 15 Minute Cleaning Helper

Helping Mother

I like to be fair about chores. When my children were little, they were each assigned certain tasks each day.  One was The Breakfast Hostess. Another was in charge of cooking supper.  And another had to keep the living room clean.  Each of my 5 children had specific work to do each day.

When I was growing up, our heavy cleaning happened on Saturday.  I was responsible for cleaning the bathtub, sweeping down the porch stairs and dusting the living room.  I also had daily responsibilities. But each of these jobs, divided between family members, kept our house fairly  neat and tidy.

No house is going to be clean all the time.  We will always have chores. We will always need to prepare food, clean our clothes, and sweep. But things can be kept decent when we have helpers.

As children get older, they have more outside activities and projects going on.  They are also less likely to want to hang around with Mom (smiles) and do housework all day.  So yesterday, I decided to call my teenage son over and tell him I needed him for just 15 minutes.  This was extra work, over and above his normal daily chores. 

I set the timer, and we worked quickly. He helped me sort old clothes, throw out extra clutter, do some laundry, and deep clean our dish-drainer.   I was delighted with the extra help and was happy to get a few piled up things accomplished.

Today, I plan to have another 15 minute cleaning burst with some of the children.  It makes things more fun.   I have a list of things I want cleaned and will put it on the kitchen table.  Each of us can pick and choose what we want to do. Once the work is finished, we are to put a check mark next to the job and then write down our initials (so we know who did what).  When I tried this stunt recently, my son did far more work than I did, and was gloating.

Another thing I like to do is have cleaning contests with my grown daughter.  (She lives 2 hours away from me.)  We call each other on the phone and then talk about what we are dreading for overdue housework.  Today, we decided to deep clean our bathrooms.  I am supposed to call her this afternoon and discuss our progress.  However, I had some extra energy early this morning and already finished!   

Finding creative ways to make housework fun is one of the greatest things we can do as mothers.

Other than doing a 15 minute cleaning job with my teenagers this afternoon, I think I deserve the rest of the day off from heavy cleaning duty.  I will just relax and plan a nice leisurely supper tonight.  I hope your day goes well!

Mrs. White

Need encouragment on extreme thrift?  My favorite book is "We Had Everything but Money."

When I realized I was overworking my children - A Cheerful and Willing Housekeeper.

Looking Back - When Television was Special.

Remembering my childhood Home - Saturday Morning Chores.

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Mrs. B said...

My kids like for me to set the timer for a short amount of time and then they try and complete their chores really quickly...they love the challenge, I love the quick results :). Maybe I should try this for myself?! :)

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