Week 3, Day 1 – Using the Summer Wisely

by StephBuckwalter on June 20, 2011

This week, the focus will be on getting everyone involved in keeping house.

Now that school is out, the summer schedule starts to kick in. Why not try to add a few chores into the mix? Assign a public area to each member of the household to pick up daily. Then, pay attention to what is picked up or complained about. That will help you identify the source of the problem. It could be a person who needs to learn to pick up after himself or herself, or a system that needs to be put in place to manage the area.

[Kamikaze Cleaning Challenge - Week 3, Day 1]

  • jen thompson

    Does scraping tons of junk out of, vacuuming, washing out, and washing carpet and seats in the van count? If so, I worked on it for 2 hours. E.www, can’t believe we were driving around in that

  • Sheranne

    Okay I am ready to fall over. Had a meeting at my house today to plan curriculum for our homeschool co-op. Due to several unexpected events this past week I had not gotten the cleaning I needed to do done in my personal disaster known as my house.

    So I Kamikaze cleaned form 6:30 pm last night until 4:30 am this morning (on lots of caffeine and advil). That seems to be the only way I can really get anything done – uninterrupted in the middle off the night. I then slept for 2 1/2 hours, got up, drank a sample of one of those 5 hour energy type drinks (it worked!), took a shower, got ready and cleaned 3 more hours. That last three hours was when I finally got to the “normal” maintenance type cleaning stuff so I guess that does not count.

    Then I took about 1 1/2 hour this evening to go through the pile I dumped at the top of my stairs where noone could see it (which included a big box of dishes I behind on!). That puts my total for the past 24 hours at 11 1/2 hours. (how depressing is that!)

    I am going to bed now and praying I can sleep a good ten hours and function for same meeting tomorrow (it only lased for about 30 min. b/c a horrible storm came in accompanied by flooding and power outages so we are trying again tomorrow).

    The good news is my house will be in better shape tomorrow AM than it was today in the AM! Yippee!!!!

  • Amy

    Spent 30 minutes cleaning cabinets and appliances in my kitchen.

  • Anonymous

    Definitely counts! Cleaning out the van is one kid’s weekly chore at our house. It doesn’t really get vacuumed out each week, but at least someone goes out there and removes the obvious stuff. I still remember years of stuff blowing out the door as soon as it opened.

  • Anonymous

    That’s an amazing effort! I do hope you have a few days to enjoy it now. Glad to know those 5 hour energy drinks work.

  • Anonymous

    You are being very faithful to work on your house each week. Good job.

  • Anonymous

    Had a birthday in the house today, and we’re working on a host of things with my 5 year old daughter. Sometimes taking care of her is like keeping several plates spinning at once. She had at least 4 changes of clothes, and mostly for different reasons. Glad she’s asleep now.

  • jen thompson

    Hahaha. I can sooo relate to the stuff blowing out the door.

  • Anonymous

    I chose three areas for the children to be in charge of. ds11 chose the living room, dd8 chose the front yard, and ds5 chose the backyard. I will take the dining room and I hope dh will take the kitchen. It’s a start. The kids already argued about who cleans that area. Does the child in charge clean his area himself or make sure the other members of the family take care of their things that are in that area?

  • Anonymous

    We need to work on the van, too. There’s always something blowing out the door! ha ha

  • Anonymous

    This can get tricky because kids like to boss each other around. Think of it like this: Parents are the enforcers of the house rules. If you delegate enforcement to another person, then they have the authority to make sure others do their jobs. That is a big load to put on a child and unless that authority is executed with kindness and wisdom, it is probably not the best solution. (I speak from experience here. My boys love to lord it over each other when given the chance.)

    Here is what I recommend. The first step is to assign the room. Then give the bottom line: the assigned person is responsible for making sure the room stays picked up–regardless of who is making the mess.

    That does not mean the person has to endlessly clean up after others. It means they begin by serving others and picking things up. Once the room is consistently picked up, it will become obvious who is creating the work. When it does, then you can step in and make sure that person becomes responsible for his or her messes.

    What this looks like: Suzy leaves her wooden puzzles laying out every day. She is easily distracted, so this is no surprise. She simply needs reminders to put her things away before moving on to the next thing. So each time someone notices the puzzles pieces out, she comes and cleans them up herself. In other words, if Suzy has a habit that is creating work for others, then she is required to clean up after herself.

    A different scenario: If you have young kids who leave a lot of toys out, you can put a basket in the room to collect those for easy clean up. The toddler can easily put things in a nearby container. Or you can remove most of the toys to another area. Both options work. When the basket gets full, put some of those toys in other rooms as new ones will always migrate into the main play areas.

    In summary, assign the room and make it stick. If it becomes obvious that someone is creating more work than is reasonable, then make that person clean up before the assigned cleaner comes in to do his job.

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