I don’t know about you, but this house can get messy in 5.2 seconds. It seems like every square inch of it is a mess. Every where I turn needs my attention. When this happens I have two ways to take care of it. I do this once a day, typically at the end of the day. There’s no need to try during the day. What if someone stops by and your house is a wreck? So what. Just smile. A smile can forgive a multitude of things.
Here are two ways that we tackle a mess:
1) We play post office. I give each boy a box and assign them an area. For example…my youngest has a box and his job is to pick up everything that belongs in the playroom. My middle son has a box and he has to pick up all trash. My oldest has a box and he has to pick up all dirty clothes. Then they must deliver it to the correct room and put it in its place. Thus the name post office. I usually set a timer to create a sense of competition. Once they do this we look around and see what is left. They then start again and deliver to wherever it goes until everything is picked up.
2) We all gather things from around the house and pile it in one area. Then I give instructions like pick 7 things from the pile to put up, or we take 10 minutes to see if we can make it through the pile. We are usually finished before the allotted time. This typically takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish if everyone is working.
Do our boys like this? No way. Is there much weeping and gnashing of teeth? Usually. That’s okay with me. Not everything we do around here is fun. Would I really be loving them and teaching them to be responsible adults if I did everything for them?? No way. Make a competition out of it. Make it fun. And, by all means, make it a group effort. Your kids will thank you one day…or at least we’ll have something fun to talk about around the table when they are grown. I can hear it now…”Do you remember when mom used to make us play Post Office?!?”
How do you clean up around your house? I’d love to hear your ideas.