Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Cleaning made Simple for Moms & Kids

Spring Cleaning
We had a few days without recipes because honestly, I was so tired of all the messes accumulating over the busy days between homeschooling and work.  I decided to try something new because I was tired of all the complaining whenever we took on "big" deep cleaning jobs.  
The "Lists"
This was the beginning of our lists.  I tend to think that my kids get overwhelmed with cleaning (especially deep cleaning) because it seems never ending.  What I chose to try this time was breaking things up, and giving THEM the choice of what chores they wanted to do.

We broke our time into 1 hour of cleaning, 30 minutes of free time... then back to 1 hour of cleaning.
Depending on the ages of your children, you  might want to go 30 for 30 or whatever.

Cover your table/door/whatever with post it notes.
Each post it note has ONE job.
I did not make one long list, like I usually do.  I didn't assign each kid a specific job.  That is just overwhelming... to all of us.  The thing is, this worked out SO well because the kids found the chores that they actually enjoyed!

This way the kids got to find ONE note, choose it, write their name on it and work on it. 
If they finished before the hour was up, they chose another and got started.
When the time was up, everyone stopped what they were doing and went outside to play.
*Honestly, this drove me NUTS because I would much rather just get it DONE!!
However, this was the most productive cleaning day we'd ever had, so I'm not going to complain!:) While they were outside, I'd add a few more post it notes with new things...

My 'pantry' was a mess.

When Paris cleaned out our spice shelf and they nearly covered the entire stove, it was obvious that we needed to thin down a bit.

Look at the GREAT job that Paris did!  And she discovered that she loves to organize, so she chose all of the organizing jobs from there on out.  She cleaned all the old food out of the refrigerators and organized everything, helped The Bean clean out cabinets... and she was GOOD at it too.
 And it looks like Paris may have inherited my love of the interesting angles for photos:)
Abyni scrubbed down the tops of the refrigerators, I moved and cleaned under them.

Realized months later why (once again) I don't spend time trying to find coupons when I can't even remember to use coupons RIGHT ON THE BAGS.  And the worst part?  I bought these BECAUSE I noticed the coupons, and I only bought one other thing that day.
The girls tackled the lazy Susan next. We needed some help.
We're wanting to thin down on plastic usage, so we tossed anything that wasn't in decent shape that we knew we could replace easily with glass or stainless steel.  This will be a process, though, because quite honestly, we're quite broke right now as it is.  It is a goal, though, and we're committed to working up to it!

And then I forgot an after picture, go figure.  I'd take one right now, but its the middle of the day after a lot of baking so the cabinets are pretty much empty because everything is dirty!