Resolution 4: Keep the house cleaner

Description: This is always my goal. It’s just… a disaster area. Too many little busy kids home all day, too many sicknesses, too many activities, too much work, too tired, too much stuff.

Motivation: I want to find the things we have, I want to be able to start a project without first finding the parts and clearing a space. It would be nice if we could easily have people over and even host cub scout meetings here or something. Oh, and clutter and dirt makes me nuts (see: Monk).

Method: I have so many cleaning lists. I often get set goals too high and burnout (see Hyperbole and a Half: Why I’ll Never be An Adult. NSFW or kids or people who don’t like potty language). I have too many people in this house who are not naturally organized. Heck, they are naturally *dis* organized. Chaos runs in their genes. But I think I’m finally to a point that if I clean things up and say where they go, they can put them back with some regularity. This has taken years to accomplish, and I’m pretty proud (see Smart But Scattered for information on using monthly contracts to help the kids get structure and Fly Lady for helping grownups learn to have house cleaning routtines). So, going forward we have:

  • Daily lists for each person. The kids’ are laminated so they can check things off. Mine are in Remember The Milk.
  • Lists for each room (not quite done, but getting there). We’ll concentrate on a room a day, repeating each month. At first it will just be cleaning and straightening, but eventually it will involve cleaning out cabinets and sorting and such. 
  • One day a week we’ll do quick routine vacuuming and cleaning of the major rooms. I hope to keep this under an hour.
  • Labels! If it helps, I’ll bust out the label maker.
  • A million reminders and fights with the kids. New contracts. Money or prizes to get them to follow their contracts.

Goal: I’ll know we’re done when the rooms get vacuumed and dusted regularly, the laundry is put away every week, the dishes are done every night, people can drop by, and I can plan events here without having a heart attack. This is another ongoing process, but we try to make it better every day, week, month, and year.

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