Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Emergency Cleaning :)

We had a different school day today. What my Mom used to call an "activity day"- we did our Math-U-See and Progressive Phonics, and the rest of the day was spent in fun learning activites. They spent a lot of time on the computer doing educational games and websites. They also did puzzles, coloring, and they played outside.

WHY did we have this fun, unschooling-type day? Well, ot because I am such a wonderful, creative mom. More like because I am not a very good housekeeper. :)

This place was a WRECK and so I took an Emergency Cleaning day. What is an Emergency Cleaning day? It is when you are going to start burning things if you don't get your house clean, so you had better get it clean fast!! No, not really...... well, maybe sometimes.

Here is what I do. (This can also be employed when your second cousin from Florida calls to tell you they are coming through on their vacation and want to stop in and chat. )

  1. Do this BEFORE you need it, not on when you are already on the way to the kid's toy closet with a lighter!!
  2. Get a jar or cup.
  3. Cut up a piece of cardstock or paper into small strips.
  4. Write down the things you need to do on an emergency day.
  5. Fold and put in jar.

Why not just make a list, or as my hubby says, DO IT? Well, if that worked the house wouldn't be a mess, would it? You would already have DONE IT!

Lists are alright for me, for day-to-day chores. But if I see a list with a WHOLE house worth of stuff on it, I will probably not ever start, since it looks too overwhelming to finish. A jar of cards is safe because you can't see what is in it!

You will also probably save the worst jobs for last if you use a list. Again, you can't see what you are getting with a jar.

The other problem I have with intensive cleaning is the clutter. Sometimes you just can't SEE it because it has been there so long. What to do? I used some of those handy strips to put down 'picking-up' chores, too. BUT you need to time yourself! You can thank Fly-Lady for this. So you put something like "Living Room, 5 minutes" on your paper.

I will clean a little bit and then think it looks good enough, so that is that. But if I have to pick up clutter for 5 or 10 or 15 minutes, it forces me to really get in there and get the toys out from under the couch, clean off the side tables, and pick up the little wrappers under the recliner. I have to fill the time!

Don't forget to add some fun things! We have tag, hide and seek and drink breaks in ours, you need that! Just put a time on them, say 5 or 10 minutes, so you don't end up playing tag ALL DAY.

One of the best advantages to this tool? The fact that when your house is overwhelming, you don't start because you don't know WHERE to start. With a jar, all you do is pull out a card and begin.

1 comment:

  1. Fun idea! Though I still like the thoughts of burning it all, some days!


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