We've stumbled upon a system that works for whole house cleaning, that involves everyone, and actually ends in a clean house and no one being grumpy or fighting!
I've been doing this method for about 6 months now and it has yet to fail me!
We call it ... Tickets!
The premise is that there are jobs in the form of tickets.
There is a movie, snacks or some other award that the children value and would like to earn... they earn it through accomplishing a task on the tickets they apply for.
Divide your house by zones that need cleaning, you can group up areas like hallways or stairways into larger areas. Ensure that jobs are as equal as possible. For example, the kitchen is always by itself, but the living room and dining room are together because they are less work.
Write the jobs on paper or index cards.
|Someone lost their "car" ticket and so they made their own replacement|
Divy out the cards. We do them in rounds. Round 1 is the hardest jobs, round 2 easier and round 3 easiest. And typically there ends up being three, sometimes 4 tickets per person. Sometimes we put things like, "read to a sibling" or "do a page of math" in our tickets just to get other things done and to mix it up a bit! Sometimes jobs are person specific like "clean your room" or "do you own laundry".
|See, it's fun! I often help on bigger jobs like this one!|
Tell them the prize they are working to earn...
Today it is a Thanksgiving themed movie and popcorn!!!
Then give them a time limit. In our house today they can work until 1 pm when the movie starts.
And lastly be present and check in with them often so they don't get stuck or side tracked. I require them to tell me when they are done with a ticket and I check their work and take the ticket and write their name on it.
|Lovely room cleaned by my lovely girl!|
What To Do With Littles?
Most often I assign easier jobs for people under age 5.
They get jobs like:
- Pick up your room
- Make your bed
- Play with baby
- Spray off all the door knobs with germ killers (essential oil mix) and wipe down
- Put away your clothes
- Or the ever popular: Help a big kid with a job like cleaning out the car.
A Few Helpful Hints:
- Don't make it too hard at first... work up to it!
- Be involved, unless you have bigger kids. Work along side them.
- Keep their eyes on the prize! Yell out... "Only 1 more hour until MOVIE time!"
- Put on some motivating, upbeat music... but nothing visual to distract them.
- Remind them that they are a team, but I generally keep each ticket a personal accomplishment (one kid per area/ticket).
- When someone is struggling with motivation I bring them aside and ask them how they need my help.
- Often the children want me to close my eyes and surprise me with the space. I act it up big time and then give a few suggestions.
- Praise and instill how their work benefits them directly, "Oh my goodness! Doesn't it feel great to have a clean room? I bet you will wake up tomorrow and feel so good when you see that it's still clean!"
Good Luck and God Speed!
(Forgive the janky photo layout... for the life of me I can't get them to go where I tell them!!! Huff!)