Sunday, June 3, 2007

My two cents

Thought I'd add my two cents on housework. Here are three keys to keeping our house relatively clean.

1) It never gets hopelessly messy because we spend a little time each day straightening up, instead of saving a huge list of chores for the weekend. It's easy to give up when it seems too huge a task.

2) Get organized. A place for everything, and everything in its place.

3) I think the single most important thing is to have the kids do as much as they can. The boys are required to:
-put away their toys before every meal. I can't even remember the last time I had to tell someone to put away their toys. They know the rule, don't even come to the table until your toys are up and your hands are washed.
-put their dirty dishes in the sink
-throw away their trash
-feed the dogs
-let the dogs outside to go potty (this seems like a small thing, but Daisy wants to go out 200 times a day, and that gets annoying!)
-put the dogs in their kennels when we're getting ready to leave the house
-clean baseboards and the A/C vent with wet rags
-put their dirty clothes in the laundry room
-put their clean clothes in their dresser and closet (after an adult has folded it for them)
-pick out their own clothes and get dressed (who cares if they look weird?)

Speaking of clothes, we've found that hanging all shirts, even t-shirts, in the closet is much easier than putting them in the dresser. It arose out of necessity because the one dresser in the boys' room is not really big enough. We put a 48" shelf/hanger bar in their closet, low enough for the boys to reach. They can put shirts on hangers by themselves, and they can see and reach what's in there. And we don't have to fold shirts at all.

The next job I'll teach them is poop scooping in the back yard! Can't wait to pawn that one off on somebody else!

When we first became parents, MamaLlama did everything for them. Most of the time, it is easier and faster to just do it yourself. But all these little things add up and save Mom a lot of time and frustration, plus they teach the boys to be neat and organized, and to be contributors to the family.

1 comment:

matilda said...

I see your points and I agree with them.

Let me just play devil's advocate for a brief minute, not to make excuses, but to point out that sometimes, solutions are not one size fits all.

I like the idea of hanging up all shirts and can see how this would work great for our boys. However, we also have girls and girls have dresses and skirts. We use to have the lower hanging bar that you talked about when they were little, but as they have got bigger, the dresses got longer and the bar went bye-bye.No big deal, because they were also tall enough to reach the upper bar, but it did cut closet hanging space in half which necessitated two dresser which means twice as much clutter space on top and less square footage to put other things. OK, taking a breath...now.

I really like both of your suggestions and we are spending the rest of our summer establishing a routine. We got into the habit, with 3 under 3 of just flying by the seat of our pants. I am honest enough with myself to admit that it contributed to some laziness on our part that I know we can oust.

Thanks for the insights into your life!