Admittedly, I am not the best housekeeper in the world. Being a full-time working mom (homeschooling is a full-time job you know), I struggle orderliness. One trick that we have in our house is the "five-minute tidy." I set the kitchen timer for 5 minutes and the children race around trying to see how much they can get done in 5 minutes. We keep it fun and it works wonders. We usually use the five-minute tidy just before mealtimes and when we leave the house. It is so much more pleasant to come home to a tidy house.
In the same vein, we have laundry-sorting parties. With nine family members in this house, laundry is never finished. If l made laundry a miserable job, then our family would be miserable all the time. Earlier today, I came into the living room with four loads of clean laundry and announced a sorting party. The seven kids were knee-deep in laundry and having fun. Even 3- and 5-year olds can help, the littles like to pull out the rags and socks so that the big kids can fold them.
Another trick is to have a bedroom-cleaning contest. I learned this from two teenaged sisters who used to team-babysit my children (sadly, they moved to Florida). I set the timer for 10 minutes and then whoever has the cleanest bedroom at the end of 10 minutes are the winners. I give the winners a prize to really make it worth while. I keep the prize simple such as some free time outside or extra computer time or extra dessert.
Think about how you can make housekeeping fun for the kids. Life is too short to be miserable and since housework is a necessity you may as well have a good time doing it.
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