"If my kids were just a little older, my home would be much more organized." How many times have you thought that? And in the next thought, "I shouldn't wish the time away."
It's funny to think about how many people tell me I am SO organized. I wish! I do have a place for everything (of the kids) and it is labeled, but I haven't found the trick to get them to put their things in said baskets. There are many wonderful quotes that should be painted in huge letters across my walls, "Cleaning the house while your children are young is like shoveling snow in a blizzard!" I struggle y'all! EVERY day. Some days I am okay thinking that time spent with the kids is more important than a tidy house, other days I am near tears wondering where I have failed.
As my kids get older I add a little more responsibility to their chore lists. I now have the 9, 8, and 6 year olds folding/hanging their own laundry. I don't criticize how they fold. I try to have mini-lessons and then I leave the room. What does it look like? When I take all the clean laundry to my room, I have 4 baskets on my bed. I sort the clean laundry into each child's basket and if it needs to be hung up, I make a pile in front of their basket. I also make a separate pile of my husband's clothes that need to be ironed. It works like clockwork!
I decided to have my children take baby-steps every day this summer to try to make the house look a little better every day. They wake up, have breakfast and a little screen time (since they all wake up at different times) and then I announce that when the timer rings, it is time to start chores. I also worked in that if chores are done WITHOUT COMPLAINING, we will have a little treat each day. These are treats my kids don't get during the school year like snow cones, 1/2 price shakes at Sonic, an item at the dollar store, etc....
And here are their chores:
Day 1: Make your bed neatly. Fold jammies. All dirty clothes to hamper. Floor cleaned. Laundry folded/hung and put away. All personal belongings out of living room, dining room, and off of stairs. Read ____ minutes.
Day 2: Same as day 1, add "Dresser cleaned off."
Day 3: Same as day 2, add "Drawers organized…all clothes folded neatly and in the right place."
Day 4: Add "Bookshelf cleared shelf by shelf and items put back neatly."
Day 5: Add " Closet cleaned COMPLETELY."
Day 6: Add "Van cleaned out"
Day 7: Add "All trash out of back yard."
Day 8: Add "Playroom cleaned."
Day : "Playroom odds ands ends put in place."
Day 10: "Change sheets"
Day 11: "Get all your things out of Mommy and daddy's room."
Day 12: "Clean out your backpack."
That's as far as I've gotten. If you have some other trouble spots, let me know so I can add them.
My house still isn't the way I want it, but honestly, will it ever be? I can't compare myself to one of my best friends, Rochelle. Her home IS ALWAYS perfect, She will not go to bed with anything out of place and she wakes up extra early to unload the dishwasher. She is a professional organizer, check out her Facebook page, A Simplified Space. That is her God-given gift and not mine. I can learn a little from her each time we stay at her house, but my home will never be like hers. Her path is not mine!
Just stop beating yourself up and while you are on your path, don't forget to stop and smell the roses.
Another Safe Sitter!
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