Laundry, washing floors, vacuuming, cleaning two bathrooms, and the up keep of a house hold often feels daunting. For us, a family of six, laundry is something we will never have to worry if we will have a shortage. Dishes will always have to be done as our stomachs routinely tell us it’s time to eat. In the midst of all these daily and weekly chores I began to hear my kids say, “mommy you are too busy” or “mommy you never play with us”. I began to realize what they were saying was true. I began to beat myself up over it and feel like a slacker mom. I began praying for a solution in preventing me from becoming a too busy mommy.
As I was praying about what to do I heard my good friend Juana in my head say, “what are your kids doing? What are they doing to help you”. I had my very own light bulb moment! Earlier at a play date my sweet friend had mentioned that her family had begun to make cleaning zones and each child was responsible for a zone. I began praying and hashing out a plan for what cleaning zones would look like in our house! I want to share with you what I came up!
First, I broke our house up into zones.
Our cleaning zones include:
* Living room
* Dinning room
The kids would each be responsible for their own bedrooms, the laundry room, and the toy/craft room. I created a laundry room schedule. Each of our kids have their specific laundry day. They are responsible for getting their laundry to the washing machine and then helping me to keep it moving through each wash phase. The kids are completely able to unload the washing, load the dryer, and set the dryer dial to the right setting. Maddie is able to set the washing machine settings and add the right amount of soap.
Together the kids are responsible for keeping their toy room/craft room area picked up and orderly. If their craft room is continually in disarray it gets closed for an amount of time Mark and I decide upon.
Our kids have their cleaning zones for a month at a time. We decided upon a month because it takes that long to fall into a new habit. We wanted them to truly know how to clean and do the job they are assigned to well and to the best of their ability. It takes time for one to learn how to do something new, a month is the right amount of time for our family.
When our kids are done with their zone we encourage them to go help someone else who is still working on another zone. It may not be their space, but two hands are better than one, it also helps us be able to move on to more fun things in our day. It teaches camaraderie, care, and consideration for another person. They also appreciate when someone steps in to help them and it’s a great skill to learn to return the favor.
Creating cleaning zones has helped to bring me from busy mommy who doesn’t have time for fun into mommy who has helpers who help me get all the jobs done. The first week we tried the cleaning zones my kids said, “mommy, we’re actually having fun! We did really get to go to the park more.”
Our kids are learning life skills, making my load lighter, and peace floods our house and our brains when our house is neat, orderly, and clean. Cleaning zones have been worth my time and effort!
Does your family have a cleaning schedule? What helps your family stay on top of everyday tasks?