This post is from last year, but it bears repeating. This fun system makes cleaning the house painless and fun every single time. Now I just have to remind my kids…
Let’s face it. The house has to be cleaned – even though we are on break, even though no one feels like it.
When I need some serious housecleaning inspiration, I turn to this lady and her 15 minute rule. I tweak things a bit though to make it equitable and fun (sorta) for my kids. We have 5 people cleaning and 15 tasks to be done. In the 15-minute world, the whole house will be shining clean (sorta) in 45 minutes.
Before Cleaning the House:
- Make a list of everything you need cleaned around the house.
- Divide that list into tasks that can be accomplished in 15 minutes.
- For example,
- Vacuum the stairs
- Scrub the powder room
- Windex the interior downstairs windows
- Dust all the woodwork
- Dust the furniture
- Empty all trash cans in the house and replace bags
- Vacuum the downstairs
- Mop the wood floors
- Wash the exterior of the kitchen cabinets
- Vacuum interior of the car and clean interior windows
- After you have the tasks, write them on index cards with any directions you feel are needed and place in a bowl.
- Assemble all children to what they think will be a fun breakfast and announce that the house is too messy and it is going to be cleaned now. Do not indulge groaning.
- Reassure them that the whole thing will be finished in 45 minutes…ignore their skepticism.
Pass around the bowl by youngest to oldest and have each person pull 3 jobs. Each person should read the jobs they have, and then give them exactly 1 minute for trades.2016 update – just assign them the jobs. You know who does which things the best, and it saves on whining.
- Place all essential cleaning supplies on the counter.
Cleaning the House Time:
- Blast Rockin’ Rudolph (amazon affiliate link) for an energy burst appropriate to the season.
- IMPORTANT! Do not allow your children to wear headphones and sulk around listening to their own music – that will wreck the esprit de corps of the whole thing.
- Set the timer and GO. Give everyone a halfway there heads up and a 2-minute warning.
- At the end of the 15 minutes, children should collapse exhausted while mom checks up on everyone’s work.
- Repeat 2x or as needed.
After Cleaning the House:
- Put away all cleaning supplies.
- Enjoy the clean house.
When it is all over, I give you permission to go in your room and shut the door -because probably, that was enough family esprit de corps for a while.