I’ve told you in other posts that after Baby #3, I stopped cleaning my house in one day. I went to a system that broke down the cleaning into bite-sized pieces and spread it out over the 5 weekdays.
I’ve been using that schedule for many years and for the most part, it was a good way to do things. However, I found as my children got older, it became increasingly difficult to get all the day’s cleaning in and all the homeschooling in as well. When I wrote my post on keeping the house clean while homeschooling, I had done one week of afternoon cleaning instead of morning cleaning and thought this was the answer, but the next week did not go nearly as well and I found myself reverting back to old habits because I really cannot stand to homeschool when things are left undone.
Another thing I began to notice as the children grew older was that there were several days in a week when we just couldn’t do the cleaning. Things like piano lessons and outings with Daddy took precedence. There would end up being a month of certain weekly chores left undone. Knowing this was unacceptable, I tried to catch up the other days of the week, but when you are constantly playing catch-up, you eventually grow weary of the game.
I’ve also mentioned here how every time we move, I have to revamp some things. The revamping always includes laundry and this time I decided I would do something drastic with the cleaning schedule as well.
However, I was NOT going to tell all of you about it until I had tried it for MORE THAN one week. I wanted to know if it was really going to work.
So, after an entire month of using this cleaning method, I feel confident in telling you all about it because yes, it is actually working!
Here’s a breakdown of what we are doing…
The One Day Home Blessing
1. The Home Blessing now happens on Friday rather than all throughout the week. Our foremothers did this and it truly does make sense. It gets the house ready for the weekend and any guests that might be coming. I’ve also found it is helping make my Sabbath more a day of rest.
2 We do not homeschool on Fridays. (at least not the planned-out book kind of homeschooling). I decided we could manage a 4 day school week quite easily since we homeschool year round.
3. Each child has a list of what they need to do displayed on our refrigerator with our other lists. It is labeled Home Blessing and serves as a master list for all of us to reference while we work.
4. A general tidy happens first. We all work through the house just picking up. Even though we tidy up every single day (sometimes several times a day), in a household with children there will still be messes to clean up before you ever get to the deeper cleaning. This was always one thing that bothered me about doing the chores on different days. It never really felt all-over clean.
5. After the general tidy up, we go our separate ways with mommy overseeing it all. The 1 year old and the 3 year old pitch in where they can, while the 6, 7, 11, & 14 year olds are expected to work through their lists with only brief reminders from Mommy. I work through my chore list as I can, but often I end up finishing up after all the children’s chores have been completed and inspected.
6. I inspect their chores and make them do it again if need be. I’m not looking for perfection from the younger two helpers (ages 6 & 7), so if they made an effort with their work, yet it needs a touching up, I do that. The older two children (ages 11 & 14) are expected to complete their chores fully…even if that means doing them again.
7. We are usually finished by lunch time. It just seems to work out this way. Typically, we are started by 9:30 and it’s all over in 2-3 hours.
8. The weekend starts as soon as we are finished! This is THE BEST part of it all! Our entire family values our weekends greatly. Weekends are when we get to watch movies, sleep wherever in the house we want to, and relax and celebrate with Daddy. Once the weekly Home Blessing is over, you can feel the excitement in the house as we admire our diligence and hard work and look forward to the fun of the weekend!
Planning for One Day Home Blessing
Since we had moved, I needed to re-plan what our cleaning needs were. One afternoon, I sat down and listed out all the chores that needed to be done on that day and assigned those chores to a specific child. I wrote these in pencil on scratch paper and posted it on the refrigerator. When Friday came, I told the children this list was NOT the final list because I was working out the details as we went. And that’s exactly what I did.
I watched each child do their chores to make sure they were capable of the task at hand. I checked to make sure no one had too many chores and thus ended up working much longer than the other children (it’s natural that the older a child is, the more extensive his list will be; however, the burden of a chore list should not fall to one person simply because of his or her age). I also made sure I had listed the chores in an order that kept the flow of the cleaning going. Once I was confident I had a list that was working, I put it on the computer and posted it on the refrigerator.
Daddy has been super-pleased with the state of our home as well! He even said to me after last Friday’s cleaning that he felt the house was staying cleaner throughout the week as well because of this new schedule. It always thrills me when my hard work on the domestic side gets a thumbs up from my husband!
In case you are wondering what cleaners and tools we are using, here’s a quick list:
Shark Steam Mop
2 Brooms & dustpans
Lint-free dusting rags and generic dusting spray
Windex (I have yet to find something I like better – natural or not)
Pine sol (yeah, I know, but my husband REALLY likes the smell)
To be frank, I am so surprised at how well this is working! I really thought there was no way I could ever again do a one day Home Blessing.