A while back, I tested out a new theory on cleaning backwards. This is when I start cleaning from my bedroom (the back of the house) and work my way to the three “main” rooms: the kitchen, living room, and bathroom.
I did it again and I must say this is working out quite nicely! Nothing is spotless, and more could have been done. We home school though, and at some point I had to stop and do some school work (see how we ended up making tornadoes yesterday).
Here’s a run down of what I did:
1. Made my bed (well sort of, it’s big and in the corner, so I pretty much just pulled up and straightened the blankets)
2. Moved the clean laundry from the dryer to my bed, moved the washed load over and started a new one.
3. Spent 5 minutes picking up the stuff in my craft room. The kids had spread out a few supplies and toys. I put their craft stuff away, found a box top and put all the misplaced toys in it. The box was put in the hallway for further filling.
4. Gathered all the dirty laundry (except in the living room)
5. Straightened a few things in the bathroom.
This took MAYBE 15 minutes, then the girls woke up, so we ate breakfast (grits and oatmeal… same thing everyday… UGH! Glad I had my little breakfast chicken biscuits!)
I let the girls veg out a little watching cartoons while I moved another load of laundry. I wanted their full cooperation today, so I tried to start the morning being nice.
6. Spend 15 minutes picking up the kitchen and running the dishwasher. I had made a large pot of chicken and dumplings the night before so there was no reason to start dinner. I have taken to cooking dinner before lunch (my mom’s little trick). The pots and pans are clean and if the girls get a little fussy in the afternoon, or we need to go somewhere, I don’t have to worry about trying to fix supper, it’s done!
7. Offered stickers to the girls if they could go through the house and put their toys in the box top. I started sweeping in my room and craft room, working my way down the hall towards the living room. When JoJo saw the broom coming she quickly participated in picking up her toys. She is absolutely terrified that I’m going to sweep them up and throw them away. (Yeah, I kind of did that one time, so she has a reason to be nervous)
8. At this point it is barely 10 am and all but their room is picked up and swept. I grab my sticker book, my scary broom, and my trash bag (JoJo’s other big fear!) and head into their room. We started by making the beds and stickers were handed out for putting the books and movies away, putting the Dora Playhouse stuff away, and helping to fold the blankets. Then Sammy and I sat down to play “keep one, give one” with her dress up clothes.
~~ Let me pause to share with you the conversation that let up to playing the “keep one, give one” game.
Mom: Sammy, I need to talk to you about something. Mommy and Daddy saw Santa this weekend and he told me that we needed to make some space in your room for your new stuff, and that if it wasn’t cleaned up he wouldn’t leave anything.
Sam: So Santa is getting me the throne and the vanity and the…..!
Mom: I don’t know what he’s bringing, he just said we needed to get this room cleaned up and get some of the old toys out so he would have room for the new stuff.
Sam: OK! (pause while her eyes roll way back in her head as if trying to find that idea she just had) Let’s pack up ALL the toys! To make sure we have room for Santa!
Oh boy did that backfire… she shares a room with her sister and was ready to toss out everything, including JoJo’s toys!
Today I’m running a little behind, but I’m going to get up and get started and give this backwards cleaning thing a try again. Sam ran around last night before bed picking up all the toys and actually putting them away where they go! Because of this, the house is still pretty picked up. So my list today is:
Finish the laundry, so that if that snow/ice storm comes in this weekend and knocks out the electricity I won’t have to worry about having the laundry pile up.
Fix dinner, before lunch 🙂
Make the beds.
Goof off! Make cookies, make Christmas cards, make Christmas ornaments, I might even finish making their Christmas hairbows and take their pictures!
If you’ve tried the backwards cleaning trick, let me know if it worked for you!