Thursday, January 10, 2013

How we Tamed the House

So, last week after all the house guests departed on their merry ways, I needed to take back the house from Christmas. With such a big job, I thought a few dangling carrots might work out well. Here is what we did.

The night before "Cleaning Day," I listed all the jobs I could think of and then broke them down into smaller jobs. I then ranked each job #1-3 for importance. After writing each task on a notecard, I taped them to a sheet of paper and assigned points.

Phase One- the #1 tasks

After breakfast, the four of us each chose a task and went to it. Once phase one was completed, we took a break, ate a snack and tallied points.

Phase Two

Same with Phase Two

And phase three

Once we were done with all that could be done in one crazy day, the kids tallied up their points which Daddy then converted to money.

We also each had a separate reward waiting for us at the end of the day. I went for a pedicure (oh my achin' feet), the boys opted for Lego time with daddy and watching the Empire Strikes Back and Daddy chose some browsing time at an electronic resale store.

All in all, it was a great day and much was accomplished. Here is what I learned:

1. Two phases would have been perfect. By phase three, we were all too tired and cranky to be effective or really nice to each other.

2. Competition is great for our family.

3. The reward to be redeemed immediately was a necessary element.

4. A tidy home does wonders for my mental health.

How do you reclaim your home after the holidays?