Monday, April 27, 2009

The New House Rules

Ok, so the "no yelling" rule... I have failed miserably. Well, maybe not miserably. I'm definitely not yelling as MUCH, and I'm making an effort to calm myself before I start yelling, or maybe in the middle of yelling. I'm working on it. But, last week I yelled a lot more than I should have. The kids keep me in check though. Usually it's Sage, "Mom, you're supposed to stop yelling." Yes, I know. I'm sorry. I'm hoping to see improvement this week.

I've instituted another house rule. More of a routine, actually. Lately I've been feeling overloaded (with 4 kids, that's probably normal). I feel like there's so much to do in the house, and I can't keep up. I heard a quote recently that really sums it up: "trying to clean the house with kids around is like trying to shovel snow in a blizzard." That's exactly how I feel - like the mess is just following me. I'm constantly picking up stuff, and it never looks any better, and I never get to the "deeper" cleaning, like mopping the floors, cleaning the bathroom, or important things like paying the bills. (somehow, I still find time to update my blog though... hmmm... I'm supposed to be mopping the floor right now). Anyway, I was talking with my girlfriends about it yesterday, and got this idea, and we started it last night. The idea is to set the timer for 10 minutes, and everybody picks up stuff in the house. After 10 minutes, we're done. What doesn't get done, waits til tomorrow. So, I added some guidelines. Everybody starts by picking up THEIR OWN stuff, starting at the back door (shoes and jackets), and moving through the house. When your own stuff is picked up, find something else to clean up, like straightening couch pillows, putting dishes away, etc. If anybody decided not to help, I would add an extra minute to their time. It worked wonderfully! Everyone worked well, the house was tolerable. When I put the kids to bed, I didn't feel stressed about how messy the house was. I felt like I could sit down, fold a load of laundry, relax watching TV for a while, I even read the online newspaper. I never do that anymore. It was wonderful.

With 6 people working for 10 minutes, that's an hour's worth of cleaning. And since I'm not doing it alone, the mess isn't following me, it's actually disappearing. And since everyone is picking up their own stuff, I don't feel irritated at everyone for leaving their stuff all over the place. I plan on making this a nightly ritual.

Thanks Tiff for the great idea! :)


  1. That is a great idea. I like to pick up the house before I go to bed too, otherwise I am just adding mess onto more mess and I really don't want to do it than!

  2. Jake and I have done that like once. We're about to start putting a chore list together...but the 10 min. rule might work!...i think we could both commit to that. Great idea! I hate how busy we get, and then start ignoring the apartment...I can't imagine what would happen in a house...that's why i want to start implementing something that will be successful now!

  3. that sounds like a really good idea! we sort of do that already. once-in-a-while, throughout the day, i just have my kiddos pick up whatever stuff they have out in the living room and kitchen. it helps, A LOT.

    the no yelling rule? hang in there. keep trying. i find that it helps a lot to get down and look my child in the eye when i need them to stop or start doing something. it takes a moment to get to where they are, get down on your knees, and look them in the eye, but they listen a LOT better. and you won't yell when your face is inches from theirs.

    hugs to you, my friend.

  4. I love your transparency Jeannine!

    I thought of you the other morning while we were having pancakes with our "homemade maple syrup". It isn't real maple syrup but it is the closest tasting thing I have had. You use Mapeline, found by the vanilla in the baking isle, and there is a recipe for thicker and thinner syrup on the box. We like the thin, mostly because it is super easy and it is more like the pure stuff.

    Maybe you already know this, but if not, it is way cheaper than buying it.

  5. in response to my blog, yeah, we have red box here...i've used it before, but....??? we haven't used it too much, who knows, now that we won't have BB, maybe we'll use it if we have a desire to see something that isn't coming!! thanks for the reminder.

  6. Great post Jeannine! I'm there in the trenches with you!!

    Ok, so I must have missed something somewhere, I even checked back a couple of posts...4 kids? I see a cute little addition to your pics, is he family or someone your watching?