It feels like things have slipped into mediocrity around here – All of a sudden the house needs attention.  I have learnt that “all-of-a-sudden” doesn’t actually happen, but rather things slowly change (deteriorate)  and it is only in the noticing them that is sudden.  I noticed the house! 

We have been getting the basics done but nothing else.  On Saturday I decided we were going to address this – Monday was going to be Housecleaning Day.  The plan was that we would work for an hour, rest for 15minutes, work for an hour, rest for 15mintues etc. throughout the morning.  We would all work together, giving the youngest the easiest tasks and working up in age order with task difficulty.

I told everyone this was the plan so that when we all woke up we were rearing to go.  We hit the zones of Bedrooms, Kitchen, Living Rooms (dining, lounge, entry) and Wet rooms (laundry, bathroom and we didn’t get to the ensuite).  We decluttered, putting things away where they belong.  We cleaned down horizontal surfaces, we cleaned down vertical surfaces.  We dusted, polished and got rid of cobwebs.  We scrubbed and cleaned racing the clock and then enjoying a drink, a nibble and a book for 15 minutes before it all started over again.

Our reward was that by lunchtime we truly felt we had achieved something.  And we had.  The long term benefits is that the kids are now more aware of what it takes to clean the house and the younger ones are taking their chores a little more responsibly.  They are taking ownership of areas where before they were presumptuous and took forgranted.

I also learnt a lesson.  In times past when I needed to do a big clean I tend to let the kids have the day off – I encourage them to go outside and occupy themselves.  I think, in my head, that I have cleared my plate – afterall, the kids can look after themselves and do so regularly.  But on these days when I have a plan of work ahead of me there always seems to be interruptions.  Interruptions that really you can’t ignore – someone is hurt, they want food (afterall I have taught them to respect my kitchen and to ask rather than just raid the fridge), they can’t find something, they need help and so on and so on.  But having them all work beside me meant that they were all occupied!  No interruptions other than the task at hand.  It was a win-win situation – they kids learnt areas of responsibility and I got the job done!

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 Every week I'll email an encouragement to stay intentional and relational in all your family life.  But for now, download your set of reminder posters - posters which I've used over the years to remind me to keep my eyes and heart on what is important.

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