Saturdays here are our big weekly cleaning day. To make things more productive I have been trying to focus on our Friday evenings to set a productive scene for Saturday morning.
Friday nights I have been making an extra effort to clean up real well with help from the troops (before and after dinner) in making the dishes disappear and getting the toys and manipulatives picked up and the main floors vacuumed and/or swept. It gives us a clean palate for what I want to accomplish on the following morning. In addition, all day Friday I make the washer and dryer work from morning till night with as many loads as I can get done.
Saturday morning there is no computer time or DVDs/Videos until morning chores are done. They usually watch the EWTN kid lineup from 9-11ish and if they want to see this they have to accomplish a few things for the family first.
Firstly, everyone knows that when they get up they take the sheets off their beds and put them in their pillow cases and take them downstairs to the washer. Ideally the washer is empty Saturday mornings. Sometimes there is a wait until I finish the cloth diaper load that I started the night before (cold wash and overnight soak)but at least the sheets are THERE and lined up…ready to go!
It takes 3 loads to wash all of our sheets. As soon as they come out of the dryer, I call the appropriate people to pick up their sheets and make their beds right away. Having the sheets in the pillowcases helps sooo much in washing and right away distribution after the dryer is done with minimal waiting and no pesky folding of the bottom sheet 😉 I would much rather use the same sheets changing to other sets occasionally then having so many of them in the system clogging up the works ;o)
I start dd#1 on breakfast (I am so glad to FINALLY have this kind of help now….YIPPEEE!….ahem…I digress…) and I go into the basement with Mr Edison(11) and Large Motor boy(8) and we haul up every bit of the laundry I did the day before…usually about 6 loads. We dump all of the laundry in the center of the living room rug and EVERYONE folds!…this is why I need the living room picked up and vacuumed before bed the night before!
Every piece of clothing MUST be put away before breakfast hits the table. It is a great motivator. While
we fold the 2yo is in front of the couch folding washcloths with a buddy. She loves this work! The socks are thrown over the arms of a chair with the toes pointing in the same direction. After all of the other clothes are folded we make quick work of pairing and putting away everything. I have tried doing laundry so many other ways. This morning routine works best for us lately.
Breakfast is usually special on Saturdays…special but simple. Like fresh scones and fruit or some such thing. I will often make a pitcher of fruity iced tea (Celestial Seasonings Fruity tea bags and frozen strawberries) and I discuss the things we need to accomplish in order to have a special family night at the end of the day. We decide on the chores that need to be finished and who does them. We decide on what to make for our special Saturday night meal and dessert. The day is finished with either a game or a movie.
It has been hard at times getting full compliance on this whole idea. But as I mention, trying hard to do a basic clean the night before makes things far less cluttered and easier for the children to comply with the tasks that need to be accomplished. Providing the family fun at the end of the day is a good motivator too. I think only 2 children once didn’t participate in family night because they wouldn’t help the team clean. I honestly think that one of the two just wanted to check to see if not doing the work would have any consequences that he wouldn’t like. He found out. He actually acts as foreman now. It is weird.
Another helpful thing is mentoring. Having an older and a younger child do a task (like washing windows with child-safe cleaner) is sooo helpful. It keeps the mess down, it helps refine the whole opus from start to finish, and it frees me to float from room to room filling in and giving direction where needed. It teaches tolerance and many other virtues not to mention that it builds relationship.
On Saturday’s checklist of work to be done:
- Wash shower curtain
- All sheets washed
- All Clothing folded and put away
- Cleaning Fridge of gross contaminants [lol]
- Cleaning inside windows and doors of fingerprints
- Cleaning Bathroom including tub surround and washing floor
- Wash Kitchen floor and Mudroom floor
- Quick clean bedrooms including sweeping/vacuuming
- Making sure all Sunday clothes are washed and pressed and shoes are located
Hopefully we will make it to Confession at 4pm and dinner around 6ish. Before they come to the table for dinner they have to:
- Show that their work was done or why it wasn’t
- Their bed must be made
- Sunday clothing must be ready (including shoes)
If you decide you want to come on over and help, Ithe biggest piece of dessert will be for you!