Keeping Home Chaos at Bay

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Over at The Unclutterer, David Caolo writes of how to cope with a situation in which "neat and sloppy live together." Coalo takes couples as his point of departure, but his advice can definitely help parents of young children. One tactic I recognized -- but hadn't thought to expand later to include everyone -- was the following:

My family has instituted the "hour of clean," a time dedicated to giving the house a good once-over. Everyone knows when it's scheduled and can prepare accordingly. Plus, it's kind of fun with everyone involved and working together. Remember, too, that nagging has never motivated anyone, so leave that off your list of motivating strategies. [link removed]
My kids are too young for a sustained effort like this, but what I have been experimenting with is setting a timer for half an hour each day and doing whatever I can during that time. This has enabled me to keep total chaos at bay/reduce how long real clean-ups take/become faster at cleaning through practice -- but without burning out or losing too much time for other priorities. (A rainy weekend day with the kids indoors will make it look like I did nothing, so why kill myself making the house look perfect, anyway?) That said, Caolo has reminded me that help will be on the way in a couple of years, as my daughter starts thinking longer-range and my son outgrows dumping things out of containers. The other strategies are worth considering, too. I found this post both reassurance that I am on the right track and a source of new ideas.

-- CAV

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