Greetings Remedial Homemakers!
Today I am sharing a wonderful guest post from my California friend Danielle. She emailed me a while back about a fantastic idea for tackling deep cleaning with a friend which secures a clean house for one mom, and free time for the other, on a rotating basis.
Does this sound genius or what??!!
I’ve been waiting for the right time to share her fun experience with you, and since we’ve just been talking about how friends and flowers are beautiful, I thought I’d share it now, because it’s just such a lovely example of friends helping each other and enjoying it. Let’s put our heads together ladies; could this work for you? How might you and a friend lighten the load of homemaking together? Could you cook together? Learn a new skill? I’d love to hear all about it and share here!
Follow Danielle as she blogs about life, foster care, homeschool, and faith at http://inthelionsname.blogspot.com/
The Deep Clean Play Date
As my children have gotten older, I have dreamed of big, deep clean, whip-your-house-into-shape days that felt totally impossible when I had babies and toddlers.
So far this hasn’t really happened.
And yet, the dream won’t quite die.
With the spring approaching, I have been having that itch again to mobilize my family and move through our house like a wave of lemon-scented, scrub-brush wielding warriors. However my family, as a friend put it, does not share my values.
Enter The Deep Clean Playdate.
A play date based around cleaning, you say? How could that possibly work, you wonder?
I’m so glad you asked.
My friend Tesha and I stood in her entry way discussing how we needed to get our houses under control and get to some of those tasks that always get missed. Tesha is one of these people who says things like, “Everything’s better with friends!” My introvert heart shudders and recoils at such invasive talk, but so far we have managed to stay friends. *wry grin* As we were standing there talking, her words popped into my mind again, and a few minutes later The Deep Clean Playdate was born.
Here’s what you need to make this happen in your home:
- A friend crazy enough to join you who has at least one child, preferably a small handful (works best if all the kids involved like each other)
- A detailed plan for what you want done
- A half or full day mostly free of outside interruptions
- A suitable “carrot”
I hosted first, and collected all the kids at my house mid-morning on a Friday. (For reference, our kids’ ages fall between five and ten, and there are five kids total.) I explained to them that they were going to have a looong play date (the carrot) and could even use their screens for a portion of the time (the bonus carrot). First, they would have the opportunity to serve their mother/community by “offering” two hours of cleaning. Tesha and I each made lists ahead of time that were specific enough that the kids could be successful and somewhat self-managed. Tesha even had a checklist so the kids could sign up for the jobs they wanted.
And it worked!
Neither of us felt overwhelmed at our first efforts and both saw potential for growth and increased efficiency in further attempts. The positive peer pressure helped our children catch more of the vision of home care that we mothers are trying to beat into their heads guide them gently towards. We will definitely be scheduling a Deep Clean Playdate again in the near future.
A key ingredient in the success of this day was planned breaks.
At my house, I let the kids have a short break after a job was completed (or several tasks, depending on the length). At my friend’s house, Tesha set a timer and let everyone take a five-minute break every fifteen minutes. Dance party music optional. Either way, the kids felt like they were getting a little play time as they worked and it really helped them maintain focus and a positive attitude.
End result? The host mom has a much cleaner house with minimal complaining and the non-host mom has free hours all. to. herself.
Note: If your kids have never really done chores around your house, you may want to spend some time leading up to The Deep Clean Playdate training your kids on how you want chores done.
Isn’t this a fabulous idea from Danielle and Tesha?! Who is inspired to try it??!
I hope you’ll embrace your “village”, give this a whirl, and let us know about it on our Facebook community page or here in the comments.
May your aprons and bibles both be well-worn,
The Remedial Homemaker