Get your mind out the gutter.
It is that time of the year and I don’t know about you but I have something deep inside me that wants my house organized and my figure in shape. I have to work pretty hard on the latter but getting the house organized is not something I have to do alone. I can bribe and threaten my kids into cleaning until the house looks amazing, but am I teaching them the right skills? Every where you read it says to develop a habit it takes 21 days. Well I am going to give it 30 days and it all starts with “I have a plan.” Those three words are usually my children’s cue to run and hide and this new one is no different. After an argument over my teen daughters “clean” room that included overflowing drawers, a messy bed, and a closet that I cannot even describe, I sought child-free browsing at a bookstore. It is there in the pages of a book where I began hatching my evil plan of tidiness. The book spoke about a few different things including;
- Children feeling or maybe it was being entitled – Check, I have four.
- That leave their stuff everywhere-Check
- Who expect it to magically clean itself-Double check
- And last, who have a mother who has dropped the ball- yikes, check.
(The author didn’t actually say the mom who dropped the ball part but that is what happened here). My children used to put away their toys, (you know “clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere”) but not so much now. The minute I threw out those Barney VHS tapes it seemed that no one wanted to clean up, anywhere. Granted, they are great kids and will clean when asked and without much complaint – but should I have to ask them to pick up their towels and clothes? Or host cleaning parties on Saturday mornings because they don’t pick up after themselves and step over messes? I would rather not. So I bought the book and started reading, because we all know the best way to get something done is to read about it first. With coffee. Or is that just me?
Step one: beds made everyday and no clutter on bedroom and bathroom floor. I did a search as I was reading and drinking my coffee about making your bed. There are so many articles written about how just the act of making your bed will make you happy, that there is a sense of accomplishment in just that one thing. We will see about that since I don’t make my bed every morning, or ever. That is why I was excited the author offers an incentive of having a jar on each persons dresser with 30 one dollar bills in it. Every morning I check rooms and if jobs aren’t done, I take a dollar. I figure that’s a small fancy coffee if they drop the ball on the same day, not that I am hoping they fail! I am going to have a jar too, I can’t ask them to do something I am not willing to do. I may throw 30 min of exercise in like the author, or just keep it room and bathroom. I think, looking at the jar of cash, I will totally make my bed AND put my running shoes on. After 30 days the money is theirs and we will keep this going, but with extra chores to add. I am not sure what the author has next for us but I hope it’s laundry; that would be awesome!
Thankfully we have about a week till the first of the month. We are all going to need that time to get our rooms cleaned, get our brains wrapped around the plan and I am going to need a payday; that is, a lot of one dollar bills. I think that while I am dragging my kids on this journey maybe some of you might want to come along (I mean happy and accomplished with one chore). You know you want to try it. Check back for updates to see if making my bed is making me happy, to see what the chore is next month and how I did on the money jar. Also let me know how your bed is looking, and the creative ways you keep your kids on track.
By the way, you’d think Justin Bieber, One Direction or Taylor Swift could come up with a song to get my kids cleaning like Barney used to do. I mean, moms would buy the heck out of that, I know I would.