Monday, May 31, 2010

Cleaning fairy aka drill sergeant

Yesterday, we played Mommy's favorite cleaning game.

It's my favorite because it's the only one that works with my competitive, stubborn boy. We set the timer for a certain amount of time (usually six minutes since L. is six), and we have a contest to see how many things we can put away in those few minutes. This is how I get him to clean his room.

I was pretty sick of the mess around here, and so I made the whole family play my favorite game, cleaning the whole house. I upped the ante by giving the winner a quarter. By the time six minutes were over, the house was almost clean. L. decided he wanted to keep cleaning if I'd pay him an extra quarter. What can I say? It's worth it. Then he wanted to vacuum. Who am I to say no?

Anyway, the point is, the house looked so much prettier when we were done. It's amazing what having a clean house can do for my state of mind. I don't get nearly so frazzled and annoyed. I can think more clearly because even though I know there's still dust everywhere and the pile on top of the file cabinet is almost as high as the file cabinet itself, at least it feels less cluttered. It's well-managed chaos.

And when my mind is less cluttered, I feel like I can write a little easier. The house and its nagging messes aren't lurking at the back of my mind, distracting me. Write a chapter? Oh, yeah, no problem for this Domestic Diva. I can do anything.

Of course I'd rather write than clean. But sometimes I can't write much until I clean first.


Talli Roland said...

What a great way to motivate your family! :) Sometimes I would definitely rather write than clean, for sure.

(Thanks for the link over on my blog, too!)

Aubrie said...

That's a great idea to make it into a game and get everyone to clean together!

Kasie West said...

Wow, you can buy your kids off with a quarter and a time limit. I'm jealous. My eleven year old told me she would do the dishes the other night if I gave her 20 bucks. Uh, I don't think so, I said. That will never happen unless someone starts paying me 20 bucks every time I do the dishes. :)

Kaylie said...

Talli, I'm glad the link worked. My HTML code is a little rusty.
Aubrie, all I can say is necessity is the mother of invention.
Kasie, I don't even want to think about what I'll do when my kids are eleven. Bribery becomes much more expensive as they age.

Alissa said...

I'd rather write than clean, too. My bathroom is proof of this. Ditto for my bedroom and my car.

Tracy said...

Do you rent your family out? I have a jar full of change...if that will get my place cleaned up, I'm all for it!