The house was a wreck. I am hardened to mess, but this? It was what my mom would have called a Royal Mess. The sun was shining outside and I knew I needed to harness the man-power before it disappeared out the door. My strategy was a simple cleaning blitz, which is what we do when somebody calls and says they would like to stop by in a little while. It’s all hands on deck swooshing away toys and marching shoes to closets. It’s fast and looks great, though not totally thorough, if you know what I mean.
We had six rooms on the main floor to contend with and six people to be contenders. I divided us into three teams. Alex got the little sister who adores him unequivocally. I got the little girl who tends to sit and sigh despairingly at the sheer scope of what she is being asked to do. The two middles got each other and a kitchen with a lot of problems.
“Okay, guys, we have one hour before the sanitation officer comes! Let’s be done by then.” Dividing the huge chunk of picking up and putting away is the best motivation I know for staving off disheartenment. Even so my helper kept languishing and had to be encouraged with itty bitty jobs, one at a time. The middles very diplomatically divided the kitchen work and churned through it in record time. Alex’s team was done first, sitting on the couch with books long before the rest of us were ready for inspection.
Each person then got to inspect one room and the persons responsible for any problem spots had to accept the critique without fuss and fix the issue. I liked this way, because I always end up being the impossibly picky sanitation officer and now they got a chance to do it. They were quite detailed in their inspections. Even one of my rooms didn’t pass.
Lest you think it was all peaches and cream, I should mention the child weeping because her teammate made the bed with wrinkles and he walked off in disgust because she wouldn’t tell him what was wrong. The team that was done first had toys stashed in corners and coloring pages behind the couch. And some of the things went into drawers and cupboards where they definitely do not belong. Also, you shouldn’t go down to the basement. But that is one way to do it-clean your house in one hour.
2 thoughts on “How to Clean Your House in One Hour”
I like your idea and will have to try that sometime. I know what it’s like to need a house cleaned in short order with 5 littles (ages 2-10) to help me. We utilize what we call the “job jar”. I have slips of paper on which is written a job. I quickly go through them and the jobs that need doing go in the “jar”. Then the children each pick one, do the job and come back for the next. Those who can’t read the job on the slip, find someone who can. Sometimes I’ll throw in a fun thing, like “gather everyone together and ask mommy for a treat”. It keeps up the enthusiasm. I’m always amazed how soon things are tidied up, vacuumed, garbage collected, laundry sorted, bathrooms cleaned etc. It’s not perfect but much better than before and it refreshes me. On a busy Saturday morning, my load just got lighter!
Sometimes even I have to pull myself together and to clean up my house.