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Keeping a house picked up is a never ending task when there are kids around! I am always trying to get rid of things we don’t need or want…but the clutter is still there. Routines keep things moving along and make everything happen. One of our routines is our afternoon zones.
Every once in a while there is a need to change those routines up a little. That time has come for us! My youngest now has his own spot on our afternoon zone chart (hopefully, that will help keep him doing something productive instead of “helping” his other siblings with their zones.)
How to set up a zone cleaning system
- I figure out what public areas …or zones…of the house I want cleaned up on a daily basis. I don’t include bedrooms or bathrooms in our afternoon zone cleaning.
- I decide if I want to rotate zones on a daily or weekly basis…or just assign children a permanent zone (sometimes this can be helpful to give an easier zone to a younger child instead of rotating zones.)
- Decide on a time of day to do the zone, this helps everyone know when to expect clean up time. We do ours at 5:30…before Dad gets home from work.
- Decide on your method. We set the timer for 20 minutes (this gets shortened when we are short on time!) You may decide to have each child pick up a certain number of things and put them away.
- Make a chart or sign so everyone knows what their responsibility is.
- Make it fun! We have a certain zone that also includes the privilege of picking music to listen to while we clean up.
- Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect. There are times when we don’t have time to do our zones together (especially during certain sports seasons!) During especially busy times, I strive for twice a week…this usually keeps things livable!
Our Cleaning Zones
I now have 6 kids with zones to clean up. This is how I have ours laid out…
- Front of Family Room
- Back of Family Room
- Piano Room/Upstairs Hallway
It is pretty amazing how quickly our home can turn into a disaster zone….and how much 20 minutes a day can turn it around! Because of busy schedules it doesn’t happen everyday…but we do what we can!
It is amazing how clearing the clutter can make cleaning up easier and faster! This is one of my favorite books that helped me look at different areas of my home and how I could simplify and make things easier to keep tidy!
Make it Happen
- Divide your home up into zones areas that could be picked up in about 15 minutes (yes…that means not every part of your house will be included!)
- Set up a zone time that would work most days of the week. (I know around here with sports practices and other activities it is impossible to find a time that works every day of the week!)
- Set a time, turn the music on…and get to work!
Share Your Ideas!
- What works for you? How do you keep your house picked up?