The Company Clean Challenge: Week 51

The Company Clean Challenge: Week 51

The Company Clean Challenge: Work together with your kids to quickly get the house clean for the holidays.Do you have company coming for the holidays? Even if you don’t, this week we will get your house company clean (well, I’m actually not going to come and help you, but I can tell you what to do!). The holidays will be more enjoyable if everything is in order. But don’t worry. The process will take less time than you think.

#1 List rooms that require extra cleaning

Ask the kids to help you come up with the list. Sure, you could do it yourself, but this is a good learning opportunity for them. Where will your guests be spending their time? Discuss how to prepare for guests with your children.

If you won’t be having guests, what rooms could you clean that would give you a sense of peace as you celebrate?

Include appliances as well. For example, when people come to my house for Christmas, they want to put things in my oven and refrigerator. That means these appliances need special attention.

#2 Declutter

Most of you are about to acquire more stuff–whether it’s gifts or outright clutter from a white elephant game or two. Either use this time to declutter company areas of your home (like the fridge) or to make room for gifts you’re likely to receive. This is a great time to teach the kids to declutter and to make it fun.

#3 Team Clean

There are a couple ways of team cleaning that I’ve used effectively. First, the whole family works together. We go room by room and I give instructions to each child. It’s amazing how quickly this gets my house clean. The key is NOT to allow a child to leave the room. Instead of saying, “Please take this upstairs,” have them put the item in the next room that you’ll be cleaning. Most mothers reading this will know exactly why I have this rule.

The second team clean approach is to have kids pair off. I like this approach less, because it requires that I check teams’ work. I may also have to show each team what to do. But if your children are great about doing theses cleaning chores and they already know what to do, this kind of team cleaning can quickly get the house clean. If you choose this approach, you may want to have each room or area that needs special attention on a 3 x 5 card and hand one to a team to accomplish. When we team cleaned this way when I was a child, we raced the other team. There was an adult on both teams, however, so keep that in mind. It does motivate!

#4 Team Clean

You say you didn’t take the time to do the previous steps and company is coming TODAY? Use this two-hour checklist to whip the house into shape. If you all work together, you could easily get it done in less than two hours.

How do you normally company clean?

Follow Dr. Melanie Wilson @psychowith6’s board Organized Homeschool on Pinterest.

Here is the December 2014 printable Organized Homeschool calendar and a list of previous challenges:

December 2014 Organized homeschool calendar

Organized Homeschool Challenge

Week 1: Daily Devotions Challenge

Week 2: Daily Routine Challenge

Week 3: To-Do List Challenge

Week 4: Memory Keeping Challenge

Week 5: The Decluttering Challenge

Week 6: The Organized Computer Challenge

 Week 7: The Marriage of Your Dreams Challenge

Week 8: The Confident Parent Challenge

Week 9: The Extended Family Challenge

Week 10: The Bring on the Spring Challenge

Week 11: The Spring Cleaning Challenge

Week 12: The Organized Easter Challenge

Week 13: The Serve the Church Challenge

Week 14: The Chore Challenge

Week 15: The Organize Your Finances Challenge

Week 16: The Curriculum Challenge

Week 17: The Friendship Challenge

Week 18: The Family Celebrations Challenge

Week 19: The Organized Clothing Challenge

Week 20: The Organized Vacation Challenge

Week 21: The Organized Summer Challenge

Week 22: The Outdoor Activity Challenge

Week 23: The Used Curriculum Challenge

Week 24: The Homeschool Space Challenge

Week 25: The Goal Setting Challenge

Week 26: The Homeschool Planning Challenge

Week 27: The Bible Time Challenge

Week 28: The Special Study Prep Challenge

Week 29: The Extra-Curricular Challenge

Week 30: The Core Curriculum Prep Challenge

Week 31: The Elective Curriculum Challenge

Week 32: The Back to School Challenge

Week 33: The Fall Bucket List Challenge

Week 34: The Organized Bedroom Challenge

Week 35: The Clean Out the Pantry Challenge

Week 36: The Meal Planning Challenge

Week 37: The Grocery Shopping Challenge

Week 38: The Organized Kitchen Challenge

Week 39: The Freezer Cooking Challenge

Week 40: The Hospitality Challenge

Week 41: The Blog or Business Challenge

Week 42: The Hobby Challenge

Week 43: The Charity Challenge

Week 44: The Thanksgiving Challenge

Week 45: The Christmas Plan Challenge

Week 46: The Christmas Decorating Challenge

Week 47: The Christmas Shopping Challenge

Week 48: The Home Ec Challenge

Week 49: The Hot Spot Challenge

Week 50: The Curriculum Review Challenge

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Week 14: The Chore Challenge

Week 14: The Chore Challenge

Give the kids chores to teach them character, so you can save your sanity!When I first got serious about getting my children’s help with housework, I was most interested in them learning responsibility. Now I can’t keep our home running without my kids. Take the chore challenge and your whole family will benefit for years to come.

#1 Determine the chores that have to be done each week

I recommend you limit your list to the absolute musts. Washing the baseboards isn’t a weekly must, for example.

The easiest way to do this is to ask yourself what you want done morning and evening. To get you started, here are the chores we do both morning and evening:

  • Clear and wipe table and counters
  • Load dishwasher
  • Wash dishes that don’t go into the dishwasher
  • Sweep kitchen and clear window seat
  • Pick up play room
  • Pick up school room

The kids do one additional chore each in the mornings in addition to their bedroom and joint bathroom.

Weekly chores in our home include dusting, vaccuuming, Swiffering, mowing (in season), and emptying garbage (and replacing can liners–you can’t forget that!). The kids (ages 8 and up) are responsible for doing their own laundry on their assigned day.

#2 Assign chores to each child

Consult a list of age-appropriate chores like this one and discuss with your children which chores they are interested in learning. My children are now old enough that all of them are capable of doing any daily chore. When I rotated chores when the kids were younger, I helped the littlest do their chore if it was too much for them.

In our house, one child keeps the same weekly chore until he has matured to the next level. The youngest Swiffers while the oldest mows, for example. However, I recently demoted a child because he consistently failed to dust well. He is happier managing garbage and I am happier having the dusting done! This was a decision reached through family discussion.

#3 Choose a chore management system and set it up

I think I’ve tried just about every approach to chores there is. Everything has worked for a while, but then we get tired of it. The key for my family seems to be variety.

Our current approach for daily chores is a colored index card system.  The kids draw cards to see what their chores are. The hot pink cards are drawn morning and evening.  The neon yellow cards are for morning only. I’ve also created a set of orange cards for special once-a-week chores (e.g., cleaning the microwave) and a green set with spring cleaning tasks on them. One thing I’ve noticed is I need to rewrite the card as soon as the back gets a distinguishing mark on it. No cheating allowed!

Some considerations when choosing an approach to chores:

  • Does it require a lot of set-up or management time? Having to approve many individual chores for six kids on a computer was a nightmare for me, as was trying to determine point levels for each chore for rewards.
  • Does it offer convenient access? A computer program we used required individual logins. The bickering over access to the computer wasn’t worth it for me.
  • Is it flexible? You will need to be able to change it without spending a lot of time on it. I remember Konos author, Jessica Hulcy, saying she would assign chores to her boys on index cards each day, depending on what she needed done. That’s flexible!
  • Does it make it easy for you to check chores? The saying, “Inspect what you expect” is a wise one. Some methods I have tried for this include having a chore checker, shadowing one child during chore time, working on every room together as a family, not assigning myself chores so I have time to check, or taking turns doing the chore myself so I can see if it’s being done correctly.
  • Does it offer enough variety? Some children want to have the same chores, while others will want to rotate them. Are your children like mine and want to use a new approach regularly? If so, don’t spend a lot of time and money on something you’ll all be bored with soon.

#4 Teach at least one chore

Surprisingly enough, we homeschool moms can forget that learning to do chores is just another subject. Kids can succeed when the work is broken the down into easy steps they can do.

Having the kids do their own laundry became so much easier when I taught them step-by-step how to fold clothes, for example. Model, have them try, encourage and correct, and when they’ve got it, keep doing spot checks. Kids have a habit of “forgetting” things they don’t like to do.

I really like this DVD from Cleaning with Kids. She demonstrates an easy way to clean the shower and recommends kids clean in pairs. We used it as part of school one day.

Are you using a chore system that works for you? Tell us about it!

Be sure to follow the Organized Homeschool Board on Pinterest for more creative chore ideas.

Here is this month’s free printable organized homeschool calendar for April 2014 and a list of previous weeks’ challenges.

Get your home, family, and homeschool organized this month with this free printable calendar.

Organized Homeschool Challenge

Week 1: Daily Devotions Challenge

Week 2: Daily Routine Challenge

Week 3: To-Do List Challenge

Week 4: Memory Keeping Challenge

Week 5: The Decluttering Challenge

Week 6: The Organized Computer Challenge

 Week 7: The Marriage of Your Dreams Challenge

Week 8: The Confident Parent Challenge

Week 9: The Extended Family Challenge

Week 10: The Bring on the Spring Challenge

Week 11: The Spring Cleaning Challenge

Week 12: The Organized Easter Challenge

Week 13: The Serve the Church Challenge

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Week 11: The Spring Cleaning Challenge

Week 11: The Spring Cleaning Challenge

Teach your kids and get your spring cleaning done by taking this spring cleaning challenge.

Spring is the season for getting outside, but it’s also a time for cleaning. Fortunately, homeschoolers can combine teaching and cleaning. While you’re unlikely to get it all done this week, you can get a great start in just an hour this week.

#1 Research and choose tasks

Which tasks should you tackle in your spring cleaning? You may not know where to start. Check out this Pinterest list of spring cleaning chores. Decide which of these would give your home the freshest feel. Though not a part of the list, you might want to work on the garage and get it ready for the spring activities you chose last week.

#2 Add tasks to calendar

How will you get spring cleaning done in addition to your regular activities? You’ll need to make time for it. Either make spring cleaning a regular part of your day for the next few weeks or schedule when you will do particular cleaning chores. Remember, a little spring cleaning is better than none!

#3 Teach one cleaning task

If you’ve never taught the kids how to clean the cobwebs, beat the rugs, or wash the windows, now is the time. You may want to start by reading about the history of spring cleaning. Consider your children’s ages, then teach them the why, the what, and the how of one cleaning task. Turn on some upbeat music and let them have a go at it. You may be surprised if you actually have fun.

 #4 Decorate

Adding some fresh spring decorations or rearranging your rooms can lift all your spirits and keep you motivated the rest of the year.

First, pull out spring decorations from storage and display them. Kids love helping with this. Declutter those items you no longer want.

Second, look for new decor ideas, including DIY projects the kids can help with. Here is one of my favorite pins for spring decor ideas and a favorite for beautiful crafts to make with younger kids.

Third, assemble or purchase materials needed to make your project.

Fourth, make a craft with your child or add it to your lesson plan for next week.

What spring cleaning task are you going to tackle this week?

Here is the March Organized Homeschool Calendar to print and a list of previous weeks’ challenges:

Organize your homeschool this spring with this free March printable calendar

Organized Homeschool Challenge

Week 1: Daily Devotions Challenge

Week 2: Daily Routine Challenge

Week 3: To-Do List Challenge

Week 4: Memory Keeping Challenge

Week 5: The Decluttering Challenge

Week 6: The Organized Computer Challenge

 Week 7: The Marriage of Your Dreams Challenge

Week 8: The Confident Parent Challenge

Week 9: The Extended Family Challenge

Week 10: The Bring on the Spring Challenge

read more

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