I am so pathetic that I need to play games with myself just to keep a clean house. When I say I am a kid at heart it not only means I love playing Play Doh it extends to my dislike for cleaning and inability to just throw a wrapper away rather than leaving it on the counter. So, I play a little game with myself to motivate me into keeping things cleaned up and organized. You see, I hate disorganization. There is a constant war inside myself between “organized mommy” and “disorganized mommy”. Over time, my little tricks have worked for me and in turn for my kids. That is for all but one. My oldest needs no games to get her chores or schoolwork done. She is Miss Maturity and makes the rest of us look bad.
So my game involves one item; a sense of enthusiasm. However, if you are low on enthusiasm no worries you can still play. Like many of you, my day is filled to the brim. I look around and see a million little things to do and begin to get overwhelmed. So, I think of it this way, “what can I do in a minute?” A minute is not much of a commitment to any task so how can that be effective? Well, I can throw away junk mail, wash my coffee cup, empty my dryer, or throw away the wrapper on the counter in a minute. So in four minutes I just accomplished a few pesky tasks that make my view a little nicer. I can even write a new Tweet in a minute! I play the five minute clean up in the evening. I take five minutes in each room to just straighten it up before I sit down at my computer to write, Tweet, or Facebook before turning in for the night. When I am cleaning the house I follow the Flylady way and give each task 15 minutes.
So what’s with all the minutes you ask? How many times have you said that you didn’t have enough time in the day? How many times have you felt out of sync because your home was out of order yet you felt like you had no time to clean it up? I know many of you are more organized than I and probably don’t need silly little games to keep up on domestic duties. However, I could get wrapped up in school, kids, games, and writing all day long only to turn around at the end of the night to a house that should be considered a national disaster area. I am not a good housekeeper. There I said it! So by fooling myself into saying, “just clean up this room, it will take 5 minutes”, I find the motivation. Pathetic? Maybe. However, this approach also works on children. I should know as I have never grown up. I think I was born in Neverland with the Lost Boys and Peter Pan. So have some fun tonight, put on your Mary Poppins apron and set a timer with your kids. See who can clean up their room in 5 minutes or who can do the most pesky picking up in the living room in one minute. It’s a lot of fun and in the end you have a clean house which always makes moms breathe and rest easier.