With 4 kids and homeschooling I need to streamline my efforts on all things homemaking. It’s been quite an adjustment because I used to be able to whip up my house and laundry to Monica Gellar standards in no time. Not the case now. And as much as I am a ‘rules, order and lists’ kinda girl, I can’t seem to work off a chore chart for myself. I think part of my Type A-ness is that I absolutely avoid failure like the plague. So, if I have a chore chart for the week, and I fail, not only do I admit defeat but my ego and emotional well-being take the hit and send me into a tizzy. Ask the Mister…it’s not pretty. So no failure happening here [when it comes to cleaning]. After all, it’s just cleaning and not the order of world peace (although a clean house = my world is peaceful).
Like I said yesterday our strategy is CLEAN AS YOU GO. Everyone but our 1 year old is able to participate at some level. And the 3 older kids have a responsibility (or 2 or 3) that they are in charge of completing.
But, unlike most women, I enjoy cleaning. I get goose bumps when I see organization pins on pinterest or when the latest home magazine is delivered and is filled with tips and ideas on order and function. So, I don’t really mind when I have to step in and help the kids. But I do mind when I’ve specified what they should clean/tidy and they throw “it” under the bed, in the back of the closet or toss it in the hamper even though I just washed and folded the item in question! Maddening.
In turn, I’ve decided that if they want a maid, they can have one. My time is valuable and worthy of respect. So, I charge. I tell them I’m going to check out their room**. They know it’s their last chance to make sure their bed is made, laundry is put away in the hamper or a drawer, the closet floor is free of toys and clothes, the carpet is vacuumable (i.e. the toys, trash and junk are gone), and their dresser top is Lego free. If the room needs some attention, I will give it. I will also leave a receipt (free printable) on their pillow that itemizes my work and totals my fee. I CHARGE BY THE # OF ITEMS I PUT AWAY.
This is an excerpt of what my message says on the receipt:
This is your room. You are required to care for it as it has been entrusted to you by your parents. Should you not keep proper care of the room your mother will clean it for you…for a fee. Mama the Maid charges $0.05/each child/each item cleaned*. Therefore, regardless if all or none of the items returned to their proper place belong to you, all children living in the room will be charged. It’s called accountability.
Ex. 2 girls at 10 items cleaned will be assessed at 2($0.05 X 10)= $1.00
*Prices subject to change
The left side of the receipt if for multiple children per room. The right side is for a single child’s room.
**the girls share 1 room, are 7 and 9 years; they have one bed to make, one dresser and one closet that they share. We have a play room that is available for the messing but the way our home sets up (rancher) all the bedrooms are visible and their mess will be shared with everyone who enters the home.