Our large household demands team work to be able to maintain any sort of order. As a family of 9 (ages 16 months to 41 years old) that is home all day every day (well at least some are), has lots of animals (current count: 1 dog, 4 cats, 2 cows and 25 chickens) and we make most of our foods from scratch just one day of letting things go can result in several days of catch up. It is crucial to have a plan and to have as many people working together as possible! Getting everyone involved is one of our keys to success.
I have tried so many different things over the years. Flylady, Side Tracked Home Executives (notecards), all kinds of chore charts, etc… But mainly everything dissolves to chaos and then we have company so we work really hard to clean up and then we are worn out and let it slide again. My latest inspiration has come from Leila at http://www.likemotherlikedaughter.org/2010/01/reasonably-clean-fairly-neat-and/ She is a wonderful source for good motherly advice. She is nearly done raising 6 kids and homeschooled too so she knows what its like to have a larger than normal family that is home all the time and she cooks for her family too. I don’t follow her protocols exactly but she was the spark I needed to get on track for our family.
For many years we have had assigned individual jobs that each person is responsible for but when we recently added a joint effort to the zone once a week I found that we were finally achieving a higher level of clean!
We spent a bunch of time over Christmas decluttering and clearing out the stuff we just really don’t need. We are big believers in a big clean out from time to time. I know Flylady always says baby steps but the amount of time it would take us to dig out 15 minutes at a time is so discouraging with so many messing it up as soon as you walk away! Maintaining is so much easier if we have a big resetting first!
Here is our current strategy:
Each morning we have our “high five.”
After breakfast we work on our zone for the day.
In the afternoon before Papa comes home we do our afternoon chores where each child is responsible for picking up their assigned areas. Each child has two different areas to work on.
Each child also has two different table chores. One to prepare for the meal and one cleaning up afterwards. This has been the hardest habit for us to be consistent at but when we are successful everything runs so much better.
In the coming days I will have specific posts about each of these areas.
What are your strategies? Have you found something that works really well for your family? I’d love to hear about it!