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November 18, 2006

Boys’ Step-By-Step Guide To Cleaning the House

In the past six months or so, we've gone from barely-keeping-up to staying-on-top of the daily messes and clutter. One of the biggest changes is how the boys are now at an age at which their daily activities don't result in a net-mess.

One of the tools we use is the below outline I wrote up and posted on the fridge. We don't do all of these every day, but it is the guide we follow when we do a weekly housecleaning or before we have guests. This list is primarily for the boys to do the basic cleaning, and I follow up taking care of details and things that I see that are overlooked by those who are only 4 feet high.

While the list looks long, we tackle each section at a time. Four boys can do a numbered section in less than 10 minutes when they are working together.


Boys’ Step-By-Step Guide

To Cleaning the House

1. Throw Away All Trash!

a. Empty trash cans in both bathrooms, kids’ bedroom, and kitchen.

b. Gather any and all trash from the floor—bedrooms, public areas, bathrooms, under furniture, in corners.

c. Take trash out to bins in garage—make sure trash gets put in the bin and the lid closed!

d. Sort the recycling in the garage.

2. Gather All Clothes!

a. Pick up all clothes and shoes from the floor—check bedrooms, public areas, bathrooms, and closets. Fold and put away clean ones.

b. Put dirty ones in the hamper (not on the laundry room floor!)

c. Check in and on the dryer. If you see your clothes, fold them and put them away!

d. Are all shoes put away neatly in the closet? Play shoes in one bin, church shoes in the other bin.

3. Books!

a. Gather all books from the floor, under beds and in bathrooms.

b. Mommy/Daddy books put on top of living room bookshelf.

c. Library books put in bin by the door.

d. School books go on the school shelf. Set them up neatly!

e. Kids’ books go on kids’ shelf or under-bed shelves. Set them neatly—like Daddy’s bookshelves.

4. Clean the Kitchen

a. Gather any food, plates, or utensils from anywhere they are in the house.

b. Empty dishwasher. If something still isn’t clean, use the scrub brush!

c. Load dishwasher.

d. If anything is on the counter tops, put it away where it belongs!

e. Squirt counter tops, stove top, and cupboards with vinegar. Wipe down!

f. Sweep kitchen and kitchen office.

5. Wash the walls.

a. Use a slightly damp, clean cloth to wipe walls. Look for fingerprints! Look for scuffs from toys!

b. Pay extra attention to doors and the walls around the doors.

c. Mommy or Daddy will use Magic Eraser.

6. Clean the bathroom.

a. Put away, where they belong, any items that don’t belong in the bathroom.

b. Put away in the cupboard any items that DO belong in the bathroom.

c. Use some dishwashing soap—just a little squirt—to fill the tub with bubble water. Let it soak.

d. Wipe down all surfaces. Use either a cleaning cloth that is wet and wrung out from the soapy water in the tub, or use Clorox wipes. Wipe down counter, cupboards, door, shower walls, and floor.

e. Wipe down toilet with Clorox wipe. Start with the cleanest areas, move to the dirtier areas. Be sure to wipe floor around the base of the toilet!

7. Clean the Floors!

a. Sweep the public areas.

b. Let Daddy or Mommy mop.

c. Inspect for vacuuming—office and bedrooms.

d. Vacuum. Be careful of money, legos, and rubber bands.

e. Put small attachment on and vacuum next to wall and hard to reach areas.

8. Clean Bedroom

a. Make beds—sheets on properly, blankets spread nicely, pillows on.

b. All trash, clothes, and books should already be picked up from earlier work. Double check.

c. Clean closet. Any toys in closet put away. Shoes organized.

d. Clear out everything under beds, under shelves. Put away properly.

e. Straighten shelves. Books neat!

f. Clean out your own dresser special-drawers.

g. Inspect for vacuuming.

9. Have Daddy or Mommy Check!

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Comments

Thank you!! This is just what we were going to do today. I have four boys/ house cleaners also!!

How often do you go through the list... once a week? Can you give a couple more details on keeping the house clean??

Posted by: Mist at November 18, 2006 03:04 PM

Hey.....i've missed you all for soooooo looooooong......would love to catch up w/u.....
Talk to u soon.
Michelle.

Posted by: Michelle Arenas at November 19, 2006 02:08 PM

I've just printed this out for my kids who are age 6 and 12. I'll go over it and make changes based on our house and preferences, then print it for them, and post it on the fridge. Hopefully it will help that not all the cleaning falls to me anymore!

Posted by: missymess at November 20, 2006 08:44 AM

"Be sure to wipe floor around the base of the toilet!"

oh, the joys of having boys...

Posted by: kate5kiwis at November 21, 2006 05:12 PM

I think that's a great idea. Kids/males really seem to need specifics - saying "pick up" doesn't really do it!

Posted by: Jenn at November 25, 2006 05:14 PM

Hi, I just tried to email you through your "Contact me" page and I was repeatedly met with error messages, "Precondition failed".
Help!
Thanks,
Heather

Posted by: Heather at November 29, 2006 11:16 AM

We go through the list 1-2x a week. Honestly--before our babysitters come over! I have other lists that are supposed to be our "daily" jobs with just the normal routines we want to become habits.

But, we are ALL--me included--a work in process. *L* Just because I post one of our cleaning lists, doesn't mean it always gets done!

Posted by: TulipGirl at December 10, 2006 02:53 PM


 
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