Since the day my daughter was born I have struggled with keeping my house clean to the standard I felt it needed to be cleaned. I would constantly stress it.
The cycle went something like this:
- Clean the house top to bottom exhausting myself and everyone else.
- Become the nazi of cleanliness. Words like, “Are you kidding? I just cleaned that!” were common place.
- Start to get exhausted and slack off a bit.
- Fall behind.
- Get completely overwhelmed and quit.
- Start back at step one.
Let me explain. My children had some responsibilities here but I did most of the work. Crystal Paine shared about her mom teaching her many life skills as she was growing up by putting her in charge of them. This has prompted a new routine in our home.
R (7 years old) has been given the bathroom as her job. She has to master the bathroom before she can change jobs. I have told her that until she can do the entire bathroom for a month without any suggestions from me it will be her job. I want her to know how to keep a home when she leaves mine.C (4 years old) has been given the living room. He also has a standard set for him. Until he consistently completes it, he will be on living room duty.Delegating these responsibilities has helped me to achieve more in other areas in our household. I used to feel bad because as some moms said, “it’s too much work for them.” Now I look at it as training for their future. It’s not too much. It’s just enough so that when I send them from my home I know they will be able to tend theirs.
It’s not clean if…
The second thing that I really learned was the principle of discipline combined with my it’s not clean if item.
For me, the house is not clean if there are dishes in the sink.
You could clean everything white glove clean and leave dishes in the sink and it would still be a disaster.
I asked some of my readers what their it’s not clean if is and here are some of their answers:
“The red couch is not vacuumed.”
” The front entry-way rug HAS to be vacuumed. (At least twice)”
“dishes done and kitchen cleaned (surfaces neat/not cluttered and wiped”
” The countertops, including the stovetop need to be clean and orderly. A few dirty dishes don’t bother me as long as they are neatly stacked or soaking in soapy water.” – Dawnita
“Laundry! Either in baskets or folded on couch…stray socks or towels scattered about. Ugh!”
So what is the shiny sink challenge?
I decided I need to combine discipline with my it’s not clean. Every night before bed for the last 2 months I have committed to do the dishes. I have made sure that there is not a single dish in that sink and that the sink is wiped clean.
For some of you, this will sound like no big deal. For me, huge deal!
I want to challenge you for the next month do your it’s not clean if item every day. No matter what, make it your priority.
Add on a new one!
When you master your it’s not clean if, add on a new one. For the next month add that to your first one and do both each day before bed. For me, it’s making sure I do one load of laundry every single day. This may look different for you but it will get you started!
A Free Printable!
I have put together a simple It’s Not Clean if… printable for you. You can print this on standard printer paper and hang it on your fridge or put it in picture frame and use a dry erase marker on the glass to update your goal. This is a simple visual reminder to tackle your item each day! Feel free to print extra for the kids.