My family has an ideal, a goal, to have a clean house when Christmas comes. This goal is often times equal to “shoveling the walk while it’s still snowing.” One of these years, though, we are going to achieve this ideal – and this may be our year. This year, we’ve made a checklist of what needs to be done. It’s a cleaning checklist for the holidays, and I’m hoping it will help us achieve our dream.
First of all, this is a new idea for my children. They are used to doing their morning chore, making their beds, and picking up 10 things in their rooms before they get to play/go to school in the morning. They are still expected to do those things. But now, when it’s a school break too, we will all work on the checklist together after breakfast.
I like to have my house nicely cleaned before the chaos that is Christmas. Also, we often visit relatives during the holidays and having the housework taken care of allows us to go visiting much more easily. We will only do the intense checklist until Christmas. Then in January, we’ll go back to morning and afternoon chores and save the checklist for Saturday cleanups. I’m a firm believer in having a house of order, but have yet to find the best way to accomplish this. I’m hoping this checklist will start a new pattern of order for our family. If you want to try it out with your family, here’s the full list as a free printable.
I’m hoping they notice that some of the checklist things are their morning and afternoon chores. And I’m hoping the list reinforces that if we work together we can get our work done faster. I’m hoping the checklist will help them focus on the task at hand and that they will feel successful as we check things off the list together. And, I’m hoping they will see Mommy and Daddy working alongside them at the tasks.
I know that having a physical object the children can hold and mark off will help them want to complete the checklist. I’ve arranged the list so each room of the house has a specific list of smaller chores to be completed. As the smaller chores are completed, they are checked off. When all the chores are marked off, then the room is marked off. Once it’s been marked off, then Mommy and Daddy don’t get to go back and say, “It’s not done.” Housework has the habit of getting undone almost as quickly as it gets done, so having the checklist will help us all realize that yes, the chores were done.
This is our experiment for the first week of the school break. I’m filled with hope that the experiment will work and I’ll finally have a sparkling and clean house for Christmas pictures. (Instead of the clean laundry pile hiding in the background of the Christmas pictures.) And, if it doesn’t happen, at least I and my family gave it our best effort. That has to count for something, right?
Anyone out there struggle with this at Christmas time as much as I do? I’d love to hear your stories, successful or not, and learn your secrets – if you want to share. Let me know in the comments below.