summer 2020

Cleaning Sticks

Need help or inspiration to get your kiddos cleaning? Then keep reading to see my way of using cleaning sticks.

Who has tried a cleaning or chore system and it blew up in your face? Well, over here it has happened a few times. I had high expectations for each cleaning or chore system I tried but then it just wouldn’t work. I would either loose interest, loose the desire to keep it going, forget who had what extra rotating chore, or loose the papers altogether. Fail, fail, fail! As I was talking with my therapist I had told her that I had scrapped yet another cleaning or chore system. She encouraged me to find another one quickly and stick to it, which was not news to me. I needed to find something that would be easier then what we had tried before. I also wanted something that looked pretty in our kitchen. In the end functionality won over looking pretty.  You can check out our summer system here. It has been life changing and so far a system that hasn’t let us down. Win, win!

After a few weeks of success with our Daily Lists it was very apparent that our current cleaning sticks were not what we needed. They were from one of those previously mentioned failed cleaning system. Our kiddos had certain things they needed to do daily and if they wanted to do anything extra they could pick a stick and earn some money. Sadly it was never used to earn money. These 8 sticks didn’t work for our Daily Lists because I didn’t need my windowsills or baseboards cleaned daily.

Getting ready to get organized and make new cleaning sticks.

It took me a bit of little time to think through what I really wanted out of the cleaning sticks. When I had made my decision I sat down and made a list of areas in our house that I wanted the kids to help clean. I broke it down by rooms or areas with the idea of focusing on one room or area a day. Here are my rooms/areas:

  • living room/family room
  • kids bedrooms
  • kitchen
  • all bathrooms
  • random
  • playroom (We do not have our playroom set up. Right now it is our sewing/craft, workout, office, catch all the crap room. However, when we have it cleaned out then the playroom will be added in.)

I needed 5 sticks per day for my kiddos (two each for the big kids, and one for my 2 year old) so that’s what I did with the exception of random. This one has a few more, 8 to be exact. I wanted my kiddos to continue to help take out the garbage and recycle so that was added in the random. Our garbage day is Wednesday so each week we will do our random cleaning sticks on Tuesday to make sure our garbage and recycling is ready to be taken out on Wednesday. As of now this is our weekly schedule:

  • Monday- bathrooms
  • Tuesday- random
  • Wednesday- living room and family room
  • Thursday- kitchen
  • Friday- bedrooms
  • Saturday- no cleaning sticks until our playroom is set up or it is a make up day if we didn’t get to one of the other rooms/areas earlier in the week.

When I go to bed I pull out the next day’s cleaning sticks and put them in a jar on the counter. This way if Hubby and the kids want to start before I get up the next morning then it is ready to go. (Yes, I know I’m SUPER spoiled in the fact I get to sleep in most mornings, as long as Miss N sleeps in and doesn’t need to be nursed.) Each stick has one side I colored green and the other side I colored red. All the sticks are green side up, meaning any stick is good to take out. Once a stick is picked and completed it is put back into the same jar with the red side up. This way anyone who is left needing to do their cleaning sticks knows which ones are done and which ones still need to be done. This is also helpful with our random day. When the day is over I keep the sticks the same as they were in the jar so I know which ones we need to start with the next week. I always turn empty garbage and recycle to green because I want that done weekly.

I still have a few that are extra that my kiddos can do if they want to earn money. Haha! I’m talking 10 cents a job! I’m going to make them earn it. Some of the extra ones are: clean trash and toys out of car, clean windows, cleaning walls, and dust blinds. It would be one window or wall per 10 cents. I’m not that mean! Haha!

So far things have been going well. I love being a bit more organized and having everyone know what to expect. Miss L asks to watch TV often and all I have to say to her is, “Did you finish your Daily List?” The whining and arguing has decreased. It’s not me just saying no to her. It puts the responsibility on her and she is starting to get that. Wooyoo!

What have you found that works for you and your house with cleaning? Here’s hoping that this cleaning stick and Daily List systems are ones we can continue doing for the long hall and that I don’t loose them…



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