"My house was
clean yesterday" - sorry you missed it!" Does this sound like a plaque
that could be hanging in your house? It could certainly be hanging in
mine! It seems like every day is a struggle to keep the house clean and
orderly. I've tried to say: "the heck with it, it's ok to have a messy
house." And while I really believe that it is ok to have a messy house,
I'm way to OCD to actually let it happen. So, I found myself constantly
picking up after my husband and daughter and being completely frustrated
that I had to constantly pick up after my husband and
I tried implementing all sorts of things: chore
charts, stickers, rewards . . . any bribery tactics really. They didn't
work. So, I tried not caring that I had a messy house. That didn't work
either. Then, one day, I was reading an article in FamilyFun Magazine. A
mom in Flagstaff, Arizona was suffering my same ache. As I read the
article, I swore I had written it myself. Except, she came up with a
technique she claimed worked above all others. In a final desperate
attempt, I decided to try her technique, just this weekend, and guess
what? IT WORKED! She is brilliant; a sheer genius; likely the smartest
women on planet earth! I contemplated keeping this secret to myself (of
course, the article is published in the March 2011 issue of FamilyFun
Magazine), but, what kind of selfish, uncaring person would I be if I
didn't share? So, I now share with you what Hope Gibbs of Flagstaff,
Arizona shared with me.
"The One Minute Tidy"
Here's what you do, or the jist of it: Call the family together in the
living room (or whatever room you wanna clean). Hold up a kitchen timer
and let them know you are setting the timer to go off in one minute.
Announce that everybody needs to work their super-hardest on cleaning up
the room for one minute. When the timer goes off, everybody needs to sit
on the coach and the game will end. I encourage you to read Hope's article
as it is much more detailed and interesting than what I'm about to write
but here is what happen when I tried it. Keep in mind, I had never done
this before. Okay, so, we were just getting ready to sit down and watch
Monsters Inc. for the bazillionth time when I looked around my living room
and noticed that it had thrown up. I thought, perfect time to try it! Out
of nowhere, I stand on our coffee table and announce that before our
bazillionth and one time of watching Sully, we were going to play a game.
I explained the rules, asked them to get ready, I set the timer and
yelled: "GO! Before my very eyes, my daughter and husband were running
here and there, laughing in excitement, grabbing anything they could and
putting things where they belonged. I was cheering them on, yelling "don't
forget baby Sarah, put her in her crib in the playroom, ooh, ooh, the
crayons, put them in the crayon bin. Honey, your jacket, hang it up! I was
overwhelmed with joy and as giddy as a school girl. Dear God, it was
working for me too. 20 seconds left I announce. The running and cleaning
became more frantic and more things were being put away. The timer goes
off, everybody runs and sits on the couch and mama is standing, mouth
wide-open in disbelief. It was almost better than Christmas! As happy as I
could be, holding back the tear of joy I say, Wow! Excellent work family!
Wasn't that fun? The yeses, sure was, great idea, can we do it again
remarks were sweet-sweet music to my ears. We all snuggled onto the coach
in our newly cleaned and very tidy living room and watched Boo sneak into
the factory. It was about 20 minutes into watching that big blue monster
when it hit me: there was no reward given, my daughter didn't ask for a
candy, my husband didn't think I was nagging. They just cleaned the room!
So, kudos to you Hope Gibbs of Flagstaff, AZ! Because of you, I
sat down with my family for 1.5 hours and did nothing on a Sunday
afternoon! It happen again last night. I yelled: One Minute Tidy, set the
timer and away everybody went. This thing works - You Gotta try it too!
works as a
http://www.highlandsmommies.org/ Northwest Denver's largest online
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