Thursday, July 3, 2008


How do you clean your house and keep your children busy? TV? No. Bribes? Nu-uh. Nope, not threats, locks, naps or removing them from your house either. This is much MUCH better.

So I came across my new gem of wisdom not completely by accident. A dear friend actually planted the seeds and it has taken, oh about 18 months to germinate. The trick - get the kids envolved in the cleaning! Not Nobel Prize worthy but huge in my life!

Oh no I can hear your gasps! "What? No! That could never work? They do not really clean. My children would never help clean. They may help but then I have to go back over an do it again. "

Well that last one might have glimmers of truth.

Today we frantically cleaned our house preparing to have a few friends over for a BBQ for the Fourth of July. Sadly I have let my house go - a lot. It may have been in a different time-zone it is so far gone. Z knew we had a lot to do and he was so enthusiastic to help. He even made a list! *tear* He is mine! (For those of you not in the know, I am an avid lover of all things list. They are my happy place.) I would share a picture of it but it was tossed out before I could get a picture. His list was things like "Clean my room," "Clean the bathroom," "Dust," "Clean the backyard," etc. He did this all on his own! I imagine we were quite the picture, both sitting at the counter writting our lists for the day. Again, no picture. (bad blogger)

I tried to keep the girls occupied by cleaning their rooms, a.k.a. playing away from me so I can get some work done. Z flew through the house with the Swiffer, cleaned his room, cleaned up after the dog and was back for more! God, I thank you!

Well the girls figured they were missing out on something huge and were dying for a project. "Mommy what can I clean?" Have those words ever been uttered before? I think we made history.

So finally here is my favorite thing today that was the gem from my dear friend. I took a simple, small spray bottle half filled with water and about a cap full of vinegar. Truthfully I am not sure what the vinegar does but make things smell clean and more like what I was using which made my little E very happy. Then I took an old sock of her brother's, and slipped it on her little hand inside out and showed her how to spray her very special cleaning solution onto her very special cleaning mit and sent her off to clean my baseboards.

Quiet. Silence. No wait... I hearsomething. Is that humming? Oh my happy worker!

The results?

They are gorgeous! The cleanest they have been since I painted them a long *cough* time ago.

This picture does not do her handy work justice and in my defense, this is a 45 year old house with 45 year old baseboards and therefore 45 years of paint. Its character right?
She worked so diligently through the front room and made them just sparkle. She was so proud of herself and her sister was so jealous because all she got to do was wash out the bathroom sink. Maybe tomorrow my love.


Kristina said...

Nice work!!! My kids love to take wipes and clean, it doesn't last long though, but appearently if I keep working at it, it will pay off. Happy 4th!

Angie said...

Way to go! My girls' favorite is washing windows. It takes them forever so I get a lot of other things done... and then I do the windows last. But hey - they THINK they're really helping! (Your way is better - it sounds like they really were a big help!)