How I'm Keeping My House From Getting Trashed During Spring Break

I love my girls to death really. They each have such a distinct and wonderful personality and they're truly a joy to be around, most of the time. The problem is, they aren't really go-getters.  They don't take the initiative to do things that need to be done around the house.  The two teens are 13 and 14 and still have to be told over and over to pick up after themselves. Don't leave a room without looking back to make sure there is no trace of you being there.

So, since they are home all week on Spring Break and we can't go anywhere or do anything exciting this week due to finances and work schedules, they will be here while I'm asleep - without supervision and bored.  That means my house will be trashed... right?  WRONG!  I decided to strike preemptively. But instead of just giving them things to do, I tried to make it fun. This method had worked well in the past. This time they were just tired and lost interest quickly.  I think the method is still sound, it was just late at night when I got them to do it.

Anyway, here it is.  I made a list of 12 things that need to be done around the house, and if they're done every day then the house would look great all the time... in theory. Ideally they're to get these things done before I wake up, at least the ones that aren't kind of an all-day thing.

The list was
1. Scoop litter boxes
2. Unload dishwasher everytime it's done running.
3. Load dishwasher anytime dishes are used and run when it's full.
4. Vacuum living room and hallway.
5. Sweep and mop kitchen (not a big deal just the swiffer type mopping).
6. Straighten up kitchen counters and wipe them down as well as stove and sink.
7. Sweep back porch.
8. Feed and water animals twice a day.
9. Sweep and mop main bathroom (clean up any cat piles) I have one cat who absolutely refuses to use a litter box. We try to let him out when the dogs go out, but sometimes he goes next to the litter box. Grrr
10. Swish toilet , wipe down counter and sink in main bathroom.
11. Spend 5 minutes cleaning up trash in the backyard that gathered over the winter.
12. Gather all empty hangers in all closets and hang on the laundry sorter.

So, dividing the list up among the 3 girls, it gave each 4 things to do each day.  Since we're kind of a gamer family, we got out a bunch of 20-sided dice, like these:

Each girl got to pick the die they liked best. They they all rolled them. Whoever got the highest number on the die got to pick a chore first. The next highest roll picked second and so on until all 12 were picked for the first day. They were supposed to roll for each day so it would be random who got to pick first each day, but they were tired and went to bed.  So Hubby decided to do it the fairest way and added one number to each of the ones they had picked. So like Faelyn picked chores 2, 4, 6 and 12 for Monday, so on Tuesday we added 1 to each number so she has 3, 5, 7 and 1(since 12 is the last number of course). It worked out pretty well. There are a few instances where they have the same chore two days in a row, but overall not a bad structure. 

So, yesterday (Monday) was the first day we used it.  Sunday night I typed up the charts and printed the first day on some pretty paper to make it less boring and mundane. Then I put it on the pantry door. I knew they'd see it there.  They are always looking for food.  When I woke up Monday afternoon, there had been 2 things marked off. Total. Faelyn was gone to a Rural Resources meeting where they were prepping for a catering job they have Wed night - so she was slightly excused.  I think she probably had time to get some stuff done before she left. But I got the other two in gear and then got Faelyn on hers when she got home.  I had to keep reminding Faelyn on hers - normal as she's ADD like her Mom (still no excuse, just understandable).  

But finally, tonight the list looks like this:

Faelyn never brought me hangers, but Hubby got the ones from our closet so I could get stuff caught up tonight.  Otherwise it was all done. The first day doing these is obviously the hardest, so the jobs should be a lot easier from here on out. We'll see how they do today.  Here's what's posted now:

Zoe will probably have a bit of trouble unloading the dishwasher since she so short, but hopefully she'll get some help if I'm asleep.

I'm going to try to get up earlier than normal.  Rhiannon has asked if we can do something fun tomorrow. I don't have any spending money this week really, so it needs to be a cheap fun.  So, I decided we could all work on making a huge batch of home made cinnamon rolls from scratch. I think I have everything we need, and if not, I've got a little bit of money to get more cinnamon or something. It'll be messy and fun and yummy! And we can all work together to clean up as we go too.   I'll try to remember to take pics.

I'm still going to try to post and participate in Shelia's blog party at Note Songs.

I'm also in the middle of making home made yogurt. In fact the first 2 hours are up!  Time to turn off the crock pot.

laundry is just about all caught up except for the huge mound of blankets and comforters in my bedroom floor. I keep them there so I can walk in the laundry room/office.  For some reason the kids all brought me one and said it needed to be washed. Faelyn was even cleaning her room and took down the diving curtain that separated her from Rhiannon.  Maybe they're in the Spring Cleaning mood!  Hmmm bet I could get them to help me with some bigger tasks like washing windows and cleaning the oven. Oh, but the weather is going to be icky this week... not spring cleaning weather.  Can't leave the windows open to air out the house.  Oh well. It'll get done. I know I have got to get into Zoe's room and really purge and re-organize. Her closet is wasted space full of Corina's old junk. And she has way too many stuffed animals. Maybe if she had less, she'd play with them. Maybe if she helps, I can get her one new inexpensive Barbie.

So, y'all have a great Tuesday and I'll try to be back soon!