Cleaning By Zone

Truth: I'm a mother of 6.  Truth: I hear the phrase, "That's not mine" and "I didn't make that mess" more times than a human should have to hear in a lifetime just in 1 week.  Truth: I don't care who made the mess.

Enter inspiration out of desperation: Kids in this house clean by zones, not by what mess each of them made.

Our house is divided into 4 zones: Entry and Stairs, Family Room, Game Room, and Bathrooms and Halls.

Our kids are assigned a zone to keep clean for 1 week: I make them check their zone before school and after school... nothing fun is allowed until the zone is clean.

Our kids do their zones BEFORE homework: I have a busy 12 year old who would use the excuse "I have too much homework" all the time... because it's true.  Well... in this house, our family comes first and family responsibilities rule before homework.  You'd be surprised how quick jobs get done when teenagers can't do homework.  Wait... that doesn't sound right.... kids don't like to do homework....right?  Well, my kids might be peculiar... they can't stand facing the teacher the next day without assignment in hand.  So, somehow they get their jobs done:)

The Result:  Zones help our family do quick pickups without the argument of who did what.  Now my little punk-a-noodles all know that whatever is in their zone... is what they have to put away!

How do you divide house jobs?

Don't for get to scroll down and check out info for the Toile Party at the end of the month!
Pretty Organizer

Tomorrow:  How Zones are used for Saturday Cleaning jobs!


The Soladay Family said...

As a mother of 4 boys, I am constantly hearing, "I didn't make that mess!" Drives me nuts!

We sort of have the zone thing going on in our house as well. They have bascially 4 zones that must be cleaned up before bedtime each day. I can't go to sleep at night with a dirty house!

By the way, love your blog!!

Kelly said...

Wonderful idea! Things get cleaner so much quicker and stay more organized when the focus isn't on who made the mess but just remedying it. My daughters are 2.5 and 2 months and I'll be putting this technique into practice with them. :o) The eldest loves to help with laundry already, so she mustn't care too much that Daddy messed those clothes and she's loading 'em up in the machine. We'll see how she fares when it's her sis who makes the mess in the future, LOL.

Lovely blog - I just found you through the Nester's blog, and I'm so glad that I did! Left you a comment, too, about your toile party...fabu idea, mama!

Cathy said...

Excellent idea! You would think having only 1 child I would have never heard "I didn't make that mess!" I did! DD is in college and home this year, she is responsible for her bathroom, bedroom, laundry and cleaning up the dinner dishes when she eats at home.


Tracy is ... Loving Pretty Things said...

S-U-C-H an inspiration! "when I grow up, I want to be like you!" I will think of this mothering tip and God-willing, He will bless us with at least 1 more child (3-5 more would be AWESOME, too!) and I will use this 'zoning law' in our house! Thanks!!!!

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

You preach it, my friend. Zones are excellent, truths are even better...now with this mom, I preach the truth of zones, but as you know....this is one area my consistency is not where it should be. It's getting there :)

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said...

I don't zone it, yet. Still waiting for my oldest to get a little help!

Attic Gal Rachelle said...

I am gonna try this right away. I have 6 sons, and they are all very talented mess makers, and equally talented at blaming each other, especially the 3 year old. Right now we all pick up one room at a time together, but someone goes to "put something away" and disappears. Soon it is just the 3 year old and myself cleaning the room. He's so helpful.

They're gonna love you! I do.

fonstren said...

Mom of 5 here, and I hear the "I didn't make that mess" excuse, too.

We have daily kitchen chores and weeklong cleaning assignments.

Daily kitchen chores rotate every day, at the kids request. They are (1) cook's helper, (2) set table, (3) clear table, (4)wash dishes, and (5)sweep.

Weekly cleaning assignments are (1)kitchen & dining room, (2) front & back entries and basement, (3) living room & family room, (4) stairs & hall, and (5) bathrooms.

They have to keep their assigned area clean every day, and follow the weekly cleaning list on Wednesday.

It's worked for us for qute a few years now.

becca said...

I say "and I didn't make ANY of these messes yet I'm the one stuck cleaning them up all the time. This time, you are helping me."
And for some crazy reason, that works. I usually assign jobs based on what I know they are good at. Maybe I'm enabling them to not improve on what they are BAD at... but I figure they can work on that in their own rooms. For the rest of the house, I tend to give Noah the job that requires tedious organization... Isaac the job that allows him to spin, bend, and scoop... and Abigail anything else unless she already has the job of watching Elijah while the rest of us clean :)

entering http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping