Monday, January 4, 2010

Clean Up After Yourself Month

I have officially declared January "Clean Up After Yourself Month" in my house. I like New Year's Resolutions and all but I often find a year too long a time frame for my goals. Instead this year I am going to do 12 goals, one each month. All the while I am going to try to maintain the good habits I have made from previous resolutions.


So January's goal is to teach my family to clean up after themselves. This is not easy. It is hard to teach something you are not really good at yourself. :) So we had a family council and talked about how this month we are going to ALL try to clean up after ourselves. 


We all agreed that we want to live in a happy cheerful home and not a crying, whining, yelling home. So all of us are going to remind each other to pick up after ourselves in a cheerful way.  We are simply going to say "So and so, remember, clean up after yourself month" and point out what has been left out.


If there is crying and whining in response the person crying or whining or refusing to clean up after him or herself gets a strike. Three strikes and you are out. Those who stay "in" get a family date at the end of the month. Those who get out will have to stay home with the meanest babysitter I can find. 


I started us off by cleaning the main living areas today. And all day we have had no crying or whining when people have been reminded to pick up their shoes or backpacks or dishes. I have even heard some kids remind each other that it is clean up after yourself month. I love it. And right after dinner, in her most important sounding voice, Lauren "reminded" me of our goal and pointed to the dinner mess on the tables. I smiled and told her I would get on it as soon as people finished eating.


I really hope this month will improve my families tendency to take off a shirt and toss it wherever and leave shoes all over and leave dishes on the table. 


I am not sure what next month's goal will be yet. I guess we will see how this month goes. 

15 comments:

i said...

what a great idea! and if you need....i'm really good at acting like a mean lady babysitter. ;)

jodie said...

i L O V E this idea. i have been wondering how to solve the "pick up after yoursef" issue with some sort of reward and this sounds wonderful!

also- i L O V E your new years resolution idea of one goal a month because i have so many resolutions floating around in my head...i can't remember all of them.


i hope your family is doing great!

Mindy said...

Hahahahaha!!!!! I hope whomever you asks to sit doesn't read this blog and know why you are asking them! I love it!!!! :)

Diana...aka...MeMe said...

Great idea! Don't you find it easier some times to just pick up after them instead of the hassle to get them to do it? That was my problem when my kids were younger. I love your idea to "include" them in the reminding!! Good luck... I know a Miss Makilacutty who is mean as can be!

shanan said...

that sassy little Lauren.

Love it!

Great idea Steph. Remind me of this one when I've got kids your age :)

shanan said...

and by 'your age' I mean the age of your kids ;)

Emily said...

Self-reliance is a gift! One day your children's spouses' will thank you :) May the force be with you in the meantime!

Whoz Your Doula said...

that's a great idea. I need to make sure my husband is included in the mix though. Maybe I should call it clean after yourself and your daddy month.

Lizzy said...

I love this! I too have started a "job chart" of things my kids need to complete each day. I was really dreading it because I hate being dictated by a schedule, and was I ever wrong! I can't believe how easy it's been, and I am no longer yelling for them to help, and they are no longer whinning about helping. The only difference is we decided to pay them for their jobs and that way we reinforce money management and paying their tithing. It is a win-win!

Nelson Family said...

Our only rule in our house is "respect" and there are multiple respect aspects we lived by and one of them is "dont make more work for someone else just cuz your too lazy". This is great when it comes to switching out the old toilet paper roll for a new one or dropping back packs and shoes in the door way. If our kids break this rule then for a full day they have to pick up not only after themselves but after all their siblings. Its been a great way to keep them all motivated over the years! The siblings remind eachother daily cuz they hope someone forgets and has too pick up after everyone else for a day.
I love your new year resolution.

MM said...

What a FANTASTIC idea!

Nicole said...

Genious! I love it! I'm totally stealing this idea! Thanks!

EMILY said...

Steph, did you hear about Garth Abbott? I am sure you did. He has inflammatory breast cancer and no insurance. It is higly aggressive and he needs chemo immediately but can't get it because they can't afford it. they are tyring to get some auctions going to raise some money.
thedailyabbott.blogspot.com
i am sure they could use some publicity.
em

Gwenevere said...

Sounds like my house! I think a month to reach three strikes would be too long thought. I think everyone would be out by noon on the first day! But then that is the optimist in me speaking. :)

Stacey said...

I have been struggling with this concept here at my house. I have 5 children and I have dubbed us the "drop and go family". What a great idea! I think we need a family council and start becoming the new and improved "pick up and be happy family" Thanks! :)