Cleaning House: personal book review

In my quest to be a better homemaker, I stumbled upon a book called Cleaning House.  Thanks, Pinterest & Goodreads!

This book is about a mom with a few kids who realizes she has totally handed the world on a platter to them.  Ready to kill the sense of entitlement, she took 12 months, one month at a time, to tackle a specific life-skill (mostly related to cleaning and maintaining house) and taught her kids age-appropriate responsibilities.

I love this concept!  Little Dude will be three in September and I feel like if I start to teach him how to do LITTLE stuff now, it will be easier to grow his responsibilities later on.

The entire title of the book is: Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement  by Kay Wills Wyma.

These are just a few things I’ve started doing since reading the book:

  • let him push the vacuum & mop with me – it takes longer, but this is a chore I will gladly share with him, and when he’s tall enough he can take over the entire vacuum routine
  • have him put his dirty dishes in the sink when he’s done eating – I don’t care if it’s loud or makes a mess in the sink.  When he is older, we’ll want him to help with dishes, and taking kid’s plates and flatware to the sink is a START! 🙂
  • if he asks for more food at the table, I ask him to bring me his plate so I can add more food to it for him.  When he’s old enough, he can help himself to seconds.
  • help me switch the laundry: put dirty clothes in the washer, listen for the buzzer, pull them out of the washer, put them in the dryer, listen for the buzzer, etc.
  • help sort laundry: teach him that socks don’t magically pair up in the wash – so we lay out the socks and he helps me match them… I have also been holding up each piece of laundry so he can quickly say “momma’s!” or “daddy’s” or “mine!”
  • toilets: he loves to sprinkle baking soda in the potty and then help me pour vinegar in and watch the “bubbles” rise!  Of course I get to do the scrubbing a few minutes later, but (again) it’s a start!

After reading this book, I feel like it’s a good idea to NOT save all my mommy chores for his naptime/quiet-time.  He needs to see that it takes effort to maintain the house and that we all contribute to this household.

He loves being a helper and I haven’t had any resistance to him doing things WITH me so far.  If I ask him to do things alone or without my help, it’s been harder.  But that’s what the book is all about – giving age-appropriate responsibilities to each kid.

With all this being said, I think a kid should be a kid.  he gets lots of playtime! There’s plenty of time to be a grown-up.  So I set a timer for any kind of house chore and when it goes off, we are rewarded with something fun (back to playtime, for example).  As he gets older, the set time will get longer, so we can get through an entire task.  I am amazed at what we can get done together in 15 minutes!  Even 5 minutes sometimes!  The timer-concept has improved my attitude for chores, too.

He has gotten to the point where he asks for some songs, so we turn on worship music, which makes things go that much quicker.

Overall, I got a lot of great ideas from Cleaning House. I gave it 4/5 stars on Goodreads -I really liked it!

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