Saturday, March 19, 2011

Clean Little Secret

So, I've got a little secret to share. My 7 year old cleans one of my bathrooms, loves doing it, and does a pretty good job! And, she only charges $1 (at least that is the rate I set). When I was around Caroline's age or so, my mom started me on cleaning the powder room so I'd already had it in my mind that eventually, Caroline would take over that task.  Any time that I clean bathrooms when the kids are awake, they are falling over themselves to help, so I knew this wasn't going to be tough to convince her.  Plus, the powder room is a snap to clean.  All you have to really worry about is the toilet and the sink, so I figured it was a good jumping off point.

Several weeks ago, I told her that it was going to become her job and I showed her how I clean it.  (This is a big deal to me as I have a fairly high standard for bathroom cleanliness but don't come over and check out my kids' bathroom unannounced - I clean it one day and the next day it's been decimated.)  We only use Method cleaners so I wasn't worried about her using dangerous chemicals or mistakenly bleaching something.  She helped me, asked a lot of questions, and noticed certain things that I did.  Then the next week, we cleaned it together but with her taking the lead in the tasks.  Then the next week, I figured that I would just sit in there with her and watch, but she didn't want me in there, so I let her fly solo.  After she was done, I went in to check out her work and was very impressed.  The only critique I had was that she doesn't fully dry all the surfaces after she's done, but everything was clean.  She even managed to wipe the mirror, even though I told her I would do that.  She remembered how when I'm done I use a Clorox wipe to wipe off all handles, knobs, etc to make sure that the things most hands touch are disinfected as well.  She remembers to replace the towel with a fresh one and then does a little artistic arrangement of the candles on the back of the toilet, something I don't do.

But do you know what one of the greatest bonuses to all this is (aside from a bathroom I don't have to clean)?  I occupies her for a good 30-45 minutes!  That's time free of boredom and sibling pestering.  Winning!

I still need to make sure she's wiping up really good all around the base of the toilet (yes, we live with a somewhat sloppy 5 year old boy) and periodically wiping the woodwork too (although until Jason finishes the bathroom floor and repainting of the woodwork, it's not as pressing).  Bryce is actually kind of jealous though.  His biggest job right now is helping with trash night but he wants to be cleaning a bathroom too.  Not sure he'll be doing that any time soon since I have a feeling he'll be starting more yard work in the years to come.  My plan is that when Bryce or Piper is old enough to clean the powder room, that Caroline will transition to cleaning the kid bathroom and then the only bathroom I'll be cleaning is the master.

Now I'm trying to figure out soon they can start vacuuming and washing up the kitchen floor.  They're getting progressively better at Dustbusting after a crumby meal, but I don't think any of them are even close to being ready to control the Dyson or a big old bucket of water and mop.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Gretchen scrubs the kitchen cabinets with a little cloth. She LOVES that job!!!