Sorry I have been out of pocket for a few weeks. I have felt rather overwhelmed with things going on in life and business.
Alas, the messes in the house don't stop just because mommy is overloaded!
So, for the last couple weeks I have been doing a 15min clean up. I am always amazed with how much I can get done in 15 minutes. I have also started involving the kids. My 5 year old loves to set the timer on the stove to start us out, and then we basically run around like crazy picking up things for 15 minutes. He will run into the kitchen every minute or two and announce how many minutes we have left. I try to make the process fun by acting silly and running around in circles a few times, but all the silliness aside, we are cleaning up!
To set up our 15 minute clean up we start by talking about what we are going to work on before the timer is set. Next we talk about the fact that 15 minutes is not a long time, so we must work as fast as we can, and finally we go into the kitchen and start the timer.
I probably would not set the timer for a whole 15 minutes if my son was any younger, but I also don't set the timer any longer for our teen and tween. It has definitely helped get the boys jump started about cleaning up, and they are happy that they don't have to clean for more than 15 minutes.
My son also gets a kick when I announce that I need another 15 minutes, and generally he leaves me alone to clean during my extra time.
So - set your timer for 15 minutes - you will probably be amazed at how much you can do!