Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cleaning Prompts & Rewards

Yes, you should reward yourself for cleaning the house, but I'll get to that later.

And, yes, you clean freaks out there, some of us DO need prompts to remind us what we are supposed to be doing, otherwise we would just sit at the computer all day and update our facebooks.

I made this cleaning schedule last fall and after returning for the USA in December, I decided to test it out for practicality. I printed my cleaning schedule on yellow paper and hung it on my Command Center whiteboard.

It did NOT work. I think I chose to ignore it most of the time. I did check it every day to see what needed to be done, but I would soon forget about it.

Then, I remembered the Holiday in Hand class over at Jessica Sprague. I took part in this class in November, and one of the first tasks we did, was print off 31 holiday prompt cards, one for each day in December. The cards were designed by Jessica and we had to fill one or two tasks for each day - all tasks were of course related to Xmas preparations. She urged us to hang the prompt cards in a prominent place so that we would remember to do the tasks. One notable thing was that the prompt cards were so cute, and we were encouraged to decorate the clipboard from which the prompt cards hung - making the whole display very eye-catching. I couldn't help but notice my lovely clipboard and prompts every time I walked by. 

Then, it occurred to me. Why not make days-of-the-week prompt cards for cleaning. If they are cute enough, perhaps I won't ignore them. I quickly set to work on photoshop and came up with these. I printed them onto white cardstock and they are hanging on a clipboard in my kitchen.
Notice the present test. It is the direct reminder to the sub-conscious mind that you are supposed to be doing such and such. The first statement on each sheet is my goal statement regarding our cleaning routine.

Notice the fact that hot zones stay the same each day, but the part in blue changes depending on the day.

This kind of cleaning schedule is easy to divvy up with your spouse or partner.

Notice that dusting, vacuuming and mopping do not take place on the same day, but rather in the order you would do them if they occurred on the same day.

Now, let's talk about rewards. Some would say that having a clean home is reward enough. Others would say that cleaning is part of the deal and you should do it anyway reward or not. (My husband is one of those people.) I would say that you fully deserve a reward for cleaning if that motivates you.

I chose the following rewards:
If I can get through a week and do all my tasks, on the weekend, I reward myself with a DVD rental of MY choice, a restaurant outing of MY choice OR if it has been a particularly grueling week, a simple kahlua & coke. (Okay, I would do that last one whether I cleaned or not - hey, nobody's perfect.)

Now, for monthly chores, I found that ONE reward is all I need. If I can do my monthly task, then I will schedule a phone call with Shannon. Since Shannon and I talk about once a month anyway, this reward seems especially compelling to me. You can bet that I am going to do the monthly task at the beginning of the month just to get that out of the way if it means I can call Shannon.

Let me know if you've come up with your own cleaning schedules or if something like this is helpful to you!


Shannon said...

These are SO cute! I really agree that having something nice to look at is so much more rewarding. I really like your command center board. It is totally awesome looking. I always have a hard time finding something to reward my self with. These are good ideas.

Jill said...

This idea is awesome Mande! And it's nice that the "reminders" are cute. And, rewards, ah rewards! Maybe I would clean if there were rewards!! (Is it OK to admit that Bill and I are considering having someone clean for us once/month. Our house is gross, and we would have to get everything picked up before someone came to dust/mop/vaccuum/clean the bathroom. That accomplishes both tidyness and cleanliness, and right now we're not doing either!! Ugh!)