Monday, January 14, 2013

Family Household Rules

I'm really not a rules person. I've never set rules for my family and I've never really had a problem.

But things are getting a bit out of control!


2013 hasn't started out the way I intended. We have an inspection of our home coming up and since we're hoarders clutterbugs, we've got a lot of cleaning to do. Unfortunately, my husband is still out of work due to his hernia, and I'm the only one bringing in any money, which means I don't have time to clean. But I have a list a mile long of things we need to do to get the house ready for the inspection.

It's easier to keep a house clean, than to let all the cleaning chores pile up and the mess just get worse. 


So, I've laid down some rules.

I hung the above rule list on the refrigerator and put a copy in my Home Management Binder. Here are the rules I came up with:

  1. Absolutely NO gaming or watching TV until all your chores have been completed (see chore chart).
  2. Kitchen must be cleaned before going to bed!! 
  3. If you make a mess, clean it up IMMEDIATELY. This includes the KITCHEN.
  4. When you are finished eating, IMMEDIATELY put your dishes in the sink (not on a table or the floor).
  5. If you put a dish in the sink, wash it, dry it and put it away. 
  6. If you say you are bored, or can’t find something to do, I will find a chore for you.
    DO NOT put dirty laundry on the floor; put it in the laundry basket! 
  7. Make your bed when you get up.
  8. Eat what you are given.
  9. When you ask for something, use Please and Thank you.
  10. If you are interrupting someone, say “Excuse Me.”
  11. Put your current toy away before bringing out a new one. 
  12. You room must be picked up before bed every night.
  13. Litter boxes must be cleaned DAILY and litter must be changed once a week. 
  14. ABSOLUTELY NO CRYING if you are told no or don’t get what you want.
Starting tomorrow, everyone has to follow these rules (including myself).

I've been thinking about setting these ground rules for about a week, since I read a blog post by the Minimalist Joshua Becker. There was one sentence in that post that really struck a cord with me:

My kids see parents who finish what they start, aren’t afraid to put in a little effort, and leave a room cleaner than they found it. And those are life disciplines that I hope they embrace every day of their lives as they get older.

I clean daily, but I haven't tackled any of the larger projects, like getting rid of the clutter. Sam sees that. Consequently, her room looks like the living room in all it's cluttery glory. She's picking up our bad habits, and that has to stop... NOW.

No one is going to like these rules because it means we have to do these things right away, no more procrastinating. But I think in the long run, it will not only benefit her, but us as well.

Clutter really messes with your mind.

With all the clutter, I can't concentrate, and I have put off writing on my most profitable blogs because of it. I rearrange my desk almost every day in an effort to get my head back in the game. It helps temporarily, but we just have too much stuff.

After reading Joshua's blog, I've decided to follow in his footsteps. Not only are we cleaning up the house and making repairs, we're getting rid of most of our crap!  We're attempting to sell the majority of it on eBay, but that's a slow process. So, much of the stuff will end up in a garage sale, or a charity.

I really want to embrace this minimalist lifestyle. It's not just about getting rid of possessions, although that is a major part of it. It's about simplifying your life as a whole, and I'm all for making things simpler.

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