Last night we gathered on the couch for family home evening. I read the girls one of my favorite scriptures. Danny and I like it so much...it was the first scripture we had framed in our home just after we were married.
"Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;" D&C 88:119
We talked a little bit about what that teaches us about God (organize, prepare, prayer, faith, learning, order, etc...) Then we pulled up a picture on Danny's laptop after googling the word "hoarding." I asked the girls how it would feel being in the room they were looking at. Respectfully...I asked them to share what they might be able to do or say to change that situation. They were full of great advice.
Next I complimented Ellie. She moved to her own room at the end of the summer. She has done a WONDERFUL job of keeping it orderly and organized. I have been really surprised and happy at the effort she has put forth in caring for her things. I commended her. She was beaming. I asked her to share her organizational secrets with us. She was happy to do it.
Although Ellie has kept her room clean...none of them, including Ellie, have been very good at keeping common areas; like bathrooms, family rooms, the kitchen and the playroom tidy. They leave their backpacks and shoes on the floor when they get home from school. Their music is left out after practice. Clothes are often left on the bathroom floor. And the playroom---oh my word!
SO we set up a plan! A once-over! Before you leave a room...give it a once-over. (I know this is basic...right? Why have I not been teaching this all along?) In the morning before you leave your room...glance over your shoulder...
is my bed made?
is anything on the floor?
out of place?
Before you climb in bed...a once-over...
Before you get out a new toy...or leave the playroom...or leave the dinner table...or leave the bathroom....a once-over....
I am not the worst cleaner...and I am surely not the best. (Do you see that playroom mess?)
My biggest problem- I spend more energy worrying about keeping the house clean...than actually cleaning it! We have been straightening each room before we leave it the last two days....and it has been WONDERFUL! I think the girls like the new phrase and feel like it is a more manageable task than "go clean your room." Last night after scriptures and reading...we did a quick "once-over" in the family room and it took two minutes MAX! Woohoo! It will require some friendly reminding and diligence on my part to secure this as a good habit...I think we are up for the challenge!