Blog Archives

C’mon People Now! (or: siblings cleaning their shared bedrooms)

Ay yi yi.  It’s that time again. Every day, around 4 or 5 o’clock (depending on how the day has gone), I call out “redd up time!”

This is the signal for the children to clean their room as well as their “zone”  for the week. I have divided the house up into seven “zones”, one for each child still living at home. They are responsible for their zone for one week at a time. When I say “redd up”, they need to put away anything that is out of place in that zone,  dust or wipe down or clean certain things that apply to that zone (there is actually a list of instructions posted surreptitiously in each zone), and then vacuum that zone.

This brings next to zero problems. They know the drill quite well, they know the benefits we all reap from having a tidy house, and they know that I will tolerate no nonsense about not doing your job well.

Their bedrooms, however, are, for some reason, a different matter. I think it’s because they consider their bedrooms “their space”, and to an extent, they are correct. I try to give them as much ownership as possible (even if we disagree about what looks good 😉). But I require certain things that we still need daily reminders and practice on. One of the biggest problems we have in the shared work spaces is the division of labor. Who is responsible for what?

At first glance, it seems simple: each of you clean your own things and whatever mess you are responsible for. That leaves the pile of dirt, trash, and odds and ends that no one wants to claim responsibility for. AND the arguments about “yes, that is actually mine, but I’m not the one that got it out/left it out”. If any of you have the answers to this, feel free to let me know! For today, I chose to play this song. LOUDLY.  😝

Parenting Tools: Cat Litter

I’m a cheapskate frugal/thrifty mama. The kind that says “I don’t need 15 different types of cleaning products! I can clean it all with this one really good product!” (which, by the way is this one, it really does do everything well!) I’ve been pretty happy with that; I like simplicity, and am a little bit of a minimalist at heart.

I’m the only one in my family though, perhaps because my family feels the need to balance me, as I do tend to get a bit extreme in my pursuits from time to time.

My husband sees the value in having the “right tool for the job”, and has no problem buying the right cleaner for the mess. I usually fall back on my standby (see above link), so he doesn’t have to buy cleaning products very often, and sometimes I think we’re wasting money on them letting them just sit there.

This morning, one of my children (who will remain nameless to preserve their privacy (0:) helped me to be even more grateful for my husband making sure I have all the tools I may need at my fingertips. Read the rest of this entry

This is the way we defrost our freezer… So early in the morning!


Yes, mundane and non-thought-provoking, I know. However, I had no clue how to do this for years. I thought maybe someone else was in that predicament too, so I figured I would share how I get the job done. The ice buildup had jammed the fan and our refrigerator suddenly became intolerably loud. So I rigged up this handy-dandy little setup, and within about 10 min. our refrigerator was frost-free and humming quietly. To offer some explanation to the picture, that’s a hair dryer, propped by a box of baking soda, and a folded towel in the bottom of the freezer to catch all the melted ice. I turned the hair dryer on high and had myself a nice little cup of coffee while I waited. When I came back all the ice was melted and the towel was wet , so I used it to wipe down the inside of the freezer. And voilà !: Mission accomplished. :0)