Mugs of hot chocolate, mostly enjoyed. Sweet little presents in bags. Candy cane wrappers. Stacks of opened Christmas cards. The bucket of crayons. Projects in progress. And that’s just the kitchen counter.
Especially in December but often in the every day, I tend to get a little overwhelmed with the things piled up. And they are good things.
Rather than give in to that choking feeling, I double up my duties. Several of my ‘have to’s are rolled together. Some can be turned into a child-pleasing activity or Mama can get a quick little something done while helping a child. To start with, the children help through our basic habit of Jurisdictions…
“Time to pick up jurisdictions,” I call.
There is honestly no way I could possibly follow behind five children and keep our home straight. And homeschool. Since we are all part of a family, all should contribute. Carving the big job into smaller parts makes it easier for everyone. Read more of Jurisdictions here
As I thought about these tasks, I thought this double up idea goes along with our theme of keeping it simple during the holidays and carrying it on through the year!
Here are the ‘Mama Jurisdictions’ I double up on:
Dishes – When washing those big pots and pans by hand – I call my bubble loving helper. Most little ones love to play in the water and bubbles. Pull out a smock, toss a towel on the floor and have at it.
Cooking – make supper at lunch. Call out the ingredients while a child hunts for them in the pantry and fridge.
Laundry – to start with, I let the children Toss the Laundry. Then, since the laundry room is situated across from where the children bathe, I can be close by and toss in a load to wash or transfer to the dryer. That night, while Daddy reads a bedtime story, I can fold laundry and put them in Dish Buckets. Sometimes I can even recruit helpers or sock sorters.
Bathroom – Since I am in there with the little children anyway, sometimes I clean the bathroom/toilet while they bathe. Maybe I will wipe down a bathroom counter next to the child’s room I just put down for a nap (that way I am close by should anyone decide a nap is not for them that day)
Tucking in – tuck away clean clothes while tucking children in bed (why make two trips?). A good time to show younger children how to put laundry away themselves. Seems my children are most chatty at bedtime and it’s another opportunity for one-on-one time.
Homeschool learning time – An older sibling can spend time with a younger brother or sister while Mom does one of the above.
Finally, for overall quick pick up and maintenance, we also use Flylady Tools Not Rules.
What’s your favorite double up strategy? Or what is your secret for keeping your kitchen counter clean of stacks?