What's Going Down

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

15 Minutes

I am sure that this is nothing revolutionary, but it has been working awesomely for me, so I thought I'd share.

My kids have figured out that cleaning up isn't really all that fun. And while I whole-heartedly agree with them, we still need to pretend that we're not living in squalor on occasion.

When I was growing up, we would have races to see who could clean up their assigned room faster. Which worked... sometimes. My mom tried all kinds of tactics and threats. But what seemed to consistently work was simply putting on some music. And setting a timer.

And so, "The 15 Minute Dance/Clean" was born. Right before dinner, we set a timer, one kid gets to pick the music, and we go! go! GO! Racing around to see how much we can accomplish in 15 minutes. There is, in general, very little complaining. I act like a total dork and dance around (which I love!) My kids get into it, I get into it, and before we know it 15 minutes has flown by and the entire downstairs is clean! Ta da!

Some of our favorites to Dance/Clean to:
They Might Be Giants
Mamma Mia Soundtrack
Indigo Girls
Dixie Chicks
Anything that gets us moving!

Good luck and let me know if it works for you!


Sabra at Sew a Straight Line said...

love the idea! we already have music going pretty much all day long (w/ me dancing like a dork all over the place), I wonder if it would still work for us? Playing the Star Wars Theme and telling Kael his pencil is a light saber is how I get him to do his periodic homework assignements, though :)

Maleen said...

Heavens...I am totally trying this, especially after today, which may have involved yelling, crying, threats, meal revoking, more crying, guilt-trip laying (this is a first for me—I'm not proud)and chaos in general.

I could use a little music (at least it would drown out some of the crying).

Brian said...

I may try that someday but I can only support a couple of your music options. Cake and TMBG are excellent.

I would also suggest Barenaked Ladies, The Hippos, Skavoovie and the Epitones, Ugly Duckling, Mama Digdown's Brass Band, Less Than Jake and Harry Connick Jr. just to name a few.

Alissa said...

brian. good selections. we have a lot more music that we haven't gotten to yet, including some sweet ska.

Mo said...

Oh my word, I heart Indigo Girls!

J-Dub said...

I like that idea. I would have been a lot more apt to clean my room as a teen if my mom was willing to blast a little Pennywise!

Anonymous said...

i LOVE this idea. it beats my current M.O. which basically entails yelling loudly about refusing to live in a pigsty while my kids roll their eyes and ignore me. :)

Amy G. said...

Yeah, I used to use this tactic until I found the following items in the toy box and cubbies...several days later.

1. Amanda's underwear
2. 2 sippy cups of MILK...ewwww!!!
3. a dirty diaper.

I'll admit the dirty diaper was partly my fault...I DID leave it out by the changing table. But still--what could my children have been thinking when they shoved it into the toy box?

I'm all for the music playing and choices of groovables though - right on!

sheri said...

We have impromptu dance parties every few weeks. Jehremy blasts it so loud, I'm sure we'd have complaints if we didn't happen to be the managers. Our kids definitely have their favorites. They include music from U2, Duran Duran, Metallica, Usher, Kid Rock, and Guns N Roses to name a few. Our kids are gonna need therapy.

Melinda said...

Yes, it worked for me. Our house is now cleaner and I'm happier. Even the baby gets into the dancing.

Char @ Crap I've Made said...

We use the 80's music channel on our cable for this very purpose. Macy and I love Tiffany. ROFL.

Matt said...

We have also implemented a 15 minutes of clean at our house. Emerson doesn't contribute much yet, but we have made significant progress in cleaning up the clutter around our place. There isn't really as much dancing as you describe, but it does make cleanup much more manageable.

Lucinda said...

Thanks for the advice. We have really been struggling with this one lately, so I'll try your 15 minute plan and we'll see.

Bielefeldt Bunch said...

That's what worked best for me growing up as well. It's awesome that you like We Might Be Giants! My kids favorite cleaning music is Move it Move it from Madagascar and Switchfoot.

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