This past week was a doozy. There’s nothing I wanted to do more last night than to take a hot bath and go to bed. There’s always one little problem with that idea. The bathtub is in the girls’ bathroom. The way they keep things, it’s a good chance, that even with a bath, I’ll leave their bathroom dirtier than I entered.
Their dirty clothes hamper is two steps farther than they can reach. Q-tips, hair balls and empty shampoo bottles are valuable collector items. It’s quite obvious somebody brushes their teeth with their mouth open. I’m assuming that’s what those dried-foam looking specks are on the mirror. Honestly? I’m just glad they’re brushing their teeth.
Last night I brainstormed ideas on how to get their bathroom clean that didn’t involve me muttering angrily while on my hands and knees “Soft Scrubbing” the tub, or my asking them to clean it and then having to call them back five times after they said they cleaned it grumping, “There’s still dried toothpaste on the counter “.
I thought about getting a fold-up lawn chair from the garage and setting it up in the bathroom like a director’s chair. I could sit and watch the girls clean, making sure they picked up every empty toilet paper tube (something else they collect). I’d tell them not to forget the five rubber bands that sit along the bathtub’s edge.
No. That wouldn’t work either. Three girls in the bathroom at the same time with me barking orders? We’d surely be cross at each other for the rest of the day.
Bathroom clean up always ends up ugly, or else not getting done at the Burden house.
The bathroom was cleaned yesterday. It’s “cleaned” every week, but by “cleaned” I mean they make sure the toilet is flushed and part with one empty toilet paper tube, throwing it on top of an already mounting pile of trash. They straighten the bathroom rugs and close the cabinet door.
Cleaning “at it” is somehow suffice. It’s never cleaned to completion.
I won’t lie. I have room for improvement in my own cleaning habits.
I did, however come up with an idea this morning to aid in the bathroom debacle. I grabbed a pen and a pad of sticky notes out of the drawer in the kitchen. I ran up to the bathroom and began to write every single thing that needed to be done; each on a separate “sticky”.
I didn’t take a single task for granted.
Put the razors and body wash in the caddy hanging on the shower head.
Clean the mirror with Windex and a paper towel.
Put your clothes in the dirty clothes hamper…and shut the door.
I let the girls decide how they would divide the sticky note chores.
…And I left the house for a meeting.
An hour later I got a picture from my husband, Jason, of the bathroom looking cleaner than I’ve ever seen it (when they clean it).
I didn’t have to go in every five minutes to say “Don’t forget to clean around the sink”.
In writing the chores down, they weren’t made to suffer the agitated tone that they’re accustomed to when I call them to the bathroom to tell them something else that needs to be done.
Writing out each chore separately made the tasks tangible. They could take the sticky off as each chore was done, knowing that they weren’t finished until every task was complete.
It’s a little after noon and just one sticky remains. The “I love you” note. We still like each other. AND I have a spot to take a nice relaxing bath should I want to later on, though, strangely, I’m much less stressed this afternoon.
Sticky notes for the win!!
I’ll have to try them for the bedrooms next. Right after I buy more sticky pads.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.