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Manic Monday – The House Check

This is another trusty-dusty tidbit from my childhood. It’s also another one of those ideas that when you read it, seems almost silly to devote an entire post to because it’s a bit, well….“Oh duh.” However, the amount of times I neglect this little golden nugget either out of sheer exhaustion, or forgetfulness, is staggering! So, here goes…

Before we send the girls to get their jammies on, brush teeth, etc, we do a house check. We take about 10 minutes and everyone goes around the “public” areas of the house and picks up and puts away anything that needs putting away. Often times, however, because we’re all tired and no one in our house particularly enjoys tidying in any form or fashion, there are arguments (between the girls that is) that go something like this:

“I’m not putting that away, that’s yours!”

“Oh yeah?! Well you were the one playing with it!”



Well, you get the idea. You may remember this post where I share the lovely tidbit from Jen Hatmaker about getting the kids involved in their share of the laundry. Another sweet niblet I gleaned from her book is the phrase,

“Everyone is responsible for their own stuff.”

So, during House Check, if it’s your’s, you put it away, no matter who touched it last. If it’s a shared item, whoever comes across it first puts it away.

I’ve been really pleased with how well this practice has gone in our house as we do it every night when I remember it. The arguments have stopped completely (about who’s going to put what away, anyway) and I go to bed more relaxed because I don’t have to worry about breaking my neck if I have to get up with the baby in the middle of the night. I also wake up happier because I see a tidy(er) house in the morning instead of what we neglected the night before.

Do you implement a nightly House Check? How do you do it?

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12 Responses to “Manic Monday – The House Check”

  1. Good idea! I hate waking up to a living room covered with puzzle pieces and buckets everywhere. I particularly like that idea about everyone being responsible for his or her own toys. So smart! Thanks for sharing…

  2. Barb S. says:

    We do 5-minute pick-ups thru the day, but I do hear the “he used that.” I LOVE the rule. Can’t use it all thru the day, but a good one just before bed. Thanks for the idea.

  3. Nekol says:

    Since I daycare, we all clean before lunch, before going home times, and just before dinner. Then the house stays cleaned up but I’m teaching the little little ones to help as well. My thought is, I didn’t play with the toys so you can clean them up.

  4. Sounds good! I need to implement this rule for the older three. Sometimes with the little ones, though, I just need the older ones to help clean up whatever is out.

    Then I implement the “we all live together and we all help each other” rule.

    I really need to do a nightly clean-up more often. It’s such a good idea and I would probably have more peace-of-mind.

  5. Oh, how I SO need to implement this!!! Twice in the last 3 days we have taken trash bags and “thrown away” EB’s toys because she wouldn’t pick up her toys. ๐Ÿ™

  6. Yes, we implement a house check every evening. I ask them what they should be doing instead of reminding them of what they should be doing. I do this because it helps them to remember instead of depending on mommy to remind them.

    Great job, sister.


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