The only thing more difficult than keeping a house clean is getting your family to help. Soften them up with a list of rules that will get them laughing and then (if you're lucky) cleaning. Print your rules on heavy stock paper and post them in prominent areas around the house.
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Children between 10 and 18 are responsible for vacuuming. Sitting with your iPod on the couch while the vacuum motor runs doesn't count. When you vacuum a room, you will cover the entire floor, not simply run the vacuum down the centre of the room and call it good. Remove muddy sneakers while vacuuming. Difficult as it is, you are expected to complete the entire 15-minute vacuuming task without texting your boyfriend or girlfriend.
The tallest family member will dust the ceilings. Cobwebs affect the tallest person first, so this is fair. Spiders are to be humanely escorted outside, where they can build and spin to their heart's content. Flies in webs will be freed or humanely sent on to the next world, depending on the prognosis. Dead flies go out with the spider so she has something to eat and isn't tempted to come back in.
Family members who eat are expected to clean the kitchen. Contrary to opinions of some teenaged members, eating the cupboards bare does not count as cleaning the kitchen. You must wash dishes if you expect to use dishes the next time you eat. "Accidentally" breaking dishes to avoid washing them is not acceptable. Air-drying dishes does not require a hair dryer: Leave them in the rack; they'll do the work on their own. Empty the compost bin before it starts moving.
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