A Four Song Tidy

Over the last year or two as it's become clear that I'm never going to always be healthy and able to do what I want or need to every single day, I realized that many of our household absolutely have to be delegated.

While I've always known that this needed to happen, especially as the children get older, it has been very hard to put into practice.  Partly because it's just easier to do it myself.  Partly because John comes from a family where Mother did very literally everything, so having me do things was "normal" for him.

One of the things we stated this fall that I am so pleased with is what we call "A Four Song Tidy".  The children have a playlist on my iPod so each evening sometime between dinner and bed we play four songs and everyone tidies up, starting with the main room(s) of the house - kitchen and living room, which are one open, L-shaped area.

Our pattern for these four song tidies is like this:

Put on the music
Everyone gets their bags/backpacks ready for the next day
Everyone lays out their clothes for the next day
Everyone puts any belongings that are left out in the kitchen and living room away
Everyone puts any belongings that are left in the family room away

After that we each tidy something else:
* Library book shelf
* Shoes
* Dressers/Nightstands
* Main bathroom
* Music books/instruments
* Any extra sweeping, mopping or dusting that need to be done

If there's extra time after that, the children may clean up some area of their bedrooms while John and I tackle some small household chore (washing the inside of a window or two, wiping out the inside of the medicine cabinet, dusting the ceiling fans, etc.).

Four songs is typically somewhere between 12 and 18 minutes in length - so roughly 15 minutes.  If we have a particularly busy day, it becomes a two song tidy rather than a four song tidy.  That's fine.  It's just enough time to get the first four things done. 

This means we wake up in the morning with a clean house and everything ready to go.

What do you do to make things easier around your house?


  1. I don't work and both of my kids (21 and 18) don't live at home. I do everything inside the home, my dh all yard work. When I did work, I still did all that but only worked part time while my oldest was a baby. My husband was use to a wife taking care of everything, his mom also stayed home and we pretty much follow the way he was raised. If I worked like you do that would be a great way to have everyonwe help at home. Hope you feel better soon. Cheryl


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