Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bonus Cleaning Reward

I've always been a person who is motivated by rewards. Over the years, I've noticed that the rewards seem to be most effective when they are food.

Need proof? Step back in time with me to my college days. As an English major, I had a lot of reading to do. Yes, yes, I get it that every college student has a lot of reading, but for an English major, it's one notch above that. For one course in particular, I had to read 13 novels! One strategy I used was to reward myself with a piece of candy for reading a certain number of pages. Smarties were a particularly good candy for this, as they had many small pieces of candy in one Smarties roll.

One chore today that neither Zac nor I like to do much is cleaning. We like a clean house, but we don't like putting in the work to get there. I suppose I could hire a person to clean my home, but then we wouldn't eat and we wouldn't have a I guess I'm sticking with us cleaning it ourselves.

Zac and I like to break up big tasks like cleaning into smaller ones to make it more manageable. Last week we decided to do one of those small pieces each day of the week. This is what it looked like:

Monday - Declutter. The most important step to cleaning is putting things away so you can actually find the surfaces you are to clean.

Tuesday - Dust and Vacuum. I dust, he vacuums. It all works out.

Wednesday - Bathrooms.

Thursday - ?

We ran out of things to clean! We pondered what to put for Thursday because the usual weekly chores were already taken care of. That's when I came up with a brilliant plan. Thursday would be a bonus cleaning activity. If we actually did the bonus cleaning, we would get to go to Caribou Coffee on Friday.

Our bonus activity was to wash our light fixtures. Dust was piling up on them, and I honestly don't know if we've washed all of them since we moved into this house nearly 3 years ago!

Unfortunately, when it came to Thursday, we found ourselves with NO TIME at all for cleaning. We got home from work and soon after went out for the evening.

However, on Friday when we got home from work, we remembered our bonus cleaning (and the sweet reward to follow), and got right to work! We were motivated, excited, and we worked well together to accomplish the task.

After about 30 minutes of unscrewing, washing, and putting light fixtures back together, we were surveying our work. I'm not joking when I say this - the rooms looked brighter to me!

I had so much fun doing this bonus cleaning challenge that it got me wondering about next week. What sort of project could use some attention for next week, and more importantly, what kind of reward could we give ourselves? :)

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