Summer holidays are a lot more fun when mom isn’t busy grumbling and cleaning up a house that looks like a bomb went off in it every day.

If your children are not home yet for summer holidays they will be soon.

Now is the best time to sit down and map out rules and boundaries to make your summer enjoyable for all – even if they don’t think so :0)

Here are a few things that I am going to be doing at our house.


Previously in the summer I’ve been lax about making the kids go to bed and get up at a certain time.

My oldest are pretty much self regulating now – past the stage of wanting to stay up all night and sleep all day – with jobs and silly fun stuff like that to keep them in line.

My 12 year old daughter (soon to be 13!) is in full veg mode if I let her, so this summer I am setting an 11:00 bedtime – that includes a little reading time before, bedtime snacks etc – lights out at 11.

And out of bed at 10am. Earlier would suit me better but I’ll cut her some slack. It’s much better than 1 in the afternoon!


For the most part we’ve been on a system were the girls do 15 minutes per day for free, and then get paid in 15 minute increments for work done around the house after that.

It has worked well although if I don’t enforce the ‘free 15’ it can quickly go by the wayside. As with all things – consistency rules – and it is much more effective when done daily.

Instead of doing that over the summer this year I am considering giving them stewardship over certain areas of the house – the only limit will be the time it needs to be accomplished to ensure that it is done when it needs to be done.

Some areas that I am considering are dishes (of course!), laundry, general clean up of assigned rooms, fridge, veggie washing/prep on grocery days and a daily salad prepared.

I will also assign one day a week for each one of them to plan and make supper.


One other thing that I am going to have to spend some time enforcing is the no eating at the computer, in the living room or in the bedroom. The reason for this is because it doesn’t get cleaned up even after a warning or three, and because we are trying to eat healthier and it is just too easy to to binge eat when you are not being mindful and are in the habit of snacking during these times.


This is another small rule that can have HUGE effect on the state of your house and peace of mind over the holidays. It will involve some pro-action on your part as you be sure to resist the urge to zone out to the mess and get everyone to pick up after themselves. If the kids are sure that you will, they will be more likely to get into the habit.

The best way may be to have a few mini pick up times through out the day, maybe before mealtimes and bedtime, for everyone who has things laying around to do a quick pick up.


I haven’t made a plan yet, but I will also be setting limits on the tv and computer. Life is to short to miss zoning out at youtube or online window shopping!

I am going to map it out and talk to them about it today.

I’ll keep you posted!


Here are a few articles that I wrote with some ideas to keep the kids motivated to help out around the house.

Kids Chores – How to Get the Kids to Help Keep the House Clean

Paying Allowance for Chores

Top 10 Tips to Get Your Kids to Help Clean House

Saving Summertime with a Few Simple Rules – I wrote this one last year around this time.


All of these ideas are of no use to you if you don’t find a way to use them and put them in place.

My Clean House BOOST Housework System – tweak it for your kids. Using this system has been a lifesaver for me over the years. You can make it fun for the kids with a completely new twist that I will be sending out to everyone who purchases as a new bonus.

And don’t forget to get your ‘My Clean House Action Planner together. You can get a free printout to get started here – A Simple Housework Planner.

Don’t forget that a large part of your success will be your ability to stay mindful and enforce the summertime rules. It will get easier as everyone adjusts and settles in.

Don’t forget to balance them out with summertime fun and activities, after all when everything is done there is more time and energy for good times!

If you know someone with kids who would like some help this summer, why not pass this article along. Maybe you can get together and brainstorm some more good ideas or buddy up to help each other this summer.

Now is a good time to sit down and map your plan to keep things running smoothly in the summer. Feel free to get the ball rolling and share your ideas in the comment section below.

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Jan Ferrante

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