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Zone cleaning

What is zone cleaning and how can it help?

Zone cleaning, as the name suggests, is the idea of cleaning just one small space at a time before moving on. Often we get wrapped up in putting things into the places they belong and then get distracted with cleaning other areas or overwhelmed with the sheer magnitude of the job. By focusing on one space, we can feel a sense of accomplishment.

Junk migrates around the house or room often. I use small buckets to deposit objects into that all go in a specific room. As I clean one space--my desk--I place objects that go in different places in their specific bucket. Then I take that bucket to that space when I FINISH my desk. I have Mack do similar. "Go through your room and look for all the Legos. Now, tools." Etc. He is successful at cleaning his room independently now using this method.

Tubs/buckets for moving things to different rooms. Can be different colors or have labels.

Almost more helpful than the buckets is to have a specific home for everything. We all have random things that don't really fit into a category and we just kind of toss them wherever. This contributes to a clutter problem. Instead, having an "other" bin in each room helps. Large categories can also help--art supplies, wood working, Legos, horses, Transformers, etc. If you're like us, you might have too many categories if you separate each thing, so we do a bigger umbrella like "building toys" which include snap circuits, Legos, keva tiles/city blocks, wood blocks, lincoln logs, etc. Pretend play includes cars/trucks, dolls, horses, Transformers, tea sets, costumes. This helps everyone know where everything goes and how to clean up. I can give each kid a job too meaning that clean up is smoother.

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