If you want to vacuum just once a month, you should follow the steps in my last four posts, plus the following:
13. For really sloppy play, send the kids outside whenever weather permits.
Though not an architect, my talented mother designed the house I grew up in, and she took this idea one step further by cleverly including an outdoor "playsink" in the layout. The actual working sink sat alongside our outdoor play area and was built low, at just the perfect height for kids. We spent hours out there making mud pies and secret recipes and doll beauty salons and all sorts of similarly messy things. But because it was outside, the mess didn't matter. If you have small children and are doing any sort of outdoor renovation, you might consider installing a playsink for them too. Even if you don't have a playsink, however, outside is often the best place to be for all sorts of mess-making fun.
If there's mud in the yard, be sure to make "re-entry" as painless as possible by doing the following:
- Tape a reminder sign to the door that says to "Leave muddy shoes outside".
- If they're barefoot, tape a reminder sign to the door that says to "Rinse feet before entering", then place a washbin of water on the ground outside the door.
- Either way, lay down a few raggedy towels on the floor just inside, which they will walk on as they come in. When the day is done, throw the towels in the wash.
Check back soon for the final chapter on how to vacuum just once a month.