Listen closely, ladies. I have a secret to share—one that will make your weekends more peaceful, your kids more responsible and your Monday more organized. And no, it’s not live-in help.
Lean in, and I’ll tell you my trick: Every Friday night, at the end of a long school and work week, my boys and I put on our favorite music, roll up our sleeves … and we clean. The whole house. From top to bottom.
Wait, wait. Hear me out.
How many times do you head home on a Friday, bone-tired and bound for bed, only to find yourself three-glasses-of-wine-later, up at midnight and binge-watching Netflix? How many times do you wake up on a Saturday, peer around your messy bedroom, and promptly roll over, hoping the mess will disappear? How many times do you rush out the door to a soccer game, dreading the sight you’ll see upon your return—and the guilt that inevitably kicks in?
That was me, once upon a time, until I discovered a magical solution for the weekend blues—it’s called Friday Family Cleaning Night. It may not carry the same cachet as, say, Ladies Night or Date Night or even Family Fun night. But that’s just because the rest of the world hasn’t caught on to our little secret.
Call it crazy (and my friends certainly do!), but there’s a method to this madness. My boyfriend is a huge help around the house, but he works long hours. I can’t ask him to drop what he’s doing in the middle of the day if my 10-year-old can’t find his favorite pair of sneakers, or if my 4-year-old’s lunchbox has gone MIA. That’s why, as a working mom, staying organized is simply a must-do for the sake of my sanity. And I’d rather spend my weekends enjoying precious time with my family and friends than watching the sun slip away as I sort laundry and mop the floors. On Sunday night, I simply do a bit of spot cleaning, and we’re ready to seamlessly roll through our routine when the alarm goes off the next morning.
It’s also an opportunity to teach my boys about responsibility. Brandon, my oldest, helps takes out the garbage and recycling and puts away the laundry. Ethan, my youngest, puts away his toys, stocks the fridge with water bottles and cleans the coffee table. As an added incentive, their regular bedtime is suspended on Friday nights.
And when the dishes are washed, the floors are clean and the dressers are dusted, I celebrate by lighting some candles and treating myself to that glass of wine, while we all curl up on the (clean!) sofa and watch an episode or two of Forensic Files on Netflix. (Delayed gratification—I promise it’s worth it.) But the best treat of all is waking up on Saturday morning to crisp sheets, blissfully bare floors and a big ‘ol whiff of your clean-smelling home. And to a weekend free for fun.