"Hour of Power:" Get your kids to clean like "Jane and Michael Banks!"

Real Estate Agent with The Cascade Team

As a busy real estate agent and homeschooling mom with six kids, people always ask me how I "do it all."  Of course I don't "do it all."  I don't even try.  My husband and I work together and we focus on our family, our clients, and our business and not a lot of other stuff.  

Even at that, there is a lot to do, so we work hard to train our kids to work as a team, helping each other and helping us.  Our kids get real self-esteem from what they can accomplish, but they often need inspiration to get started.

A few months ago, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with all that needed to be done to get ready for Christmas when I had a "Mary Poppins Moment," and came up  with the "Hour of Power" plan.  The next day we tried it out, and we've been doing it ever since!  The competitive aspect gets the kids to work fast and have a great attitude.  It's like a "spoonful of sugar!"

It is a blast and we get so much done!  Here are the rules:

  1. Divide the family into two teams - one parent on each team.
  2. Assign specific rooms, areas, or tasks to each team.
  3. Everyone goes potty first.  No bathroom breaks. (My kids tend to spend 20 minutes in the bathroom when it's time to do the dishes.)
  4. No complaining, arguing, or criticism - only encouragement, and "cheerleading"!
  5. Blast some upbeat music to get everyone going!
  6. Set the timer for one hour and work as fast as you can!
  7. When the hour is up, stop!
  8. Mom and Dad choose the winning team.
  9. The winning team chooses a family activity - (This way the whole family reaps the rewards of their hard work.  For example, the winning team might choose baking a cake and watching a movie.)

Sometimes we do "team uniforms." For example, the team doing the kitchen might put on aprons, and the team cleaning the family room can wear baseball hats.

Sometimes we also do a "Power Burst" where each person gets a small area and we all clean for 15 minutes.

This method is great for any family, but it's especially fabulous for a family with their house on the market!  And no, you don't have to have six kids!

Try it; add you own twists; and let me know how it goes!


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Chip Jefferson 03/06/2009 01:21 AM
ActiveRain Community
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motivating kids
preparing your house to sell
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Naoma Doriguzzi
Virginia Beach - Virginia Beach, VA
New Media Director

What a great concept! Now if only I can get the husband to participate willingly! :)  I think this sounds like a great way to get everyone to contribute instead of me doing it all of the time.

Feb 25, 2009 03:04 AM #1
Corey & Erika Kahler
The Cascade Team - Kirkland, WA

Thanks Naoma!  Let me know how it goes and if you come up with any variations I should try!

Feb 25, 2009 06:24 AM #2
Allegra Dioguardi
Styled and Sold Home Staging and Staging Training - Westhampton Beach, NY
Home Staging & Training, Suffolk Co. Long Island

That's a wonderful concept. Team spirit and working together like that are great skills to encourage in your kids.

My hat goes off to you!

Feb 25, 2009 10:45 AM #3
Corey & Erika Kahler
The Cascade Team - Kirkland, WA

Thanks Allegra!  For a moment, I felt like the "supermom" everyone thinks I am! ha!

Feb 25, 2009 10:52 AM #4
Holly Gray
Rising Moon Interiors - Kalispell, MT
Professional Home Stager - Bigfork, Kalispell, Whitefish Montana

I always appreciate new ideas to motivate the family. It's so important to instill good work values in our children! Good for you, and thanks for the tip!


 Holly Gray

Feb 25, 2009 12:39 PM #5
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Erika, this would be a great post for the Family Ties Group.  Check it out!

Feb 25, 2009 05:23 PM #6
Chip Jefferson
Gibbs Realty and Auction Company - Columbia, SC

Erika, I haven't noticed your blog before but I so enjoyed this post. Me and my husband also work as a team and struggle with being overwhelmed sometimes. We will try this Sunday after church.

Mar 06, 2009 01:21 AM #7
Corey & Erika Kahler
The Cascade Team - Kirkland, WA

Hey Laura!  That is fabulous!  Let me know how it goes! -Erika

Mar 08, 2009 10:35 AM #8
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