Don't get me wrong, I don't mean sterile. It's still fairly cluttery. But the floors are clean, the table is clean, the bathroom is clean, the dishes are always washed. The kids' bedroom doesn't remind me of the aftermath of Katrina.
How has this miracle occurred?
A stroke of freaking brilliance on my part.
Two weeks ago, I changed the kids chores around. I made each kid responsible for one room. Sean cleans the kids' room. Ian handles kitchen and dishes. Evan is in charge of the living room. Whoever is currently in the dog house (with three boys, one ALWAYS is!) takes care of the bathroom, including scooping the cat litter.
Every day from noon to four they get to use the computers and the Wii. But they can't start until EVERYBODY's chores are completed to my satisfaction. I told them that it would behoove ALL of them to help each other out so that they could get started goofing off as close to noon as possible.
So far they've only had late starts twice, about fifteen minutes each time. Today Sean helped Ian out with the dishes. The other day Evan helped Sean with the bathroom. Ian doesn't generally have time to help his brothers out because the kitchen is a BIG job, since it involves the dishes, and five people use a LOT of dishes over the course of a day.
It's been PEACEFUL, too.
I am really pleased. And the boys tell me they like the way the house looks and feels. It's nice not to be embarrassed when somebody knocks on the door! :)