||Article first published as Book Review: Team Clean by Carol Paul on Blogcritics.
May 31, 2013
New Book Turns Cleaning into a Family Fun Responsibility Lesson
If you’re sick of being the person who does all the cleaning, without getting help from your spouse, and putting up with children who think you’re their personal maid, then Team Clean is the book for you. Carol Paul knows all about teamwork, having spent more than twenty years involved in her father Coach Wooten’s basketball camps. And she knows what it is to have family members not behave like team players. For years, she tried to keep the house clean on her own, and she tried hiring maids, only to have to clean before they came. Tired of this situation, she realized if a maid service could clean her house in an hour or two a week, there was no reason why her family of six could not do the same.
And so the Team Clean formula was born. I don’t want to reveal all of Carol’s secrets for how to get your spouse and children to help you clean, and more than clean, enjoy it as part of a regular weekly activity. I don’t want to reveal the secrets because I really believe you will not only benefit from reading this book, but you’ll enjoy it yourself. For the cover price of $19.95 and the few hours it will take you to read this book and implement Carol’s plan, you will obtain a return on your investment that far surpasses anything the stock market or any financial guru could ever promise you. Carol’s husband Steve, her co-founder of Team Clean, has estimated that: “If you have two children, three years apart, and they move out when they are eighteen years old, and you run Team Clean instead of paying for weekly cleanings, you could save $210,000 in those twenty-one years of raising the two of them!” And while that savings alone is phenomenal, you can’t put a price on how turning cleaning into an activity that allows the family to spend time together will benefit your family, leading to bonding with your children that will keep most of those rebellious teen issues from occurring when they are older.
I know you’re thinking, “Really—children who want to clean and teenagers who bond with their parents?” I know—I wouldn’t have believed it either, but that’s why Carol asked her four children, now teenagers and adults, to give their unedited opinions about Team Clean in this book. Not only are they wholly supportive of Team Clean, but they went off to college, shocked that their roommates didn’t know how to clean, and they even come home every week still to participate. In fact, her college-age son Bucky says, “Even if I am not at home, I will usually find a way to get home for it. I will find myself road biking a few towns over just to make it back to Team Clean.” Heck, Carol’s kids have even had their friends want to come over and clean because of the fun and the rewards that come with it.
I won’t get into the rewards, other than to say they are simple and easily put into practice. Carol sets some very clear guidelines around setting up Team Clean as a family activity, including the rewards part. She even goes into examples of what not to do. She applies common sense everywhere, foreseeing issues and emphasizing the importance of sticking to the guidelines.
Beyond the value of family interaction (teamwork), Carol offers detailed explanations of how to divide up the cleaning so it is appropriate to age groups—even two year olds can get involved, and not as a form of child labor, but so they feel important, part of the family, and are able to build their self-esteem through their contributions. Carol also includes charts to show how to delegate activities, and she provides details for each room of the house for what is to be cleaned.
In addition, this book is simply a lot of fun to read. It’s filled with comical drawings, inspirational quotes, testimonials from people who have participated in Team Clean, and a frequently asked questions section based on comments Carol has already received from people who have implemented Team Clean.
More than anything, what stands out about this book is the teamwork. This is not a book that shows Mom the tricks of keeping the house clean on her own. It’s not even about making your kids cooperate. It’s about establishing a family tradition that will keep the family ties strong. In fact, this simple family tradition has led to the teaching of life lessons for her children. Carol provides a whole list of those lessons in the book, including “Taking ownership of a responsibility,” “Learn to go to work on days even when you don’t really feel like it,” “Learn negotiating skills,” and “Learn a good work ethic, not just to punch a clock.”
Team Clean is going to change your family’s life. In fact, it is a testament to the value of family activities. Not only will Mom get a cleaner house, but Dad will bond with his children, and children will grow up being responsible, secure, and ready to take on life as adults. Buy this book, implement its formula, and get ready for a fun life-changing experience!For more information about Team Clean and Carol Paul, visit www.TheTeamClean.com.
— Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D., and author of the award-winning “Narrow Lives”
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