The (Original) Cleaning Game


[homemaking]
[Warning: This game is a game in which the rules can change at any moment. So, I you want to stay up to date with the rules, please consider signing up for my mailing list or following me social media (links in the upper right corner of your screen). You're welcome to play any version of the game you want.]

Object of the game: You win by getting your entire living area not messy (note that I did not say "clean" - I said NOT MESSY) and by having fun. The only way to lose is by not playing the game and by not having fun.

Number of players: 1 and up (As with any game, it is not cool to make people play if they don't want to. There are special rules for single-player mode that will help you have more fun alone which will make anyone who sees you want to join in.)

Age recommendation: 1-101

Rules:
1. Do not leave the room you're in until it's clean* and NO MORE. (Find the simplest cleaning instructions in the world in the glossary below. Don't go beyond these simple instructions until you have won the game. You can unlock challenge mode* once you've won the game - IF you want.)
2. ONE PERSON may leave the playing area* at a time for but only as necessary and only for brief periods. (The playing area is the room you're cleaning + any clean rooms. This helps you not get overwhelmed and distracted.) When the person returns to the playing area, they get to have high-fives from the other players. (If you are playing alone, you announce "Back in the game. [favorite exclamatory], The Cleaning Game is fun!")
3. You get points for things! (The point system has been specially designed so as to give the most motivation to the ones who need it the most, cuz I love you. The amount of points you get is based on your age. Pick the point system you wanna do.) Keep track of the points in the way that is the most fun for you and your family.
4. THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE. If a rule, point system, or terminology doesn't work for you or your family, change it! And PLEASE let other players know by coming back to this website and leaving a comment with your changes! Your responses may influence the next version of The Cleaning Game ~

Points:
Easy mode (Inspired by Bailey who is 5):
5 points for putting away 1 piece of garbage
5 points for putting away 1 dish
5 points for putting away 1 piece of laundry
Normal mode (Inspired by Aria who is 9):
9 points for putting away almost all of the garbage in a room by yourself
9 points for putting away almost all of the dishes in a room by yourself
9 points for putting away almost all of the laundry in a room by yourself
9 points for clearing the floor (CTF*) in a room almost all by yourself
Hard (but worth it) mode (Inspired by Andrea who is 31):
31 points for completing one room (for Andrea)
Challenge mode (Inspired by Future-Andrea who has finally beaten the game):
1000 points for unlocking challenge mode aka winning The Cleaning Game!
1000 MORE points for deep-cleaning a whole room!
Bread-winner mode (Inspired by my husband and other parents who work full-time to support their family):
35 points for being okay with people playing the cleaning game
35 points for people being okay with you playing on "easy mode"
Baby mode (Inspired by Jojo who is 1):
1 point for not making a new mess while playing
1 point for copying other players
1 point for being cute
Also, players only need 1 point to win in baby mode (spoiler: your baby will ALWAYS win)

Glossary (Alphabetical):
Challenge Mode: This is unlocked by beating the game with the normal rules. In this mode, you win by CONTINUING TO HAVE FUN (CUZ IT'S A GAME - THAT'S THE POINT) and by DEEP-CLEANING one room at a time while keeping the rest of the house clean. If you fail to keep the rest of the house clean, then it's time to start over. You must win The Cleaning Game again to unlock challenge mode again.
Clean: You cleared the floor and took care of all the garbage, laundry, and dishes in the room. Bedrooms also need to have the beds made. The kitchen and bathroom also need counters and cabinets wiped. If you have litter boxes or animal cages, ensure they are maintained to where they at least don't stink.
CTF: Short for "clear the floor". Clearing the floor means picking everything up off the floor that you don't want there. Depending on how messy your floor is, you may also want to sweep (recommended every time you clean the kitchen), mop, vacuum, &/or carpet clean.
Playing Area: The room you are cleaning + any rooms you have already cleaned AND kept clean.

Tips: Sometimes you might forget you are playing The Cleaning Game. That is okay! The Cleaning Game is supposed to be fun. So, if you need to take a break from The Cleaning Game, you go ahead and do that - that's the right thing to do. Pick The Cleaning Game back up again when you want to play again. Keep going until you win. It could take hours, days, or even months, but keep going. The better you follow the rules and/or adapt them for you and your family, the easier it will be to win (and help others win).

If you love The Cleaning Game, please watch the following YouTube video to find out what inspired its creation and to learn a little more about the inventor. If you love The Cleaning Game and/or the accompanying YouTube video and you know someone who you think might love it too, please share this blog post or this video with them. Thank you for being a part of this. Together, we will help parents who want to make cleaning as fun as possible find a solution.

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