Years ago, when I was young, the church had paid custodians that cleaned our church buildings. Then somewhere along the way, one of the presidents of the church felt it would be good for families to take turns cleaning the church. Asking families to clean would help everyone to have more respect for the building, and have more of a desire to keep it clean when using it. Also, this volunteer service could help save money. In our Ward, families are asked to sign up at least twice a year to clean the church. We usually sign up 3 times because there are some families that don't sign up.
We have three congregations that meet in our building, therefore the building is split up in to thirds for cleaning. Currently, our ward has the north side of the building which includes classrooms, some bathrooms, and a mother's lounge. One of the Wards cleans the chapel and gymnasium, and the other Ward cleans the south side of the church which includes classrooms, some bathrooms, and the kitchen.
Today was our family's turn to clean. I have to admit that I'm so glad when my turn is over. lol It's really a big job, mainly because of all of the vacuuming involved. One Ward is in charge of making sure the chairs are taken down each week, but sometimes they forget. In that case, the person cleaning has to move chairs out of the way when vacuuming. Needless to say, it's a big job, even when the whole family helps. My second son is attending youth conference today, so we didn't have his help. But my daughter was able to help.
The nice thing about having my daughter help is that for the past couple of years, she has been in charge of the cleaning at the missionary training center. She basically assigned cleaning chores to the missionaries. I'm not sure if this cleaning program started at the same time as the church cleaning program, but the same idea applies; that if the missionaries help clean the building, they will be more careful not to mess it up, and will learn respect for the building. So my daughter has been giving out cleaning assignments to the missionaries, and has also inspected their work. I have to say that if there is one thing she is good at, it's cleaning. Well, she's good at a lot of things, but this is one area that she excels at. She not only helped us clean today, but taught me how to change the paper towels in the bathroom. :)
After we finished cleaning, I was pretty pooped out, but I had one recurring thought. We have three single elderly people in our ward that often sign up for the cleaning assignment and work together to get it done. One of them has had a knee replacement. They are all in their 70's. As I thought about how tired I was, I couldn't help but wonder how long it takes them to clean when it's their day, and how tired they must be when they finish. I really think I have no reason to whine!