Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How I Keep My House Clean.....this week

Being a mother means constantly finding balance. We juggle children, chores, work, personal sanity, and don't forget our relationship with our husbands/boyfriends/significant others, friends, & family! My life, especially in these dim days of miserable gray skies and freezing temperatures, revolves around sleep, food, and chores. I get lost in the mess of things, often.

What a consistent thought process keeping my home, and life, clean and organized can be for me! It isn't always easy for me to spend every hour cleaning. I like to live at a more leisurely pace, getting a thing done here and a thing done there, just wishing everything into place while I drink coffee before it goes cold and shower before 2 in the afternoon. So, my goal is to make the reality a little easier to face.

I've tried several methods to confront the madness; doing all the laundry on one day, never going to bed with a messy kitchen, deep cleaning on weekends, cleaning as I go....they all turned into this all consuming never ending mess.

I realized something the other day when I started my Spring cleaning tasks. If things are DEEP DOWN clean they are easier to pick up. The deep down clean is what I have a hard time getting around to. It's what makes us grumpy on the weekends when we want to be taking naps and going for walks. They are the tasks that can be totally overwhelming when you only do them once a month. I'm not talking about wiping the counter tops, but elbow grease scrubbing them, and sanitizing them, and putting all the little things that accumulate in random drawers into a place they actually belong. And the laundry? Right now I'm ok with doing laundry every day if it means I do it from start to finish and always have clean clothes to choose from. The picking up of all the toys? No matter how many times you clean them in a day they WILL get pulled back out again. So, let them get played with, and enjoy the playing. If I'm not constantly picking them up the second she walks away I might actually enjoy the toys with her and she might actually learn some stuff in the process (imagine that!).

This brings me to my current method, one that I'm really liking, a daily checklist. I am NOT a list person. I don't make grocery lists, to do lists, cleaning lists, they just annoy me. Or, they used to. I don't think I'll go list crazy any time soon but having a few things every day that I can accomplish, without forgetting or changing my mind, and then eliminate from the list is really an easy method. Another benefit? The more often a bathroom gets cleaned, floors get steamed, blinds get dusted, the less time it takes to do the next week. And picking up a mountain of toys at the end of the day is the simplest of my tasks.  If something on the list doesn't get done? I roll it over to the next day.

To make this work I don't put simple chores on the list (laundry DOES go on the list because I need to have a goal of what loads I need to get done or I do NO loads). Dishes? Bed making? Pillow fluffing? Sweeping up from lunch? I do all of those jobs in reverse order. When I have a few minutes in the morning I make my bed because that is the very last thing that will get messy again. The toys I generally ignore unless I have guests coming over, time to burn during naps, or they have to be cleaned up to do a list job (like floors).

My question for you today is, what is your method to keep life under control? Are you a clean freak that actually enjoys constant cleaning and will never be ok with toys underfoot until after the baby is in bed? Are you happy with clean laundry residing in baskets until you need something (like the internet famous Kelly Hampton who you really should read if you like pictures and adorable babies)? A couple other random blog posts about cleaning that I and here .

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