So I wanted to talk this week about cleaning. It’s an often spoken about subject and there are all sorts of tips, tricks, websites, methods of doing things and tons of people giving advice about cleaning. But I think there are some fundamental things about cleaning that have been lost over the years. Cleaning isn’t just about having a clean house. It’s a also a reflection of your state of mind. Cleaning is a normal part of all forms and walks of life. Even animals take on this menial job.
Seriously it’s not all bad and horribly hard work, like everybody makes out to be. Not that hard work is a bad thing and I think that’s where some of the problem comes from. There’s just this stigma in our minds about cleaning being a hard thing. Or, maybe we’re just holding on to some childhood regret of having to always clean the house with our families.
Keeping the house clean shouldn’t be a chore. It should just be like my husband’s grandmother says, “Just do the same thing on the same day every week and it’s hardly any work at all.”
If you like to dust go to Grandma’s house on Wednesday she’ll put you to work. If you like to work in the yard go to her house on Sunday and a floors are your thing be there on Saturday when she does her heavy cleaning.
Now, my grandma, my mom’s mom, she taught my mom this simple method. Do your daily routine. Beds, dishes, floors, garbage, load of laundry and then do one more thing. Something being neglected like the dirty light fixtures, the top of the fridge or dirty baseboards or light switches. Just think in 30 days you will have done 30 extra chores! Wow! I’m sure the house will be sparkling!
Then there is my favorite way of tracking cleaning. And, if you are a type a personality, you’ll live this one. Go get the book “The Sidetracked Home-executive”. They break down work into 5-10 chunks. Everyone has 5-10 to clean! And there is an index card for EVERTHING IN YOU HOME AND LIFE! Even the hubby can follow this system.
For instance the index marker for today’s date the 13th has cards for: dishes, floors upstairs, floors downstairs, scrub guest bath toilet, sweep porch, feed dog, wipe out microwave and dust plants. All of these can be done in 10 min or less. Kids can pick and choose or you can tape them to a name card for them on the fridge as chores to do for the Wi-Fi code.
When they are done the cards either go in the next days marker, like dishes or feeding dog that are done daily. Cleaning toilet and sweeping the porch go in Wednesday’s index marker for next Wednesday to be done once a week on Wednesdays. And dusting the plants can go in the next months index marker for the 13th to be done again on a monthly basis. And so on with bi-monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, annually, and every 2 years with every chore in the house.
I love the fact that I don’t feel like the whole house has to be cleaned in one day all at once. I do all of the toilets on monday, mop all of the floors on tuesday and Do the sinks on wednesday. I hate bathrooms. I’m quite the germaphobe. Breaking the bathrooms down helps me with my icky germ hatred. Dirt, mud and kids ick, is cool, I just don’t do the viral, bacterial and deadly germ thing very well. Chem and organic chem and biology classes do stuff to you.
Consolidation, organization and clutter are a completely different subject, for another day.
What is your method? What do you do to motivate yourself? What are your biggest struggles?