Cleaning the house while the children are growing is like shoveling snow while it’s still snowing.
~ Erma Bombeck
So true, but that’s only part of my problem. Yes, I have children. Yes, they come with stuff and they require time and things just get flat out messy. But I can’t use my children as my sole excuse. My cleaning issues are mine. I know what to do and how to do it. Every once in a while I Get it Together and my house (many of the rooms, at least) looks great! I simply need that every once in a while to become most of the time, is all. 😉
Yesterday I asked, “What’s your cleaning routine?” Several of you shared solutions I’ve tried in the past, things I do now, and things I know would work well if I was consistent with it. Here are a few methods you mentioned, plus some resources I’ve come across that may be helpful.
This is hands down the most popular solution to keeping the mess under control. Once, twice, maybe even three times a day, drop everything and focus on one cleaning task for just 10 (or 15) minutes. Use the timer. It’s amazing what can be accomplished in that short amount of time, especially if the whole family is on board!
Make it a Competition
Most of us have a bit of a competitive streak. Tell the family, “If we can accomplish “A” in 15 minutes, then we can do “B”. If it helps, reward yourself during the day when you complete a dreaded task in record time. Chocolate, anyone?
My own issues always come back to time management. I can get so wrapped up in the task at hand (especially if that “task” is blog-related, ahem) that I forget all the other chores that need to be done until I walk across my crunchy floor. Oops! I do so much better when I follow Amy’s time budget system.
Many of you lamented with me that it’s not the day to day tasks that are the problem, it’s the big projects that never get done because you’re holed up in the day to day tasks. I so get that! Me, too! Honestly, I think the answer is the time budget. Some days I’m going to have to let something go so I can spend a budgeted 30 minutes on the projects so they can get done. *** We have to let go of the immediate to focus on the important.***
I tried Flylady a few years ago, and quickly got overwhelmed with the many emails a day. I punted, but many of you mentioned the system and how well it works. I say if it works for you, go for it!
A weekly chore schedule was also a popular suggestion in yesterday’s comments. I’ve seen methods that say “bathrooms Monday, bedrooms Tuesday, entryway Wednesday” and so forth, but here’s the thing. We have one bathroom. We don’t have an entryway. Every time I see “the perfect cleaning schedule” I immediately want to change it around, and I punt.
This, though, this might work! Create Your Perfect Cleaning Schedule! A schedule designed by me for the rooms in my home. Novel idea! The ebook is priced at a very reasonable $5.99, but you can get it for $4.00 with the code CleaningScheduleFor4. Become a proactive home manager instead of a reactive home manager? Yes! That’s what I need!
I can’t write a post about cleaning and not mention my friend Nony and her hilarious, real, blog-that-makes-me-feel-like-I’m-in-good-company. Nony’s in the trenches, learning right along with the rest of us wanna-be’s, and she’s sharing her journey. Bless her!
The Bottom Line
It doesn’t matter which method we use for keeping things clean. I’m sure every cleaning system has its merits. My mom (if she ever stops cleaning long enough to read this post 😉 ) would roll her eyes. System? Method? She knows. It all works, as long as we do something and do it consistently.
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