Just a quickie post today, because I’ve been doing other things during Fairy Girl’s nap, and I don’t have much time left.
I was inspired several months ago by Rockin Granola to make a household notebook. So, I did. It’s nothing pretty, or fancy, and it’s not super organized into all different sections. It’s just a binder (and a spiral notebook too, I should get it together) with lists and routines down in it, for me to refer to.
One of my goals for this new apt is to keep it from getting super dirty, and then having to really scrub to get it clean. I’ve learned that if you do little bits here and there, even before it looks dirty, it stays cleaner overall. Please don’t assume that I’m OCD about the cleaning or anything, I”m sure The Boy could tell you differently. (And what is up with people saying you can’t be a good, present parent to your kids, and keep a clean house? I resent that! I won’t say more today, because I don’t have time, but there’s another post!)
But I’ve found a way to keep our place clean, and it takes very little effort on my part. I thought I’d share it today, and maybe it will strike a chord with you, and you can adapt it to fit your lifestyle and your home.
I wrote down all the stuff that needs to get done every day in order for me to feel comfortable in my own home (because that’s why I bother to clean at all- I need to feel comfortable in my own home, and I don’t feel comfortable if I”m always knocking papers and empty bottles off of surfaces, and stepping on crumbs in my bare feet. Blech!).
And I ordered it room by room. And then I figured out what needs to get done weekly and monthly so that I never have to work very hard at cleaning anything- this is part of my mental shift from cleaning to get dirty things clean; to cleaning to prevent things from becoming dirty in the first place. I don’t mean that there are never spills or dirty things in my house, but that mental shift prevents it from getting really bad before I do something about it.
So here’s what I ended up with:
Daily: dishes, wipe counters/chairs, sweep
Weekly: clear and clean counters, mop, clean sink/drain, change tablecloth
Monthly: clean stove, fridge, windows
Daily: spray shower with vinegar, wipe down faucet
Weekly: clean toilet/tub/sink
Monthly: floors and mirror
Daily: clutter pickup
Weekly: vacuum (or as needed)
Monthly: dust (yeah, right!), windows
Daily: make bed, put away clothes
Weekly: vacuum (or as needed), change sheets
M T W Th F S S
K Ba L X Be
That lil collection of letters up there symbolizes which rooms get done on which days. The X is because I don’t do anything on Thursdays, I’m usually out. So, I’m never doing a HUGE amount of labor on any given day. I also take weekends off, except for things that get done daily like dishes and laundry.
Also, my apt is never perfectly spotless either, because as anyone who cleans knows, it starts getting dirty again the second you’re done cleaning it. But I don’t get frustrated about this- I view housekeeping as a cyclical process, and I just see the dishes and the laundry as being in different places of their natural cycle- you don’t get upset when you see a caterpillar because it’s not a butterfly, do you? I don’t get upset about dirty dishes.
And a word on clutter- I place a much higher priority on cleanliness than I do on order, because it’s a hygiene issue. I’m not saying that dirty dishes in your sink are going to make you sick, but they may attract bugs and vermin, and eventually they WILL make you sick if you leave them for long enough. I seriously doubt that there is anyone who reads this blog though, that leaves them long enough to do that. But back to clutter. I DO like order, I always have- if I’m not careful, I CAN let it get a lil compulsive- looking back, I can see this pattern in my childhood too. So, I make an effort to NOT pick up the clutter as often as I’d like. A dear friend helped me to see that I may be interrupting Fairy Girl’s creativity by constantly picking up after her. So now, we pick up once a day, in the evening. And I try to let it go the rest of the time. And yes, as I type, there is a wooden ride on piggy next to my seat, her dolly is face down on the floor on the other side of me, a pile of books is out by the bookshelf, and I don’t even want to know what her room looks like. But that’s much lower on my priority list than the dishes and the laundry (laundry is drying next to me on two drying rack- bonus: moister air!, and the dishes are dirty in the dishwasher- we do one load at night, and then have an empty sink and clean dishes to put away in the morning- I don’t do FlyLady, but that clean sink really IS nice!).
I also don’t use industrial cleaners. But I will post about that next time.
Later tonight, if all goes well, I intend to do a picture post of our Xmas decorations, and hopefully submit (belatedly) to BooMama’s blog for her Christmas Home Tour.