I’m not naturally the most tidy person. My husband would back me up on this. When we were first married, I would marvel at his compulsion to straighten every rug in his vicinity or to wipe out the bathroom sink each and every time he brushed his teeth. These types of things did not even occur to me. But as I’ve gotten older (sigh), as I expend more time and energy picking up, wiping up, and scrubbing after these tiny little human beings I call my children….as I take more pride in my home and my belongings that I work so hard for…I’m finding I have changed. The little things bother me now and unfortunately, with working full time and having two small children, the small things tend to accumulate into big things very quickly.
I wish I could say I have it all together, that I do a load of laundry every day, that there aren’t dishes in my sink, that my tub is clean…but that would be a big FAT lie. Although my home isn’t a pig’s sty, it also isn’t immaculate. I visit the houses of others and find their homes spotless and smelling fresh and clean and I’m jealous…and confused. How do they do it????
I set out with a mission this weekend to get my house in order. This was the first weekend that wasn’t loaded down with activities and I decided I was going to make the most of it. I’m a visual person so I worked up two visual aids to keep me accountable and on point. First I made a time table of my day. See below.
Please note that I do NOT typically wake up a 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday but I had a lot of ground to cover. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do! When calculating my time, I tried to account for the day-to-day stuff like working out…eating…blah, blah. It sounds ridiculous but when I get focused in a cleaning frenzy, I can go without meals. So it’s important to plan these things into my day. My blocks of time ranged from one to two hours and consisted of the following:
- Start laundry and workout
- Change laundry and make breakfast
- Change laundry and clean dishes and kitchen
- Change laundry and clean bathrooms
- Change laundry, pull sheets and comforters for washing and clean bedrooms
- Lunch time! Clean up kitchen
- Change laundry. Jera’s nap time. Clean living room
- Change laundry. Floors, floors, floors!
- Shower. Live life.
Now to make sure I stayed on focus, I made a second, complimentary list that broke down the chores within each room (with a nice little check box that I could mark as I accomplished each task…see, told you I was a visual person). See below:
This is how it went. My dream list. If I could accomplish everything within the given room, this is what I would accomplish…
- Collect dishes from around the house and wash, dry AND PUT AWAY
- Organize the Tupperware (would it be wrong to say God-forsaken Tupperware???) cabinet. Throw away Tupperware with no matching lids!
- Wipe down counter tops, table and dust the hutch
- Clean out the refrigerator
- Make shopping list
- Clean out closet and pantry
- Clean bathtub, sinks, toilets and counter tops
- Clean mirror
- Review closet organization
- Remove and replace sheet, blankets and pillowcases
- Put away and organize toys
- Polish furniture and clean TVs
- Organize shoes in closet (this is becoming a REAL PROBLEM AREA)
- Pick up toys and misc.
- Dust furniture and fireplace
- Clean TV and other glass
- Clean and organize basket, trunk and closet
- Vacuum living room and bedrooms
- Sweep and mop bathrooms
- Sweep and mop kitchen and hallways
I made it through my day and found my lists SOOOOO helpful. I didn’t complete every task (I got through roughly half) but I found the error of my past ways. Being on a time schedule, I was forced to leave a room before I finished up my “task list”. I have found that typically when I clean, I get distracted very easily. I have good intentions of making my way through the whole house but what happens is that I start in one room and I will come across something that is driving me nuts. For example, I was full-force ready to dive into our closets in the kitchen and start to organize and de-clutter when I found that my hour was up and it was time to move to the bathrooms. Without my time schedule, I would have started on my closet, which would have led to me cleaning my hutch too and I would have HAD to wipe down the cabinets.
I tend to need each room to be perfect before I move on to the next room. And because of this…I NEVER MAKE IT TO THE NEXT ROOM!!! This is so unbelievably true. This is why I feel like my house is never clean. I can never make it through the whole house. I get one room really, sparkling, smell-good, eat off the floor clean and the rest of the house is still a mess and I’m out of time. By the time I make it to the next room (days later), the first room is dirty again. So this weekend, thanks to my time schedule, I got the dishes washed, dried and put away, I got the counter tops washed down and I made my shopping list. And the rest of my kitchen (even the horror of a Tupperware cabinet) all stayed the same.
The good news, no, the great news, is that I made it through my whole house!!! Yay! And yes, I did celebrate with a big, delicious steak on Saturday night. I pay myself in copious amounts of protein.
Okay, back to the matter at hand, I need to start doing something different. I’ve been turned-on to a website called flylady.com. It’s all about keeping your house tidy and taking care of yourself at the same time. I’m only on day two of this big, glorious plan laid out on the website but I’m starting by believing it’s a possibility. I’m believing that it is possible to work, to be a great wife and mom, to not be overwhelmed, to do a little every day and not allow things to pile up, to not feel like I’m constantly behind…cue the music…“Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer. Not a trace, of doubt in my mind. I’m in love, and I’m a believer. I couldn’t leave her if I tried.” (Yes, I’m bobbing my head while I type.)
I will update at a later time as I move forward on this clean house journey. Fingers crossed. By the way, after this weekend of cleaning and getting my right foot forward, I’m feeling great about starting this upcoming week. I hope you are too. Let’s have a week of getting up on time every day, being high energy, full of faith and putting positive energy into the world. Let’s have a week that pushes us forward to the people we are made to be. Ready,set, GO!