Friday, October 17, 2014

So Fresh and So Clean Clean

I'm sure there are about eleventy billion blog posts with that title since, say, 2001. Make this eleventy (For not being a math person, I'm annoyed to no end when people say "one hundred AND one"; "and" means decimal point, people! Anal much? ;-))

So, anyhoo, cleaning sucks. The only person I can remember encountering who LOVED cleaning was...hmm...Danny Tanner. And he was fictional. Highly doubt Bob Saget's even remotely like that in real life.

So, while my house is far from perfect, I thought I'd share a handful of simple tips that I use to keep the Monster of Filth from overtaking our lives. They definitely also act as a stress reliever.

Invite someone over every two weeks. (Or at least pretend like someone might stop by at some point.) You know that one big whirlwind clean that you do when company's coming? The one that feels a bit like a workout? Y'know, before your MIL (or, in my case, mother) drops by? This is it.

Do it once, then do it again in two weeks (one week if you can; my average us two, and there's nothin' wrong with that). You'll notice that it won't be as huge of a challenge when you do some of the other tips below; it'll get easier. 

Plus, it feels nice to sit back and enjoy the cleanliness (and friendship, of course) at the start of a weekend, which is usually when we have folks over. (I clearly don't subscribe to the "you're my friend, I don't have to clean before you come over" theory. I will, at the very least, pick up and vacuum for you. It's the least I can do!)

Slow and steady wins the race. It sounds contradictory to the last point, but after that one big cleanfest, pick out the chores that you need to complete more regularly. Daily, a couple of times a week, and weekly. 

Maybe you need to dust and vacuum more often (vacuuming is a common thing for us with a toddler dropping food and playing on the floor where cats may be traipsing litter). Maybe your bathroom can use a quick once-over weekly, or more. Stretch these jobs out over the course of a week. Toilet and wipe down of all bathroom surfaces Monday, vacuum Tuesday, etc. Then when it's time for your "company clean," you'll only have some of the deep-cleaning stuff to do.

Do something everyday. I'm not talking about the fact that my grandmother mopped her floors daily. True story! I'm saying that you can pick from that list and, depending on your mood and energy level that day, do ONE thing.

Mind you, this could include smaller, regular stuff like putting dishes away or folding a load of laundry all the way up to Old Englishing (totally a word) the woodwork or touch-up painting. Simple and small or big project, it all counts. Which leads me to...

Get into the habit of picking up. Every night when Hadley's in bed, we attack the main living area. Some days he hardly touches the toys, but most days (and especially on weekends or during the summer), the place looks like a tornado hit.

So, we pick up. Our stuff, his stuff, whatever. It really only takes about five minutes, and it makes a huge difference when we come down the stairs, bleary-eyed, the next morning to a relatively neat house. Don't get me started on cat toys, though. Those, I like to leave out for our boys' mental stimulation, so I really only pick them up if company's company. Is that weird?

Find what works with you and stick with it. Some people prefer doing all the dusting in their entire house at one time, then doing another chore the next day. Others like getting one room done at a time, even if it involves dragging out the vacuum and all the supplies needed to clean it each day for each room. I usually do it the first way, but I can swing both ways. I'm hip like that.

And there's no right or wrong way. Seriously, whatever you're comfortable with, just do it. It's kind of like how I budget. I know it's not the way a lot of people would be comfortable handling money, but it works for me.

I'll admit that I fail sometimes. I'm sure we all do. My biggest fault is that I have several stacks of bills to file...I don't even know WHERE they're going to be filed, but they need to get there. Stat. So, that's clearly a goal of mine moving forward (which helps with the new budget plan, too, to have everything neat, orderly, and purdy-lookin').

Another goal I've got is to get the little guy involved more. He's at an age where he will "dust" if you give him a rag or attempts to "sweep" with his tiny broom, so while I may pine for the days that he'll listen to me and pick up at least 10% of his toys (I've got high hopes for small feats), having him get involved and realize that we want to live in a clean environment is key. Oh, and we already know he loves the vacuum -- or, at least, its attachments -- so that's totally going to be his teenaged job one day. Sorry, kid, you showed clear interest at an early age. Backed yourself into a corner on that one! ;-)

So, what're your cleaning tips? Do you have any goals you'd like to make publicly to clean something more or in a more efficient way? Go ahead! We won't make fun of you if it doesn't happen. Promise!

{Or feel free to share your least favorite chore!}

1 comment:

  1. I totally suck at cleaning. Hello kitchen full of dishes, I'm looking at you! If only the dishwasher would empty itself it would be so much easier! :-)

    Let's see... cleaning tips... Well, I did find that when I had a cat with a urinary problem who would pee on anything left out on the floor, I got much better about picking up after myself! Apparently I respond well to threats - especially when I know they're not idle ones!

    And I realize this totally goes against the whole frugal minimalist thing, but I discovered that vacuuming became much less horrible once I bought a cordless upright. I kept the heavy canister vacuum with all the attachments and super power stuff (you know, the one that's like wrestling an octopus), and I use it every few weeks to get into the corners and all that good stuff, but between times I whip out my handy dandy cordless model and give the house a quick once over. It's super light and there's nothing to trip over, plus it has the added advantage that the battery only lasts about 15 minutes so I'm not tempted to get all perfectionistic about it, which makes me dread it significantly less.

    On that note, I'm gonna go do the dishes before I go to bed!