I’ve had two days of implementing my cleaning schedule, and I’ve been mostly successful. My plan of doing one or two of my weekly cleaning tasks a day is still in the experimental stage. I’m going to see it through and give it a few weeks. I really can’t make my final judgement on the past two days. There are some pros and cons to this plan. Pro: my house will actually get a thorough cleaning each week. Con: it won’t all be clean at the same time. There’s something about having a newly cleaned house (even though it only lasts for about 5 minutes with four kids), that I just don’t think I’ll be able to replicate if I’m cleaning it little-by-little. Pro: I might actually dust more than once a month (truthfully, it’s less often than that — have I mentioned I really hate dusting?). Con: I’m feeling a lot of pressure from that list hanging on my refrigerator (see previous post). I actually skipped my run today in order to vacuum — WHAT?! Jury’s still out. I’ll keep you posted.
While I’m spending so much time thinking about cleaning this week, I put together a list of tips I gleaned from various sources that I use (or try to use) to keep my home clean in-between cleanings.
1) Make your bed everyday - I’m sure you’ve heard this before, and not just from your mother. It’s been said that the bed takes up 50 – 80% of the space in your bedroom. It only takes a few minutes and your room is 50 – 80% clean!
2) Keep your sink clean – This is a big one for me. I feel like the kitchen sink is to the kitchen, as the bed is to the bedroom (anyone remember practicing analogies for the SAT?) When my sink isn’t cleared of dishes, it feels like the entire room is a mess. It’s only one more step to rinse it and put it in the dishwasher (trying really hard to teach this to my kids and husband — any suggestions?)
3) Practice what Marcia Ramsland calls the “Two Minute Pick-up” – Every time you leave a room or desk, take 2 minutes to quickly put things away. I was just introduced to this suggestion, so it’s not a habit for me yet. When I remember to do this, I notice I’m saving time by not having to go back and pick up later.
4) Keep your counters clear — I have a tendency to drop my purse/keys/mail/anything else in my hands, on the first flat surface, which happens to me my kitchen counter. It drives my husband crazy! I’m learning that if I just take a few extra steps and hang my jacket on the coat rack, or my keys on the hook, quickly sort through the mail, etc. . .my counters look lovely, I don’t have to spend 30 minutes cleaning it off later, and my husband is happy!
5) Just do it now — I’m retraining myself here. It’s so tempting to set things down and think “I’ll deal with it later.” If I just do it now — do those dishes, pick those cheerios up off the floor, clean out the coffee maker — it’s one less thing to do later. It saves a lot of time if I don’t have to go back and clean up after myself all over the house.
It is work. Keeping things clean does require that I don’t sit around watching soaps all day. I try to keep in mind that in “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,” (Colossians 3:23). Even though working in the house may seem menial, it’s where God has placed me now and I plan to give it my all.