Friday, October 21, 2011

continuing the saga of cleaning

You know how some people are really great at cleaning and organizing and list making? They make a detailed list of everything that needs to be cleaned and actually DO IT?

When I start to read those lists (even my own ones that aren't as long) I feel like this. OVERWHELMED.
When I do actually make a list even a really really basic one that doesn't make me feel like that, I tend to forget where I put the list or even if I remember where it is I will forget to look at it.

BUT this is the first week (probably ever) where I've actually made a plan for cleaning and house things and actually did it all!
So, for any of you creative types like me who have a hard time being consistent and keeping up with those little cleaning things (that really are easier if we keep on top of) perhaps my new strategy will help you too.

Rather than having a list I thought up some things for each day that will help me remember what to do. The first day MONDAY is just sort of to get caught back up over the weekend. I couldn't really find a picture that fit perfectly, but I call this one "the bad weekend"... and what do you do on Monday?

It's "Make up Monday" ... which almost always means (for me) doing something extra in the kitchen. All the dishes that I didn't keep up with or all the bags of stuff that I didn't unpack from an outing. Essentially, it's anything that you need to clean up that you didn't get around to... it could be the little things you haven't done in forever (like wiping out the fridge or microwave) or it could be something else. Note: whatever you do it's not to do EVERYTHING you haven't done! And do NOT do the things that you've already planned for the other days this week. There are other days to do a little more or extras here and there too... so don't kill yourself. Just catch up enough to make you feel like you aren't drowning from the weekend anymore. The point is to at least do one thing. Obviously you can do more if you feel like it, but this plan is all about doing a little bit at a time.
Tuesday is a triplet -- "Toilet, Tub, Trash Tuesday" .. Clean the toilet and tub and empty out all those little trash cans all over the house. This week I hadn't done the toilets in quite a while so I didn't get to the tub, but that's okay! Next week I'll spend more time on the tub and less on the toilets. It's all about a little bit each day NOT about spending a crazy amount of time on ALL the details ALL the time. Find the balance that works for you.
Wednesday is "Water plants Wash Windows Wednesday" I was always forgetting to water my house plants and just barely keeping them alive with how much I watered them. I'm hoping they will actually grow a bit now. And, if I keep up with this I might even let myself get some orchids that I've wanted for so long! Oh, and the "wash windows" part for me includes mirrors, but again it's not about doing ALL and EVERY window and/or mirror. It's about balance and doing the things that need it the most and spending less time on the things that don't. Next week you can give some extra attention to the things that you skimmed over this week.
Thursday is "Dusty Thursday" or "Thirsty Thursday" .. at least that's how I remember to dust. Again, dust the things that need it. The ceiling fan might really need it one week and the bookshelf might need some extra attention another week, or if you have a lot of rooms in your house you can focus on the main room or big dust catchers and then rotate the other rooms. Depending on how dusty things are you might need to do a quick vacuum or sweep as well to pick up the dust bunnies. I like this feeling of flexibility because if I feel like cleaning more then I will and if I only have time for the very basic things like wiping off the piano and TV then so be it. No guilt. Any progress is going to be better then doing nothing!
Friday is "Floors Friday" -- for me this means mopping and vacuuming. This week I vacuumed on Thursday though (because the dusting had gotten backed up and it needed it) so I focused my attention to mopping. I didn't clean the floors upstairs though since it took so long to do the floors down here, but that's all right because next week I can just do a quick mop and spend some more time cleaning the floors upstairs and in the bathrooms.

My every day cleaning is doing dishes and vacuuming and sweeping the main rooms as needed and laundry is done as needed too. I don't like having one laundry day because I can't get it all done in one day as easily as just doing a load a day for a few days in a row as needed. Just remember to fold and put things away right away and it will be easy. I used to have a big laundry day and it would take SO long to fold and put everything away.. like two hours it seemed. NOT anymore! Now that it's spread out I just have to spend 15 or 20 minutes total on laundry for the day.

I've finally gotten myself to the point where I don't think over and over how much I HATE emptying the dishwasher or folding clothes. I've "owned it" and can do these things with virtually no pain now! That's what habits do, they make something that used to take a lot of thought and attention and turn it into second nature and easiness.

Come up with your own catchy phrases to remember what you want to do each day and the habits you want to work into your life!

Here's mine again to give you a starting point..

"Make-up Monday"
"Toilet, Tub, Trash Tuesday"
"Water plants Wash Windows Wednesday"
"Dusty Thursday"
"Floors Friday"

And you will have a SPECTACULAR Saturday and Sunday!

1 comment:

Susan said...

LOVE this - I'm cleaning-phobic and I think having a plan like this would steer me in the right direction. Thank you!