Saturday, September 7, 2013

Housework... not cooking today

School is back in here, for which I'm so grateful and I am getting back into a routine.  I have to say that after many years I think I have finally gotten the hang of this housework thing (as long as I don't get sick of course)....

Let's be real, most of us don't enjoy housework.  Yes, we all enjoy a clean house and peace but we hate doing the actual work.  Now, I know there are a few of you that like cleaning but I don't really.  I like seeing that the work is done, and that I have crossed stuff of my list but there are a million things I would rather be doing.  Sewing, reading, knitting, writing something, vegging out and doing nothing.  Those things can't  happen though unless the house is clean.  I have a hard time relaxing in a mess.

I have tried all sorts of systems and of course none worked exactly for me.  I read a book years ago (really I think it may have been when my teen was a baby) that talked about my specific problem, perhaps it is your problem too....

You start cleaning up your living room, and see the glass that needs to go to the kitchen so you take it to the kitchen where you see crumbs on the table.  You set down the glass and wipe off the table, except now the floor is dirty (you know you dropped those crumbs), you go to the laundry room to get the broom and you see that there is a load of wash that you need to fold.  You fold it and go to the upstairs to put it away and realize that the room is messy.  The cycle continues and you realize that you haven't ever managed to finish cleaning anything.  The house is still a mess and you have been running all day long.  You throw up your hands in frustration and go eat bonbons....

Okay, so the bon bons part is not real.  At least not for me....  I will admit to being reduced to tears by frustration at the never ending part of housework.  I try to remind myself that everything I do is important but sometimes it gets overwhelming.  I know it and you know it.

The important thing is to find a system that works for YOU, what works for me may not work for you.  Keep trying till you figure out what that is...  I have found a lot of help from and definitely recommend it if you are looking for a system.  I will tell you what works for me though, and hopefully it helps someone.

First of all, I try to pick up as I go, and get the kids and husband to do this too.  It doesn't always work but I try.  Then I have a different focus each day, that is the room that gets deep cleaned that day.  The other rooms get a cursory clean. 

Daily - I wipe off the counters, make sure the dishes get loaded in the dishwasher (although if I get it emptied in morning the girls are responsible for loading their own dishes).  I also sweep and vacuum every other day (or the girls do if it is their assigned chore) because of the pets.  I retuck the slipcovers on the couches, and clear off any hotspots (you know where ever papers get tossed).  If I do this in the morning and again at night my house stays fairly tidy.  I also try to start a load of laundry before bed and then I put it in the dryer as soon as I get up, then fold when it's done. The girls are also responsible for taking their laundry up and putting it away.  I also look around and if I see something that needs to be done I do it.  I walk through the girls rooms checking for anything that I can pick up quickly and easily (which is usually a discarded shirt or something), and walk through their bathroom as well.  They do a fairly good job keeping their stuff picked up now since they are all bigger but I still give each room a cursory check each day.

Monday - I clean the kitchen in detail.  I start at the top (the light fixture) and work my way down. I wipe off cabinet fronts, put a dish with vinegar and water in the microwave and turn it on for 2 min to loosen up the junk, I pull the burner covers and throw them in the sink to soak.  Then I wipe down the inside of the microwave, wipe off the counters, wipe out the sink.  I load the dishwasher with whatever is laying around to include the drip pan from the coffee pot and the toaster.  I clean the burner covers and put them back on the stove.  Then I sweep and steam mop.  Once a month I try to remember to pull out the stove and fridge but that doesn't always happen.

Tuesday - I clean up the living rooms.  That includes three rooms in this new house, the living room, the craft room and the game room.  I dust the blinds, pictures, knick knacks whatever.  I clear off surfaces and wipe them down.  I dust the TV, the computer and the keyboard.  I wipe off the game room table.  Then I make sure the movies are all put away and I vacuum (the girls do most of the vacuuming so on Tuesday I make sure to do it well, I move furniture to get all the nooks and crannies).

Wednesday - I do the bathrooms.  I squirt cleaner in the toilet and close the lid.  Then I clean my mirror, clear off the counter top, wipe it down.  I wipe out the sink and dust any knicknacks in the bathroom.  Then I clean the outside of the toilet.  Finally I use the scrub brush.  Then I wipe out the shower and tubs in the two rooms that have them and hit the floors.

Thursday - this is the bedroom day.  The girls strip their sheets before school (or that's the plan anyway... doesn't always happen).  I do my sheets Thursday as well.  I dust as needed and vacuum.  The girls try to pick up their rooms each night and if they do I will vacuum for them.  Otherwise they do it on the weekends.

Friday - Car and Purse clean out day...  I get whatever junk has accumulated in the car and bring it in.  I throw out the trash and empty my purse.  I also try to hit any hot spots in the house that need it on Friday.  My goal is to have the house clean for the weekend so other than just picking up whatever we get out there isn't any real cleaning on the weekends.

This is our system.  It's not perfect, it doesn't always work either.  Sometimes it piles up, or I get too busy or the girls do.  This is my guideline though and what I try to do.  I will say that as long as everyone is putting out what they get away this system works very well.  When I follow this system my house tends to stay clean enough for company and we are all calmer. 

So tell me what is your secret to a clean house?

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love you. This is the direction I need! Flylady is sometimes over whelming. Will have to wait till leg is better though.