I clean daily (almost), but I think I am not good at because my house never really looks deep down clean. I want it too. It seems overwhelming and then those are the days I do not clean. Then there are the days I fight with the kids about cleaning because I have a rule “If I am cleaning, you are cleaning”. It's my golden rule.
I needed a new plan and I was feeling this more and more as I read about others. I follow “Legacy Of Home” She is probably the worlds greatest house wife, or so it seems. I want to not hate keeping my house clean and I want to not have mess to hate. I also subscribe to BBC homeschool board where some of the Ladies mention “Fly Lady” now and then.
Feeling the pressure of our impending move, especially since Grandma and Aunty Claus have been renting this house from Indian housing for over 20 years, and wanting new habits to take to our new home I knew I need something fast. I read Fly Lady, and love the concept but I do not have 31 days. So I scoured her ideas, Legacy of Home posts and real simple.com as well as some random internet googling.
Then I came up with my own schedule incorporating their ideas into my life. Plus I am not one person, I have my wonderful children helping me, so it's me times 2 during the day, and times 3 evenings when Sunny Not is home...Wait did you think I missed a child? No, I didn't but Runner is still moving at the speed of dark. We are working on that though. The best part is, as rooms gradually become cleaner they take less time, yes even in the first week, in fact, the living room by day 2. the kids are also contributing to ideas. Runner suggested that instead of wasting time (ironic eennit?) that we get those magnetic to do lists(OK he wanted an electronic one, I said magnetic) for each of us. That way after the evening chores I can write up who does what for the next day. We are maybe going to buy these on the weekend and start using them for next week.
LIST A (realizing this list will evolve)
*always shine sink after use (drink, teeth, hands etc)
make bed / gather laundry – we have never been bed makers sadly
bathe (wipe down tub when done), get ready
5 min hot spots *front door *coffee table * stairs *pantry *anything I choose in place of one of these
15 min *kitchen *living room *office *down stairs bathroom
15 min break / recess
15 min tidy up (Monday collect library books)
chore hand outs *wipe down a bathroom *sweep floors *dishes *wipe down kitchen
10 min tidy up *living room *office *hallway *put Indy to bed (it involves tidying him up)
chore hand outs *sweep and mop * spit and shine (all shiny surfaces) *clean under couch cushions *anything I choose
5 min hot spots *water cooler area *front door *side tables / TV *stairs *under coffee table *anything I choose
Took a while, the kids got into the “move at top speed” statement and ran around calling out “zoom zoom” especially to Runner who doesn't understand the word fast.
There was some yelling and disagreements over what is considered proper in relation to certain things. De-cluttering doesn't mean toss all your siblings things. (S.W, tried this and then spent his recess putting it all back).
There was some whining
some rooms are getting cleaner, faster. I can't believe there is a difference today! The living room did not take 15 min so the kids moved onto the office while I scrubbed the bathtub.
I have socks! Yes the laundry made it upstairs and there were a few socks.
I am hoping this improves daily and that one day I see all the socks I buy Indy every month.
We should by stocks in bleach and vinegar (we re going through more of this)
I finished dishes in time today to clean the microwave. Then I remembered hearing about putting a bowl of water in it and nuking it for a few min. I did this and scrubbed for a few seconds, no difference. Then I thought 'maybe I just need to wipe it' so I grabbed a rag and wiped it out. Clean in no time.
It was hump day. We were lighter on our cleaning and missed one of them. The house did not fall apart though. This is a good thing because it means that if I work all day on Sunday and no one follows my schedule in my absence, we will survive. It also means that on days when we a re out and about,the house will survive. My dad took us out for lunch and to look at coffee tables. So we missed our afternoon clean. We did however make sure things were tidy before we left.
I can't believe it, I was so proud of my kitchen work (my first chore of the morning) that I created a poem as I worked. You can read about it on my blog here. Things are coming along well. We have de-cluttered the main living areas
I enjoyed cleaning my kitchen. I will need to re-vamp the schedule next week since there are many areas that do not need 15 minutes to clean. We have started de-cluttering the office (everyone's favorite dumping ground). I can see light at the end of the tunnel. Of course I have not faced the basement but since we are getting a dumpster to do major purge of all the stored items and boxes, I may not have too. DH and kids can de-clutter that while I de-clutter the bedrooms and their closets. Beds were not made.
Still enjoying cleaning. I got my spice rack shined up as well. I am feeling proud. I was out all afternoon with some of the kids, and then to work. So only morning chores are done. And I forgot my bed again and the kids. I need to re-think how this fits in. It will be the next weeks goal. Sinks are good, beds next. The kids have lost their zoom zoom. I need to fix this.
I slept in (as planned with DH) for 1 ½ hours. Then I got up, got ready for work and did the kitchen right away. I set the chores for the kids and went off to work. They did not follow my schedule, or do as asked. Problem: DH didn't have them do it. He is a chore slacker. I worked late and so didn't get more done after work as I had hoped. I have noticed that the edges, around furniture need attention.
My kitchen is done and ready to pack. I just want to stand in it and look at it. I am hopeful and excited to know that when I move I can have a kitchen people can sit in and have a tea or hot chocolate together in. I will be keeping my eye on 2nd hand store and kijiji for a small table and two chairs for just this purpose.
Day 9 – assessment of the week (well a week and a bit)
Having thought about how the weekend went I may need a weekday and weekend schedule. I am thinking of assigning main rooms. I also need the other adults on board. This is my biggest problem. I need the kids to work with me because I do not have time to clean the whole house, school them, work and spend some fun time with them. So that is why I have always had the rule “when I clean, you clean.” The problem is, the other adults don't. Grandma Claus can't do most chores, but can do some, and sort of does. Aunty and DH need to do more, and need to do them better. I want a family cleaning time in the evening, when we'll work together. I have mentioned I want this at the new house. I think I want it now so that we can institute some habits before we leave.
I have issues sticking to schedules. I like the cleaning and de-cluttering. And my kitchen does not take long to clean now. I could train a kid to take it over. However it feels like my baby and I do not want it mishandled :)
The other rooms are clearing out some de-clutter areas (the office is getting more space in it) but they are not getting overall cleaner. I am thinking of assigning rooms for morning chores and making afternoons and evenings hot spots, room rescues, and bedrooms. Beds were a forgotten issue. If people have time to clean their bedrooms beds can get done. They won't be done in the morning though. I will try for now and then reassess, again. I also think that I need to take a room for a week each and get it into shape as I did the kitchen. I guess my worry is this; Can I enjoy cleaning another room the same? Ridiculous I know but it is how I feel.
So another week, another crack at it, some modifications and we will see how it goes.