I am one of those nutty buns that loves to clean. Along with that passion comes a few little quirks. One of those is not being able to relax if the room isn’t just how I like it. I only feel this way in my own home. If a room in my house isn’t just the way I like it, I have to clean it. Again let me stress that I like cleaning. I might complain about it sometimes, but I still like doing it.
I wonder if I missed a calling somewhere. Although I will confess that I have been in homes all over the world that were not exactly how I would have kept them, and I’m totally fine with that. I don’t judge. I tend to immerse myself into other people’s domesticity rather than try to force mine onto them.
How do I clean my house?
We used to have this monstrosity of a house. Over 2000 square feet. Okay, it’s not McMansion sized, but it was a big house for just two people that traveled a lot. Thankfully it had an upstairs which was easy for me to ignore for long periods of time. I used to break up the cleaning into segments. There was no way I could clean that beast all in one day. Cleaning spanned a week or so and by the time I finished, it was time to clean again.
In that vein I’m going to tell you, cleaning in segments is always the best way. If you overwhelm yourself in the first hour of cleaning, you’ll never get anything done. You’ll just sit there bemoaning how much there is left to do and just not do it. Never think of it as a whole house to clean. Think of it as one room, or task, at a time.
Some days I find it easier to accomplish cleaning tasks by making a list of everything that needs to be done. This is also broken out into segments. Think of every task you want to get accomplished and add some extras like, organize the junk drawer, or straighten hall closet. I always add one deep cleaning task so that when it comes time to deep clean I am not bombarded with numerous areas that are hiding grunge. Besides, deep cleaning one space in your home can make the difference in how one clean room will stay for a longer period of time. For instance, if you deep clean the floors in a closet and rid it of all the dust bunnies, then every time you open the closet door, the breeze can’t catch a rogue dust bunny and send it frolicking into your master bathroom to roll around.
Making a list can seem like an unnecessary task, but once you get a full picture of what needs to be done, you can start ticking off each job as you finish it. The satisfaction of marking off a completed job is such a great reward! This is also a great way to keep track of your progress and to know how much you have left to do.
My list might look something like this:
Wipe down and disinfect sink
Bleach shower, change soap if needed
Wipe down walls if needed
Restock toiletries if needed
Clean and mop floor
Put down fresh rugs
Make a list like this one for every room in your home. Tell yourself that everything doesn’t have to be finished in one day, but set a deadline for a completely clean house. Give yourself a cut off time for each day. If you have cleaned all day, make sure to find a quitting point in whatever task you’re doing and make yourself a cocktail to celebrate the fact that your house is cleaner today than it was yesterday!
Once every six months I reorganize under the sink, medicine cabinets and the towel shelves. I like to rotate towels so all of them are getting even wear and use. Under the sink can be a catch-all for stuff that gets randomly left behind in the bathroom. I like to check under there occasionally just to make sure it’s not hiding hand soap or first aid that is reaching it’s expiration date.
To those of you reading this that think this might be overkill, you could have a point. My response is simply this; I am a homemaker, and I’ve been managing the upkeep of a home for myself, and now for my family, since I was fifteen years old. It is something I love to do. If cleaning your own house is something you simply can not tolerate, hire a great housekeeper.
There is a grand list of kudos to be applied for a house that stays clean, even if there’s the daily mess on the surface. It just feels good. You might want to try this out in 2015 and let me know your progress and thoughts. I’d love to hear from you!!