Saturday, March 10, 2012

Speed Cleaning

I am not the kind of person who enjoys most cleaning jobs.  I enjoy having a clean house, but the process to get there is so...undesirable.  I would rather be sleeping, reading, playing with my kids, going for a walk, sewing, crocheting, getting a cavity filled, getting a paper cut, getting a flu shot, or almost anything, rather than cleaning.  When our family does a deep clean it is tedious and I have a hard time continuing on.  My husband can spend over 2 hours vacuuming every surface (only when we do deep cleans) but my attention vanished much too quickly.  So in order to keep our home from falling into complete and disgusting disarray, I do my own version of speed cleaning.  I don't do the whole house, but I'll say something to myself like,
"Before dinner I am going to fold and put away all the clean laundry on the couch." 
I do this every day so there isn't usually too much on the couch. 
I will also tell myself something like,
"While the kids pick their bedtime story, I'll load the dishwasher (and add detergent and start it) real quick."
Or after I get the kids cleaned up after breakfast and they run off to release their wiggles, "I'll run a load of laundry real quick."
Or when the kids are in bed, before I sit down to watch a movie with my hubby or read or whatever, "I'll wipe the counters down and sweep the floor real quick."

Notice that these seem to end in the words "real quick."  That's because I can one or two fast and easy chores before moving on to something more enjoyable, but taking the time out and saying "Now I will clean the entire house." makes me want to lay down and take a nap. 

If the walls are getting yucky, I start doing something that has to done by an adult (at least while our kids are this young), like clean the toilet, but I'll do it whole the kids are bored and tell them they cannot watch TV.  So they want to help.  I'll dive them the damp, maybe slightly soapy rags and instruct them to clean walls and doorknobs.  my daughter is so eager to please everyone around her so she'll ask me if she did a good job.  I'll tell her yes, then I might say "But you just missed one little spot right there, remember to scrub really hard!"  My son often decides the floors need to be scrubbed and then the doorknobs, so this is a work in progress, but I figure it decreases overall house dirt, so we're moving in the right direction!

Or course, visiting in-laws always get our whole family into speed cleaning mode.  They live four hours away, but usually we only have a 30 minute warning before they come over.  They stay in a hotel, so we don't have to make sleeping preparations at all, but the living room, dining area, kitchen, hall bathroom and kids room all need to be neat and tidy (that's every room in our home except my husbands and my room and our bathroom!  So we have learned the art of slow clutter in our room, load the dishwasher really fast, so a quick wipe down or viable surfaces, including the table, stove top, and counter tops, sweep, floor wipe down (don't know that I would call it "mopping"), and quick vacuum.  Then toilet, mirror and sink wipe down, and make sure there's toilet paper.  Usually that does the trick.  

This is how I get past the mental blocks and distraction to keep our home from falling apart.

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