Tuesday, December 27, 2011

9 steps to a clean house

I hope you had a wonderful Holiday!  I don't know about you but as soon as Christmas is over I am ready to clean and organize and throw a bunch of stuff away.  I really wanted to get started on cleaning projects the day after Christmas but got sick instead and spent the last few days in bed.

Today I was feeling better and decided to get cleaning but was totally overwhelmed by the trashed house.  A few days of no cleaning plus Christmas mess is a HUGE mess!  So I thought I'd share what I do when I don't feel like cleaning and feel overwhelmed and unmotivated.

1. Make a List.  I know a lot of people like housecleaning schedules and that works for them.  I HATE having schedules.  I have the type of personality that hates to be told what to do even if I made the schedule.  The schedule makes me feel trapped and annoyed.  Weird right?  I like to make a list the night before of the stuff that needs to be done.  What is annoying you the most?  That should be the first thing on your list.

2.  Put on your shoes.  This is especially helpful if you are only motivated to stay in bed and watch Pride and Prejudice the whole day.  It’s really hard to be comfy in your bed in your tennis shoes.

3.  Gather all the supplies together.  Once you decide you are going to clean you want to get to it!  The goal is to clean fast so you can move on to fun things like glittering or sewing.  I get a garbage bag, vacuum and have a bucket with cleaning supplies and clean rags.

4.  Put some happy music on.  I like cleaning to dance music.  Somehow that makes it feel fun.  Well as fun as cleaning can feel.

5.  Start with your least favorite chore.  What room are you dreading?  That is the one to start with. Tackling the biggest mess when you have lots of energy and getting it out of the way will motivate you to keep going.

6.  Do one room at a time.  I usually start with my master bedroom.  I appreciate a clean room more than my kids and it’s much easier to get your kids to clean their room if they see you cleaning yours.   If you clean room by room you will see more progress than if you just clean a little in every room.

7.  Set a timer.  I find a timer really helpful especially on days I don’t feel like doing anything or am totally overwhelmed.  10 or 15 minutes makes a HUGE difference even in a totally trashed playroom or kitchen.   Plus it is easy to find the motivation to do something for “just” 10 minutes and once you start you can usually find the motivation to finish the whole room.

8.  Have a cleaning party!  Make cleaning a family job, not just a Mom job.   My kids have chores they have to do everyday and I made really detailed cleaning charts so they know exactly what needs to be done. We have a cleaning party once a week usually on Sunday nights.  It takes about 2 hours and everyone chips in and helps.  Then Monday our house is ready for a new week.  A Sunday night cleaning party has made me a much happier Mom.

9.  Stop cleaning!  I have four pretty messy kids.  I could clean all day and still find messes and organizing projects to do.  So you have to decide when you are finished and STOP.  Relax and give yourself breaks.  I usually do all my cleaning in the morning and then am done for the day.  I still do dishes and pick up here and there but really try to relax and have fun.  It’s much easier to find the motivation to clean when you don’t have to clean all the time.
Now go clean something!