Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Keeping the House Clean With Kids - Day 3: Start Small

A small house is a curse and a blessing. I long for a bigger house, with a room for all of my things, and all of the husband's things, but at least our current house works well with my cleaning game plan: "One room a day keeps the dust bunnies away'".

Even if you have a big house, you can adapt this by cleaning just two rooms, or a room and a hallway a day. This doesn't mean to disregard every other room, still continue to do your most important things- cleaning up after yourself, etc., but if you focus on just one section at a time a week, your house will stay much more orderly and clean.

Here is a sample of my week, to help you figure out what works for you:

Monday Living Room- pick up things, vacuum, and dust picture frames and light fixtures.

Tuesday Kitchen/Dinig Room- make sure counters are wiped off, sweep and mop, quick cabinet wipe down and everything in between.

Wednesday Basement- since Wednesdays are my day off of work, I have the most time to focus on the biggest "problem room", which is my basement. The basement has my craft room and our office, as well as our food storage, so I clean up my crafts from the week, try to reorganize things rotate food if needed, etc.,

Thursday Baby's room & hallway- baby's laundry put away, things vacuumed, picked up, etc.,

Friday Bedroom - Our bedroom gets out of control (and I admit cleaning the other rooms through the week sometimes results in a lot of miscellaneous items being placed into the bedroom) so I spend this day organizing those items, clean the sheets, sweep, and all that other good stuff.

Saturday Bathroom & outdoors- Since the bathroom is the hardest room to clean with our little boy, I wait until dad is home to do this room. He can entertain our son and I can clean up a bit.
The outdoors is also saved for this day because some projects we do together as a couple, and the other things like the vegetable garden, and mowing the lawn, are my husband's projects so he gets those done on his day off.

As you can see, we have a small house but no matter what the size of your living area, it can be overwhelming to try and take it all on at once.  Make it your priority for the day, whether you do it while the baby is sleeping, or while they are with friends, once you have that one room clean, you are free to do anything else and any other errands for that day.  Focusing on one room a day does two important things:

1- It gives you a clear end AKA the escape route You know that if you can just get that ONE room clean that day, you have accomplished your cleaning goals. And it feels really good, and motivates you to do more, and often over achieve!

2-It allows you to be more focused and get done what really needs getting done You know how you really should get down and scrub the kitchen floor but it just seems overwhelming? Well, if you have an entire day, and just one room to clean, scrubbing the floor isn't that hard and doesn't take that long. Scrub the other floors in other rooms another day, today, it's just that room.

Of course, I don't always get everything done as much as I'd like. Although, I wish I could say I did. But most of the time, this plan works for me. Hopefully it works for you too!

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