Friday, November 19, 2010

Random Acts of Cleaning

In the beginning of September I implemented a Chore Chart, it has failed miserably. In theory it worked well...I would clean certain rooms on certain days of the week so that the housework wouldn't get overwhelming and laundry wouldn't pile up. A little each day sounded so much easier than trying to find large chunks of time to speed clean the entire house while the kids were entertained elsewhere (which was very unlikely to happen.) I decided some jobs needed to be done every day like kitchen, dishes, living room, toy pick up etc. And then I designated days for dusting, vacuuming, laundry, bathrooms, bedrooms, etc. On paper it was a good plan, great in fact!! But, it only lasted a week.

The first 2 days I cleaned the kitchen and living room and then moved on to the designated chores for those days. I cleaned for a couple of hours while the boys were at school and the baby napped in the am and then for awhile after everyone went to bed. On the third day Vincenzo didn't have school and followed me around while I tried cleaning, then I had to run errands outside of the house that had been neglected. I still cleaned up the dishes, toys and threw in a load of laundry, but the rest of the list was a washout for the day. On Day 4, I quickly realized that if you skip one day you have even more work on the list for the next. So basically I finished the laundry piles from the day before and moved on the the never ending dishes and eventually got around to throwing toys in bins. I felt great crossing things off the list, but I started skipping around to chores I liked and leaving rooms unfinished because I would start cleaning the boys bedroom and find something that belonged in the living room and then I would start dusting the living room and remember to put clothes in the dryer and before you know it, I was back to my old ways of housekeeping. Which is no plan. Random acts of cleaning.

So the Chore Chart went by the way of the laundry piles and onward I have gone. I try to speed clean in the mornings and after the kids are in bed at night, but it never looks completely finished. Especially with 3 Tornadoes trailing behind me. There is always one more pile, backpack, shoe, dish, something left behind. I feel like there must be an organized way to get things done. I used to work outside of my home and I was productive and actually accomplished tasks. I had a plan. I completed projects. Now, I have piles. Piles of things that need to get done and pile of things I wish I could get done. The Wish Pile includes organizing photo albums, writing thank you notes, going through the bill pile, etc. The Musts include: dishes, laundry, toilets. The essentials. I have tried getting the kids involved with helping. They get magnets on the Chore Board for helping clear the table and making their beds etc. It seems to work, they like the magnets, but you have to be really consistent in reminding and rewarding which gets hectic and Princess can reach the magnets now and is obsessed with putting hem in her mouth. So the boys follow after her screaming, "Chocking hazard!!!!"

I accept that housekeeping is not "my gift" exactly. But, I am hopeful that I can learn ways to fake my way through it a little better! I think since it's holiday time, it wouldn't make sense to overhaul my organization plan (or non plan) because it will go the same way the Chore Chart went. But, for 2011 I am going to put it on the Wish List to make a new plan. One friend suggested the website: It's a great site all about this type of thing. I have read it, but haven't had time to actually try any of the techniques. It's on the Wish List for now.

Basically what I am looking for is: A plan that allows me to have a clean house so that in my rare moments of free time I can relax and not be speeding around moving piles from place to place. A plan that includes being able to actually leave my house now and then to live life, but still maintain an organized house and smooth running schedule. I would love a way to keep dishes and laundry from piling up 3 or more times a day so that I don't have to feel like I am stuck in the Groundhog Day movie and doing the same thing over and over and over. And I would love it if the plan can include a way to figure out how I can spend time cleaning the house and accomplishing projects and THEN have it actually STAY clean for more than 10 minutes. Pretty simple, right?? If anyone has a tried and true suggestion that seems more productive than my Piling System, let me know.

In the meantime I have found some great quotes to comfort and inspire me (taken from

You sometimes see a woman who would have made a Joan of Arc in another century and climate, threshing herself to pieces over all the mean worry of housekeeping. ~Rudyard Kipling

My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint. ~Erma Bombeck

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing. ~Phyllis Diller, Phyllis Diller's Housekeeping Hints, 1966

Housework is something you do that nobody notices until you don't do it. ~Author Unknown

There was no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse. ~Quentin Crisp, The Naked Civil Servant, 1968

A clean house is the sign of a boring person. ~Author Unknown

We labor to make a house a home, then every time we're expecting visitors, we rush to turn it back into a house. ~Robert Brault,

1 comment:

  1. My new plan this year after almost 40 yrs of trying to figure it all out is..
    I set the timer in the kitchen for how long I have to stay in each room,
    the key is not to leave the room until the timer goes off.
    It's not as easy as it sounds LOL. But, it is surprising how much you can get done in one room with a set time. it stopped the leaving the room a million times to do other things.
    Bathroom gets cleaned almost everyday under 5 mins allowed.
    I have it down now to less than 15 mins in each room and that is making the bed, dusting, using the vac and even washing the windows.
    If there is time left u can straighten up the closet or a drawer or two.
    The kitchen gets more time sometimes up to 30 min but that is cleaning the appliances too.
    Laundry was always my biggest problem so now I just throw in a load on my way out for the day. I also don't bring the clothes up from the basement LOL I just put them in rubbermaid bins only my clothes though.
    Of course this is for a family of 2 and 2 dogs and various grandkids visiting.
    Hope you find your plan!