Thursday, February 7, 2013

Conquering The Messies: Part Four

Hey, welcome to part four of Conquering The Messies.   Glad you stuck around! Check here for "part one," here for "'part two," and "part three" if you missed it.

Once you have your home clean and clutter free, you will want to keep it clean. Now is the fun part (o.k., probably not really....but it's all about the attitude, lol!). Now you need to keep it that way.  Seriously, good luck with that and thanks for stopping by!  See you later. Please come again! Love ya!

Maintaining the home is something lots of us struggle with. It can be tough to get in the pickup habit and stay in it.

Deep cleaning will keep your home down-to-the-bone-clean. But it's the maintenance (the surface cleaning and daily to-do's) that will make it look and stay that way.

It's the maintenance that will keep the home running smoothly. Your family may not notice if your floors or bathrooms miss a week of cleaning, but they will notice if they have no clean clothes, clean dishes, or food to eat.

Our floors may be eat-off-the-floor-clean, and the tables may be spit-shined ( there's a concept), but if they are littered with toys or papers and stuff, they will not look clean. I'm not saying that you should only do surface cleaning, however. We really need to do both.

Surface cleaning will make your deep cleaning last a lot longer.

When I first started trying to get my home under control, I set up a schedule. I had one big cleaning day on Friday, and a friend watched my kids. On Thursdays she cleaned and I watched her kids. That worked, and then suddenly, it didn't. So I needed to figure out a new schedule that worked for me.

Find a schedule, a routine, that works for YOU. Some people like to just veg-out during the week and clean, clean, clean on the weekend. Some people would sooner die than clean on the weekend, so they will space it out during the week. Find what works for you.

I recommend starting with a cleaning schedule. To do this, make a list of all the cleaning jobs that you think need to be done around your home. Then put down how often you think each of these need to be done....daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly (or even bi-monthly or seasonally).

Decide how many days a week you want to designate as cleaning days. A little every day?  Two days a week?  Three? For jobs that need to be done once a week: spread them throughout the week on those days. Monthly jobs will be spread throughout the month.

Then put together your weekly schedule.  I recently wrote a post on my "weekly schedule:"

Monday:  Laundry, wash kitchen windows (inside only), 15 min. work on a project
Tuesday:  Straighten pantry and cupboard underneath the sink, water plants, 15 minute project
Wednesday:  Windex mirrors/glass, clean microwave and stovehood, clean out fridge, 15 minute project
Thursday:  Laundry, price book, school and/or menu planning, 15 minute project
Friday:  Mop floors, change sheets, 15 minute project
Saturday:  Bathrooms, Special Projects, sweep hardwoods, 15 minute project

These are just things I try to do every week to keep my home flowing smoothly (I also have a monthly schedule). Some weeks I may not get to it (such as straightening up the pantry), but I know that eventually I will get to it and things will stop falling on my head. You will note that some chores, such as dusting and vacuuming, are not on there. That is because my children do them.

Another great thing to do is to set up a daily schedule. Mine is "here." My cleaning schedule is not broken up into specific time slots, my homeschool schedule is. To do that, you will want to list things you do every day and the times (roughly ) that you do them. List the time you wake up, the time you have your meals, kid's nap times, soccer practice, bathtime, bedtimes, etc. Everything you have a time for. Figure out how much time you should allow for each event. Then you work from there and fit your "daily" schedule around those times. Start at bedtime and work back, that will tell you the time you need to get up in the morning.

When the kids were little we had three pickup times a day...before lunch, before dinner, and before bed. I also had a standing 4:00 p.m. room-check time in which I checked that their rooms were neat and orderly (this was the before dinner toy pickup time). We also established 7:00 p.m. as the time in which we did a pickup of the entire house (that was the final toy pickup).

Establish some "rules" for your home
These are just some examples to give you an idea:

1. Never leave a room empty-handed (always grab something out of place and take it with you).

2. Always put away your grooming supplies (brushes, combs, makeup) when done with them. Hang up your towels. This will keep the bathroom neat.

3. Always hang up your clothes when you're finished wearing them (or put them in the hamper).

4. Always put the toilet lid down (just like a bed that's made can make the whole room look neater, a closed toilet lid can make the bathroom look neater). I can hear you laughing but try it, and let me know what you think!

5. Make your bed every day (would it please you to know that my bed is not made today? Hey, like I said, these are ideas to get you started...right? You may not get them all done every day.)

6. Always close cupboard doors, drawers, closet doors. Straighten up sofa pillows. Put away newspapers and dirty dishes.

7. Before you go to bed at night, straighten the last room that you are in.

8. Do not set something down "just for now" unless it really is just for now.

9. When making a meal, clean as you go. Always put the supplies and ingredients away before sitting down to eat.

10. Clean the kitchen after every meal. Wipe the counters, sweep the floor, run the dishwasher and go enjoy your evening. It is always such a blessing to come into a clean kitchen every morning.

Develop the pickup habit. Teach it to your kids. Learn to pick up after yourself, and do it all day long. By the time bed comes, you will look around and notice that your house is clean, with barely little effort because you have developed the habit.

Stop before you drop!

(Edit: this post is taken from the archives as I am on bed rest due to my bad back flaring up again.  I am in a lot of pain so am borrowing from my archives this week!  I DO have pain pills and will also be going to PT for several weeks which I hope will help!)

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Be sure and come back Monday and link up to the Making Your Home Sing Monday meme!


  1. Maintenance is a daily thing for me but the deep cleaning is the tough part. Your house rules are a great idea!!

    1. Thank you! Having the rules in place helps keep me on top of things. I find deep cleaning much easier because I schedule it. When it's scheduled it's like a little "date" that you have to keep and then I don't keep putting it off, lol!

  2. I have loved this series. I really appreciate it as it has been a motivator for me. I haven't exactly felt like cleaning lately, though I still clean. I guess I have had a tiny bit of an attitude instead of doing these things 'as unto the Lord' I have been 'weary in well doing!!' Yes, I know, I forgot to read the first part of the verse that says NOT!!

    Well, you have a great day and you can sing knowing that I didn't hit the little "X" up in the corner (since I have a slight attitude) and read to the end of your post chock full of ideas and motivation.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! Isn't it funny to think that even cleaning can be done "as unto the Lord?" Because when we serve our family we are serving Him!

      Glad you read to the end, I know it was a long one....whew! It's done! ;)

  3. I love the ten rules! I am messy as my blog name gives away. This series and your comment are both very helpful. Thanks!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! I love your blog name, by the way. It's fun and I enjoyed visiting your blog. Thanks for dropping by!

  4. Nan, I'm sorry that old back is still hurting but this is a good series, worth repeating every so often. For 8 years I had a wonderful lady who came every couple of weeks and cleaned my whole house. It was so easy to keep things nice because she did the heavy stuff and all I had to do was maintain. But since she got very ill back around Thanksgiving it has been harder and harder for me to keep up. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that I also started blogging in November! We just don't have the heart to start all over with a stranger coming in so we'll try to do it ourselves. Both of us are semi-retired but we also have some back and hip issues ourselves. Got to work smarter not harder, at this stage of our lives. Your series has been full of good rules and ideas.

    You take care!

    1. I'm sorry to hear that she is sick. I hope she is doing better.

      Thank you, I had fun writing it. We definitely have to do things a bit differently when we have back problems.

      I am not vacuuming or anything right now, but vacuuming is hard on the back. You have to keep your back straight, etc.

      A friend of mine wears a special back belt to do work around the house. It gives back support and I tried it and it DOES work!

  5. i think it would be much easier for you to just come over to my house and do all this for me. :)

    seriously, i love your common sense practical approach to everything.

    you are some kind of amazing! and we're friends. :)

    1. Awww, thank you sweetie! I'm glad we're friends too and you are some kind of wonderful as well! :)


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