A friend recently asked me about how I keep things organized over here at the Spencer home, and I will tell the truth my organization has been developing over the past six years. When my eldest sister, who has always been older and wiser and better than everything than me, asked me for my cleaning secrets, I realized that maybe I have a gift for organized and planned cleaning. Maybe, just maybe, my 15 months as an administrative assistant and year of janitor student work combined to make me the ideal house keeper. Maybe I am going a bit to far with this…
I am a little bit surprised that people are asking me these things, especially when my perfectionist tendencies tell me that I am never cleaning well enough. I guess I can get a little obsessive at times with cleaning, and I have only dusted my ceilings once in the past 16 months, so I am definitely not at the Monk level of cleaning. But I do strive to have my house as clean as one of my good friends in Buffalo. My friend N had a spotless house even after having twins for her fifth and sixth child. I have yet to see her new, larger house, but I can guarantee you that it is clean. She inspired me to vacuum more than once a month, but I realized that the only way I could keep my house clean and do everything else I need to do to be a good mom of little ones was to make physical a list.
My list and checklist began during my nesting before the birth of my third child. I realized that my recovery from having baby was harder when the house slowly became dirtier and dirtier. If I made a checklist than when my parents, mother-in-law, and husband wanted to help me out, they would know exactly what needed to be done that week. It worked great!
The only problem was that I never got around to printing them off every month after the first couple of months. So this week I implemented a new plan:
|To the left is the cleaning list. To the right is my semester schedule.
I need to add “wipe fingerprints off the refrigerator” to the list.
I printed off my checklist, stuck it in one of these handy self-sealing laminating pouches, stuck some magnets on the corners, and voila! I have a dry erase cleaning check list on my refrigerator and impossible to ignore! I have it divided into daily, weekly, monthly, and do-as-needed lists. I would say the weekly cleaning takes about 4 hours total a week. The daily keeping up I do not time. And my husband does a fair share of the cleaning himself (laundry, bathrooms, trash, and dishes–what a great guy!). Basically when I have a free half an hour to clean I look at my list, pick something on it, and do it! I manage to get most weekly things done, and sometimes all the monthly things. And really the only person who notices it me.
The list is not exhaustible; I could probably add a lot more things to it, but if you follow my basic rules for keeping a house orderly you might not need them:
1) Clean it before it looks dirty.
2) Get rid of it before you have too much stuff.
I hope this is helpful for somebody and was not just an amusing exercise for myself.
I am linking up with Gina at Someday (Hopefully) They’ll Be Saints and her link up Embrace the Ordinary.