This month my husband will be happy to know that I have chosen to start out my series of 30-day challenges with trying to create better cleaning habits. I started doing some research before the month started so I had an idea what I would hone in on. I could have gone a lot of directions. There were lovely checklists I could have printed out and taped up, but as much as I love lists, and I am not kidding, I really do, I had been down that path and I knew where it ended: with poor trees sacrificing their lives for nothing. I couldn’t be that detailed, and I knew on a daily basis actually taking on a room from beginning to end was more than I could bear. I could have gone down the path of making my own cleaners, or trying those that are better for the environment. I could have gotten some new gadgets and specialty items to get in those tight corners, or polish that counter to a bright shine, or whatever happens when you really scrub flat gray laminate counters.
No, my inspiration actually came from an article I read about a year ago about cleaning. I don’t remember anything it said except that I remember the author suggested setting a timer in each room and only spending 10 minutes. Wait, I do remember something about how this really wasn’t enough time to do a good cleaning but it would do for a quick spot check, but I have tried to block that part out. I did try the 10 minute idea and and I really liked it. I was surprised how much I could get done in that amount of time, and cleaning for 10 minutes is not nearly so intimidating of a goal as “cleaning the living room”. I found that after 10 minutes of cleaning the living room actually looked pretty good. I got excited about this and divided my house into enough rooms, or collections of living areas to cover everything I was responsible for, which, as a mom, was most of the house. Though, being rather idealistic I guess, my kids rooms are not on my list. This is because, of course, the kids are responsible for their own rooms. In reality my 10 minutes there is spent nagging everyone to put away their laundry. I divvied the actual rooms on my list up into five days worth of cleaning, which, on paper, looked like about 30 minutes a day. At first it was great. I had a checklist that was relatively easy to get through, and I was finding that some areas of the house didn’t get very dirty in a week which allowed me to dive into some closets and work on some deeper cleaning in those areas. Fast forward to now, and even the 10 minutes looks like more time than I have. I know it is doable for the most part, but I don’t start. I do have to choose my times wisely, there is no way I will even get 10 minutes if I choose to do it right when the kids get in the door in the afternoon. I am determined to find a way to fit in at least 20 minutes of cleaning during the week and get done 30 minutes a day on the weekends plus any rooms that I missed from earlier in the week if something went wrong.
The other thing I want to take on are some of the projects that I have been putting off. Like that basket of miscellaneous items sitting in my office, all of the artwork in the closet, and that haunted old attic. I want to spend time on each of these over the weekend, and, even though I am cheap, go ahead and buy some items that may help me tackle these issues and keep them from being a future problem.
I will keep track of my progress and let you know how things are going by the end of the week. Hopefully there will be tips and tricks that I learn that might be useful in your struggle against dirt and grime. If you don’t struggle with those things part of me wants to learn from you and part of me honestly doesn’t want to talk to you at all.