My mom is a cleaner – she sees something out of place or some dirt and she deals with it. As I look back I realize she was always moving, doing a little of this, a little of that, but we never really noticed that she was doing these things. She also had a policy that before we did anything on the weekend we cleaned the house – I remember rushing around dusting things because I really wanted to go shopping, eventually I was responsible for the downstairs, although I was able to slack a bit because I was the only one using the downstairs.
You’d think I brought those routines into my adult life, but the opposite seems to be true. I breeze over clutter, I rarely do good deep cleaning. And until recently the kitchen was ALWAYS a disaster. Zach isn’t any better, in fact, I might have learned some of my lazy ways from him. 🙂
When Isaac was born the house became worse. Two adults, one baby and two big dogs – our 1300 square feet seems to always be a disaster…toys, blankets, socks and shoes, cups, dishes, and even random bits of food in the most random of places. I make this sound like my house is a dirty mess and in some ways it is, but it’s definitely not hugely dirty, just not spotless.
My mom always said, don’t go to bed with dishes in the sink, it’s such a better start to the day with a clean kitchen – and it is so true.
Since Zach is student teaching we’ve been eating at home a whole lot more – this means that my tiny kitchen needs to be kept functional, no dishes in the sink or on my two feet of counter space. We’ve been doing a good job of this. We run the dishwasher every night and during lunch (sometimes breakfast), I quickly put all the dishes away. This means that as we use dishes, they can go directly into the dishwasher instead of the sink or counter. It’s amazing how clear and uncluttered I feel with just this tiny space being orderly.
Another area that I’m really bad about is picking up the front room and the TV room. These are Isaac’s main play areas and get so messy. Most of the time I just step over things and move on. At the end of the day I’m exhausted so picking up toys is the least of what I want to do, but you know what? Tonight, as a family, we picked up the whole house in less than 15 minutes (minus the bedrooms). The kitchen is picked up, the dining room is picked up, the living and tv room too! All toys, books, magazines and papers have been returned to the correct place.
15 minutes to bring organization to my life. I think I can spare 15 minutes a day. And, with the house picked up tonight, dusting and the floors won’t take long tomorrow, then the house is clean. Yeah we have the bathrooms too, but Zach’s a bit of a perfectionist with those and it takes him hours, so I might have to wait to work those into the schedule. Baby steps, right?
I’m realizing I always try to do it all and when that wears me out I quit it all. Maybe now that I have the kitchen down, I can add picking up in and eventually it won’t be such a chore to keep a clean house, it’ll just come naturally.