Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday Mommyhood Madness - Cleaning

Before I had kids my house was always spotless. Every surface was cleaned at least once a week. The floors were swept could eat off them. For as long as I can remember, I've always been a neat freak. I don't ever recall my mother having to bug me to clean my room or make my bed. In fact, as I got older, I took on a lot of the cleaning of the rest of the house. When Josh and I moved in together, I'm sure I drove him a little crazy. He always said I had cleaning OCD. I couldn't leave the room with the couch pillows out of place or the bathroom towels hung unevenly.

Then my beautiful babies were born and lets just say that things are not as 'perfect' any more when it comes to house cleaning. I've had to learn to let a lot of things go because there are little ones who require my attention, or because I simply can't keep up with the finger prints on the windows or the crumbs left behind by messy toddlers. Surprisingly, I still have people ask me how I can keep my house so clean. Here's my little secret...its NOT clean...its just NEAT. There IS a difference! I ALWAYS keep my house picked up. I can't stand clutter. That's one thing that has not changed since having kids. Everything has a place and it needs to be in its place come the end of the day. At the end of every day (and usually a couple times during the day) I take 10 minutes and go around the house picking up. That's it. That's my secret. When your house is NEAT, people automatically think its clean.

Now that's not to say that I don't clean. I do. I still spend way too much time doing it. The difference is that now you can't tell. Because as I scrub floors and dust furniture in one room, my two little tornadoes are destroying another room. And then within an hour, the newly cleaned room now has juice spills on the floor, and sticky finger prints all over everything. It's just impossible to keep it clean. I really don't mind used to be very rewarding for me to have a nice clean house. Before I had kids I would spend half a day cleaning the entire house and it would stay nice and clean for a week. However, its a little frustrating now that all my hard work is destroyed almost instantaneously. But, I have a little trick that I've had to adopt for cleaning with kids as well. First of all, I do NOT use my time away from my kids to clean. Nope, sorry, not gonna do it. I clean while my kids are home AND awake. My 'me' time does not involve cleaning. My kids have learned to entertain themselves while I spend an hour or so cleaning every morning. Second of all, I have a cleaning schedule. I have divided my house into 5 areas. Each area gets cleaned once a week - one area for each of the week days. I do everything that needs to be done in that area - dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, windows, scrubbing, etc. And then that's it. It doesn't get touched again (aside from being picked up or cleaning up big messes) until the following week. Each area of my house can be cleaned in 1-2 hours. So, I spend that amount cleaning each day and then that's it...on to bigger and better things. Then come the end of the day, I go around and pick up from the days activities and I'm done. I'm still not saying its easy or that its not a lot of work. It totally is, but this is how I've learned to manage. And boy am I looking forward to the day when I can clean a room and have it stay clean! At least for an hour or so!!!

Anybody else have any cleaning tips???

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