I have to confess that I don’t like to clean, but I dislike dirt more than the action of cleaning, so, I clean. Our house is not immaculate but we do maintain it regularly. I, like I assume we all do, have a dream where I won’t ever have to clean. My homemaker duties quickly popped that bubble. This has led me to be a bit more strategic about what I do and own in order to achieve the highest level of success with the least amount of effort. I want to show you my thought process on it, and hopefully help you implement a better process of your own.
Here are some strings tugging us into reality:
- You have to clean. Nothing will let you escape this. A degree of elbow grease is required. However, when you regularly keep your place in order, your elbow doesn’t suffer much.
- Get rid of stuff! The more you have, the more needs to be cleaned. Anything that isn’t useful, let it go, unless you want to let go of your weekends in order to keep your space looking like a magazine cover. I own stuff, but most of it has a purpose other than “being cute.” For decor, I like to hang framed items and use rugs to provide contrast, because their maintenance is low. Throw pillows are good unless they get in the way of using the surface.
- Clear your spaces. Overcrowded cabinets, counters, and tables are usually full of dust and have items that are not used much. Put kitchen appliances and makeup away and your space will automatically look clean.
- Delegate. Team work does make the dream work, and the stress go down. I am a firm believer in helpful hands. If someone uses something, they should collaborate in maintaining it. Many times, people are willing to help but just need direction. Assign to people the chores they don’t mind doing and take turns doing the ones no one likes.
There are two tricks to cleaning: prep work and timers.
- Prep work sounds worse than what it is. It is more of a set up to clean and in the very basic form, it means putting things away after using them. If you are using a cup, when you are done, put it in the dishwasher. Piling dishes will create a chore that you could have avoided. If something spills, clean it up right then and there and throw any affected items in the wash. Stop waiting for later. Cleaning after yourself has to be part of your every day to avoid accumulation of unwanted chores.
- The timer is what helps you get going. This is my inspiration for this post. I remember listening to someone say that if you have chores to do but don’t want to work on them, set up an amount of time and complete as much as you can then. Such great advice to help you start getting stuff done. Another way to see it is that some things only take a few minutes, so you won’t be suffering for long. Unloading the dishwasher is a quick task that might sound burdensome but when given five minutes to complete, seems attainable. You see, a timer mentality shows you the finish line before even starting.
Finally, create some sort of routine. I don’t want to clean during the week nor during the weekend, so I clean the bathroom and sweep/mop the floors on Fridays as a compromise. I am not a person that minds laundry, but having a basket dedicated to darks helps me see immediately if I should do a load and saves me time from having to divide my items.
Since cleaning is not my favorite thing to do, I’d love to hear some of your tips to make it better!