12 November 2010

Making the Most of House Cleaning

Set the task to do a quick clean up & rearrange of the home today. With all the comings and goings lately things are a little disheveled and I am eager to get things back in order to increase my enjoyment of my home, give me a clean slate from which to think and work, and to feel a bit more settled. 2010 has proven to be a most surprising, amazing and challenging year. I am ready to enjoy the sanctity of my home and ease into the holidays.

I'm half tempted to just put up the holiday decorations this week because once Thanksgiving comes things will get busy, especially if there is travel involved. I'm a purist about waiting until after Thanksgiving but I might make an exception this year.

So, what can one do to make house cleaning more enjoyable and less drudgery? Here are four things I am doing to make it less of a drag and it's actually inspiring me too -- which is making me work more quickly and efficiently.

1. Set a timer. Set your kitchen timer for 15 minutes and work without distraction. I try to choose one area to focus on, say a coffee table, a dresser, closet, bathroom countertop or a section of a room that needs to be picked up. I keep it moving and do as much as I can in that time. Then I give myself an earned, timed  five minute break to do something that makes me happy. (See #2) Then once the five minutes is up, I set the timer for 15 minutes and get moving again.

2. Inspire yourself. During my five minutes I allow myself something that feeds and replenishes me. Today I chose to open up Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, by Sarah ban Breathnach and read one day's inspiration from whatever page I opened it up to. I read something really cool and very simple tonight that I am definitely taking action on tomorrow. You could use this five minutes to lift weights, do sit ups, write a quick thank you note, send an email, or whatever will make you happy and brighten your day. I look forward to these five minute breaks and can't wait to earn them. I walk away from my physical work feeling accomplished, inspired, happy and energized.

3. Learn something. I'm just finishing up the last of my BYW class and am looking forward to listening to a podcast from our lovely teacher Holly Becker while I work. Using my cleaning time to listen and learn is another great way to make the time more enjoyable and less painful. There are so many wonderful books on tape you can listen to: self-helps, biographies or even silly romance novels can be very entertaining while you work.

4. Leave the TV off. Trying to do work while watching TV is a big distraction if you are focused on getting your cleaning work done quickly. It can often take two or three times longer to complete tasks with the TV on. It's easy to turn it on and leave it on for long periods of time, which can cause you to loose precious hours you need to get on to other things. If you really think about it there are many things you'd love to be doing that really feed you and inspire you once the work is done. Focus on those good things and speed through the work parts of your day.

Back to work I go. Hope you enjoy your cleaning work a little more today!

photo 1 from Microsoft Clip Art
photo 2 from Amazon.com
photo 3 from Amazon.com
photo 4 from Desktopmart.com


Minnie said...

These are great tips. I especially like the timer idea. I seem to have trouble starting, but maybe I'll quit procrastinating if I know it's just for 15 minutes and then I get a quick break.

lori parkhurst said...

Thanks so much for these tips! I love your blog!

Kar said...

Oh my, how I needed this post! Genius! Thank you!

Michelle said...

What great tips about housecleaning. I'm going to try them. The timer is a really good idea and the 5min break, well that fits into my creative lifestyle perfectly and as for Simple Abundance - what a beautiful, positively inspiring book - I read it each night for 3 years running!
Cheers x

Radish said...

Thanks for the post. This is my last blog look for this day. I am up to my kitchen and the timer. I am starting out with my vacuum packer and my costco goods. Keep blogging.

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