27 October 2014

Now Is My Time #41: To Find A Cleaning Routine

Well I have two major items left on my list of things I wanted to accomplish this year and I am working on those with diligence. Somehow in the midst of that and a very busy few weeks I found myself finding a house cleaning system that is working for me.

The fact that it works best for my family is really what has inspired it to happen. I started cleaning the house on Fridays and I absolutely love going into the weekend with a clean house.

Here's an even better perk! I have noticed that when the house looks really great Friday when everyone comes home and again Saturday morning when they wake up, everyone feels inspired to clean up after themselves more all weekend.

But wait, I can even top that fabulous benefit. I have been seeing people cleaning up their own areas that needed a little deep clean or reorganizing too. Every weekend I notice an area in family members' spaces that has been tidied up. Tidiness inspires more tidiness...and I didn't have to ask, beg or nag. It's just happening. Can I get a "Praise The Lord! Hallelujah! Amen!" on that?

 After doing it for a few weeks, I also learned that now that I'm in a routine and have a dedicated schedule, all the cleaning is much easier because it's getting done more frequently. Plus having created a system that works I can blow through tasks pretty quickly. So now it's just a quick clean instead of needing to deep clean anything that may have been ignored a little too long - like the wall length closet mirrors.

One of the things I have become really diligent about is deep vacuuming the carpets. This means I basically vacuum over every space three, or four or more times. The first time I did this The Man asked if I'd had the carpets cleaned when he came home that night.

We have a fantastic, very tiny little vacuum with a hepa filter. When I go over the main walkways repeatedly for a few minutes it really makes a big difference in how clean the carpet looks. It's scary how much junk I empty out of the filter that gets sucked up out of the floors that you can't even see or feel. I love how much happier I feel with the carpets.

The apartment also stays cleaner over the weekend because no one wants to mess up our pretty house. This is great during the time when we are most at home. During the week the days are busy and we are all coming and going. So we're not here that much to mess things up. Weekday cleaning is mostly just clutter things that get dropped somewhere when tired people come home and then there are dinner dishes that have to be taken care of.

Keeping the house cleaner on the weekends pours right into the week, as we start off with a nice, tidy place. Starting the week off on a strong note, instead of having a house that feels wrecked from the weekend's activities feels a lot better. Since it's already looking good, again we start out on a great footnote to keep it going.

Another thing that has revolutionized life here is trying to run the dishwasher at the end of the day. Then it's The Bug's job to empty it in the morning before school. It doesn't work out every day because we don't fill the dishwasher every day, but usually do. Having her take on that chore, with a very little help from me to put things away on high shelves has had a huge impact.

Now the dishwasher is ready to go first thing so any dirty dish gets put right in. The kitchen stays much, much cleaner this way. So the counters stay tidier and no dishes pile up during the day. Tidy kitchen all day.

Then after dinner we put the last few dishes in, wash any dirty pots and knives and we are done for the day and ready to turn the dishwasher on. This system is working so well for us and had made keeping the kitchen clean so much easier and less frustrating. Having help getting that dishwasher emptied first thing in the morning means it's one less chore on my task list. Hooray!

I am also really happy that we are in a good routine with The Bug making her bed every morning. That took a while, but over the weekend I noticed a dramatic improvement in how great the bed looked. I've kind of been settling for just getting the bed made rather than a lot of quality control. I'm glad I did, I think she has the hand of it now!

It's nice to walk into her room and see the bed made right from the start of the day. There's something so utterly depressing to me about an unmade bed when one walks into their bedroom. I know everyone has differing feelings on this one, but it's really hard for me to feel positive about life in a room with an unmade bed. I like to air the bed out for a few minutes and then get that baby made up real purdy right away.

When I was a little kid and had to clean a messy bedroom I learned quickly that if you make the bed first, because it's the major thing in the room, it makes the entire space look significantly cleaner immediately. Plus it give you a feeling of accomplishment that is very visible. Then there are just small, bite-sized areas to clean after that. Much more doable.

It's amazing how you can find ways to revolutionize your family life and get such amazing results that you never imagined even after you've been together for a while. I guess that's why they say life is a journey. Always great things to learn and discover that can make life better.

I'm loving living in a tidier house and seeing all the fringe benefits I didn't expect. I think my family loves it too and that is the best benefit of all. I'm happy that Now Is My Time to find a way to keep a cleaning routine that works for me. Now I have more time and energy to focus on my goals and the people in my life. That's a win!

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