Thursday, September 03, 2009

Mrs. Clean On Strike

I have come to the conclusion that in order to stay sane in home educating this year something has to go. Between a very academic 4th grader, a struggling and difficult 1st grader and a very cute but mobile 10 month old, I feel stretched. Switching from one mode to the next is material for another post.

What goes this clean house! I like to keep my house pretty clean. I have finally accepted that the dirt will have to live along side of us if I am to keep the priorities where they should be.

I am making things easier on myself and hopefully it will all come out in the wash (sorry couldn't resist). My three biggest helpers are above. The cute kid has learned to clean bathrooms this past year and I have learned to accept the nine year old version of clean. She is improving all the time. The other two gadgets are the best! My swiffer vacuum keeps my floors de-crumbed and is easily used by any child...even a 6 year old boy who likes to pretend it's a rocket. The other is a magic cloth mop. Even if I just use water it works "magic". Armed with these three babies I am well on my way to sticking to a decently clean house.

One thing I have changed is my cleaning bucket mentality. I have paper towels and vinegar water spray bottles under every sink in my house. Cleaning takes 5 minutes when everything is right where you need it. The great thing is the kids could drink the cleaner and be fine....though have some nasty burps.

I never used to do paper towels in order to be more green but it is one of those things that had to change. Right now, creating another load of laundry to clean my bathrooms just doesn't appeal to me. With doing cloth diapers I am balancing things out....right? I also have a swiffer vac upstairs so I don't have to carry it up and down. It's handy for use when I need it. I usually would never have two just about killed me to pay $30 for the first one. But when the battery started to die on the old one I moved it upstairs and bought a new one for the bigger downstairs.

The other change to help in this area is a 6 weeks on, one week off schooling schedule. The 7th week will be for major cleaning and organization projects. No matter how organized I am I tend to not maintain it. By 6 weeks it all needs doing again. I plan to have Journey do a novel study that week and fun stuff with Isaac. I am sure Eli will follow me around and try to undo all the order I am creating that week.

I am sticking to cleaning my kitchen, floors, bathrooms and keeping up on the laundry as the weekly priorities. The 7th week will be for deeper stuff like under the kitchen sink where the trash goes....yuck! This doesn't include the meals and general tidy which is daily as well. Being in a small house makes general tidy a must. The kids play room really is the living room so organization of toys is key to survival. I have evolved from scheduling my cleaning to having a list of what needs done in a reasonsable amount of time and doing as the moment presents itself. For example, when Eli is in the bath I can clean the toilet next to him and the counter as well. I have a pattern of swiffering the upstairs hall right after putting my morning load of laundry in the machine. Journey and Isaac also have a chore chart and do many of these task once a week themselves.

So the keys for me this year are:

  • Being organized in each room for the cleaning (paper towels and spray bottles)
  • Staying on top of the laundry (a momentous task for me)
  • Cleaning when the moment presents itself
  • Sticking to the priorities and not getting caught up doing other cleaning (that time is coming)
  • Continue to train my daughter and son in helping around the house.

Just a little picture of the mighty mobile mess maker of the family.

You can't put anything down with out risk and he is a huge threat to my book collection right now :o)


momma's heart said...

I love this post! I am going to link to it when I have time today. My sister-in-law sprung on us that she is coming tomorrow, so I am frantic a bit in getting our home ready for company. I hadn't finished my fall/winter clothing switch and the place is a mess. yikes!

Thank you for this wonderful post.

Anonymous said...

I love this. I remember one of our dear friends say that if you can clean up something do in five minutes, do it! So that gets things done as well. Who doesn't have 5 minutes here and there???