Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Whiz Cleaning Wednesday

I've decided to try a kind of experiment. It's so easy to get bogged down with housework and chores, and I know that some women just want to scream all the time because it just doesn't seem like it's ever done. In fact, some women totally work themselves to the bone trying to make sure that their house is spotless.

Just a disclaimer: I am not a spotless house kind of person. I used to be, when I was in high school and my first year of college. But I soon realized that when you're sharing a living space with others you only have three options: 1. Clean up after everyone  2. Be the crazy witch lady who yells at everyone all the time  3. Loosen up and live

I decided on option three. And it's suited me well so far. Of course, things tend to get behind a lot easier because of this attitude. And that's why I'm experimenting with a new plan.

This week the experiment was to clean like a mad person for 3 hours, one day a week. Just imagine that you JUST found out that someone (preferably someone that you want to impress with your beautiful house) is coming over. In three hours. This plan should be fairly easy to maintain- given that my child isn't colicky. Basically, it's just necessary to remember to give yourself forgiveness if you can't get in all 3 hours every single week. You will probably make it up some other week.

So, yesterday at 12:30 I began. I took pictures... and I'm a little ashamed to share them, but I will, for the experiment's sake.

Living Room Before

Living Room After
This was really just a matter of picking up a couple things and hanging a stocking. No big. Took about 2 minutes.

Breakfast Nook Before

Breakfast Nook After

It doesn't look like it, but this part probably took the longest. After the baby shower on Saturday, we had so much stuff! And I didn't want to just move this to the baby's room for look's sake. So all the bags that are gone from the floor had their contents removed and put away. It took me about 45 minutes before I finally decided I had to move on.

Kitchen Counter Before

Kitchen Counter After
Kitchen Sink Before

Kitchen Sink After
The kitchen. Oh the kitchen.

I got the counter cleaned off pretty quickly and then went to work on the sink. I couldn't fit all the dishes in the dishwasher... because I hadn't done dishes in so long. I'm bad. So I did what I could, then rinsed out the rest so that when I emptied the dishwasher I could just throw them in. At least that looks respectable. And it doesn't smell bad.

My Office Before

My Office After?
Didn't really do a whole lot with this. I just couldn't get to it. Which is a crying shame because it looks awful. If you'll notice, though, I felt bad for my office, so I did take the brown paper bag full of hangers and put it away and I threw away a plastic filing cabinet that was broken. Go me!

Master Bedroom Before (yes, there are clothes in that bassinet)

Master Bedroom after
Yes, I am ashamed that we had piled clothes into the baby's bassinet. It's so "Hoarders" of us. But can I just say that my husband did it? Also, they were clean clothes. So at least we have that going for us.

Laundry Basket Before

Laundry Basket After
Will the shame never end??? Now, not all of that laundry is done, mind you, but I did get three loads dried and folded. And all the dirty clothes are where they belong- in the laundry room. Where I can keep people out.

I would say that that's a pretty successful 3 hours. Especially for a very pregnant woman.

The other great thing about giving yourself a time limit on cleaning is that you tend to prioritize what needs to be done and when. You begin to combine trips up and down the stairs with missions to do other things. It really does help get a lot more done in a lot less time.

Am I suggesting that three hours a week alone is enough to keep a house sparkling clean? No. I will be trying to mostly keep the dishes washed and things picked up a little better than they were so that I can keep moving forward. But I don't see a need for mothers to guilt trip themselves over not deep cleaning every day. I am hoping that with this plan I can have a decent place for my child to live as well as a decent life outside of cleaning.

Do you have a clean regiment? What has worked for you in the past?

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