Monday, 23 February 2009

(Argh) Cleaning

I am a tidier. It drives me up the wall if there are toys and clothing and random items strewn across my floors. I like the pillows on the couch and the blankets folded. I like the bed made and the towels picked up. I can't stand a pile of dishes. I have to clean off the counter before starting to cook.

I am not a cleaner. I know there have been expanses of time that have lapsed without the vacuum making an appearance. I have lost the duster too many times to count. Thank goodness I use the bathroom so often so that I see the grime and get to that semi-regularly.

I married a cleaner (James) and so there is a bit of a silver lining. I tidy every day, but when James is going to clean, he really gets down to it. Roll up the sleeves, don the rubber gloves, bring out all our (natural) cleaning solutions and scrub till the place shines.

But I know I need to be better at this. Our company keeps James so busy he doesn't have the time to do his clean fests, and so it lies with me. Probably that's where it should lie, since I am the one at home. (But I often remind myself that a toddler and a preschooler are my primary responsibilities right now, so I don't get too hard on myself).

One of my goals was to establish a cleaning schedule. This is about the only way I could guarantee that each cleaning job that needed to be performed actually got done on a regular basis. Relying on my memory turns into: "Uh, I think I vacuumed last week...maybe..." My original plan was to spread it out through the week - a different chore each day so as not to feel overwhelmed. But last month, on a Monday morning after sending Colin off to preschool, I took stock of my surroundings and found an utter disaster zone from the weekend. So I rolled up my sleeves and went to work.

I tackled one room at a time, tidying and sweeping and dusting and vacuuming and scrubbing. I worked for the morning until Colin came home again - about 2 hours of solid work time (with a toddler in tow). And then it was done!

So my new schedule involves just this: Monday morning cleaning. I'm much more productive (and feel as though much more has been accomplished) when I go at things all at once. Who knows in the future how things may change, but I love feeling ready for the week like this.

(PLEASE no surprise visits on Sunday, however, because I cannot vouch for the home after a week of the hurricane that is my children!)

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