Mean Cleaning Machine

The thing about housework in general is that it is never-ending.

The thing about housework and kids is as soon as something is cleaned or picked up it is right back to how it was or even worse than before…in a matter of minutes.

If you have kids or not sometimes it just feels better to leave a mess because it is just going to get messy again anyways. Right?

But there is something to say about having a clean house (or at least an uncluttered one). In one word: Peaceful. It’s like that feeling of sleeping in freshly washed sheets. On the other hand, have you ever noticed that when your house is a wreck your mood is much more…chaotic? At least that seems to happen to me. I feel much more stressed out when I can’t see the counters on account of piles of dishes, the floor is completely strewn with toys, and that tower of laundry is starting to look like the Frankenstein’s monster…yeah it can be that scary. There is no way I can go all at it in one day because I don’t have that type of time and definitely don’t have the massive amount of energy for that fell swoop.

So I have to make things manageable, and this is how: clean as I go, reward myself for doing something especially when I am tired/unmotivated, set a time limit, and keep an end of the day goal.

The first step, clean as I go, is easy and straight-forward. Make a messy = clean it up immediately. This was some of my mom’s advice. When making meals throw dirty dishes in the sink when done using them. While you are waiting for the water to boil, the oven to heat up, or the baking timer to go off, this is the time to wash, dry, and put those items away. Or, if need be (I actually do this a lot) throw them in the dishwasher and let the machine do the work for you!

Dishwasher, open and loaded with dishes

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My second little trick is to reward myself. This usually includes a little snack (I try to keep it healthy, but don’t feel bad when it is a cookie either) or a little free time…like blogging! I really only use this when I am especially tired and want to make myself do a chore. Then there is the time limit game. I got this idea from another blog a year or two ago but I can’t for the life of me find it again. Basically this blogger who was a homeschooling mom suggested cleaning seven minutes at a time. It’s amazing how much you can do in that amount of time and it is short enough that the kids don’t go crazy without your supervision. While I was trying to look up that particular blog I came across a different blogging momma that showed how to get your bathrooms “company ready” in seven minutes. Love it!

Lastly, I like to have an end of the day goal. If nothing else gets done I want my kitchen to be clean before I go to bed. Now, I’m pretty liberal with this term; dishes washed, counters cleared, sink and table wiped down. The floor is usually still sticky but when I turn out the lights in the kitchen I can breathe a peaceful sigh of relief. Not to mention this is a great way to start your morning to a clutter free zone, especially if the rest of the house looks like a tornado hit it!

So, is my house squeaky clean? Nope. Will it ever be? Yes, but probably not in this season of life. Do I wish I could just run through and do a nice whole house deep clean? You bet! But, I’m also content to be keeping it relatively clutter free by the end of the day (during the day toys on the floor are a necessity for a toddler 😀 ) and for the most part I’m keeping the germs at bay. And wasn’t it someone wise that once said, “A little dirt won’t hurt?”

I am so blessed to live in this modern time and reaping the rewards of good ole Thomas Edison! I don’t know how I would manage without electricity!

Thomas Edison's first lightbulb which was used...


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