When I was a kid my mom cleaned house on Saturday’s.
This impacted my teenage desire to sleep until noon. (I know . . . poor me)
If she thought I should be up, Mom would vacuum down the hallway and into my room.
Cute natural consequences Mom. Needless to say I wasn’t impressed.
My mom’s cleaning routine every Saturday
- Strip and remake the beds
- Vacuum the carpet
- Clean the bathrooms
- Laundry—wash, fold, put away
- Grocery shopping for the week
Looking back now I’m not sure we did all these things every Saturday. I can’t believe that we did.
Truly it seemed that way but that could be my teenage hindsight lumping it all on one day.
I really resented my mom’s it must be “perfectly clean” one day a week attitude.
Funny(not really) how the "clean to get it perfect " philosophy that I resented so much when I was a teen is the exact philosophy that I adopted for my own.
I decided to break that pattern!!!
My cleaning routine—Cleaning by Areas
As I’ve raised 4 kids, I’ve found it is so easy to let things go until they are out of hand. I do not work outside of the home like my mom did.
So we can clean more as we go each day but just because we CAN clean as we go DOESN’T mean that we ACTUALLY do clean as we go.
**Example: the clutter in the two photos below has been there for weeks(if not months!) Sigh. No one has the responsibility of this area. That needs to change!
A routine that maintains a doable level of cleanliness.
In the past when things would get too cluttered or dirty, I would become this whirling dervish that demanded everyone to clean bathrooms, vacuum, & pick up. Usually we would spend a whole day getting the house “perfect.”
My frustration was the next day when it all seemed to go back to cluttered and chaotic. It also created the same frustration & resentment from my kids that I had as a teen and I don’t want that in our home.
The solution to get over frustration
We built a routine which had everyone in charge of one area besides their own bedroom. It might be a bathroom or sweeping the hardwood floor. We would rotate areas so each person could take on an extra area and clean it.
There were no "discussions" about wanting to do "my" area because we all did all of them at one time or another. Some areas were harder than others. Bathrooms especially were no fun. Sometimes we would split up the area so it wasn't as "big" of a responsibility. If someone was sick or unavailable to do the work it was easy for someone else to take over their area. These areas were checked daily or every few days.
We never achieved perfection but my sanity was restored daily by everyone pitching to get it done.
This way we were ALL working. I gave a deadline and they could choose when to do the job. I just had to check their work. It wasn’t a nagging thing which is a HUGE parenting concept. Don't start down the road of nagging your kids if you can at all avoid it. It isn't fun road to travel.
Consequences--make it simple
IF the kids didn’t take care of their area, then they would loose a privilege. For us removing pleasure reading until the work was done was enough to get people motivated. This system worked well when I had hip surgery back in 2011 because there was no cleaning lady coming to help out.
Is the house ever perfect all in one day?
NO. Unless I give that kind of deadline, which I do if we are having guests but I give plenty of warning.
In the area of cleaning the house, achieving peace is better than perfectionism. I love peace and this has conquered my frustrations.
Our routine has changed a bit in the last year or so and I will share about that next week. Look forward to a “real life confession” on the state of my house & mind!
Are you a perfection house keeper or do you strive for liveable and sane?