Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Sister's Response to the Cleaning Blog

Again - all someone else's writing...this is Casie's take on the cleaning situation:)

I was amused. I was just telling William that I am finally getting to the point where I feel like I mostly have it together and now I am about to have another baby and I hope it doesn't all fall apart.

If you want to post this as a comment, feel free. I just didn't comment on your comment page.

If you would like my "housekeeping advice", here is what I am learning as I go.

A place for everything, for sure.
I am not saying things stay in their place. Zelda's favorite game is to take every bin off of her toy shelves and deposit the contents in grocery bags or upon the floor and move them about the house and then she likes to take all her furnishings (kitchen, shelves, etc.) and push them into different rooms. But when it is time to clean, even though it takes time to put stuff back, I know where it all goes. I don't waste all this time being overwhelmed and frustrated by just trying to figure out where to put stuff.

Be realistic about what you will do.
This one might be the most important one. If you know that you will not take your shoes to your room, then don't act like you will and end up with shoes everywhere. Maybe the shoe shelves and baskets by my front door aren't lovely, but they are (or can be) organized. So you have to look at shoes when you walk in, but they aren't in a pile and they aren't lost. William argues with me about this because he doesn't like to look at the shoes but I remind him that there is no way we are going to realistically shlep our shoes upstairs to rooms everytime we come in. We take off the shoes at the door and that is where they stay. I also have come to realize that things will not get cleaned upstairs if I have to bring the cleaning supplies and broom and stuff from downstairs. I have two sets of everything so that when I notice something needs to be done I don't put it off cuz I have to run downstairs to get something. I also know that William will not stack tupperware and baby sippy cups when he puts away the dishes. BUT HEY, HE PUTS AWAY THE DISHES!!! So I bought large bins with wheels on the bottom that fit in my cabinets. He can just toss stuff in the appropriate bin and then we just go said bin when we need something. But when I open the cabinet, there is no avalanche and I don't have to search endlessly for a lid and container. I have also stopped letting guilt about wasting food rock my refrigerated world. Just keeping something in perpetuity even though I know there is no way in H-town that I am every going to eat it is still wasting. I might as well be wastful yet clean. Cleanliness is next to godliness not wastelessness. Not kidding myself about how clean we are makes us much cleaner!!!

Goodwill is our friend.
I am never more satisfied than when I take a bunch of garbage bags of stuff to Goodwill. It feels REAL GOOD.

For those with an upstairs downstairs situation...
Those reusable grocery bags have saved my life. I load them up with stuff from downstairs to take upstairs and then load them up upstairs to take downstairs. I just have a bag going at all times. If I find something that belongs in the other place, I toss it in. When bag is full, it moves to the appropriate floor. One bag of stuff is almost never too much to put away at once. Our laundry is also upstairs so I always have a bag of used washrags and dishtowels going in a semi hidden area that I take up and dump in the washing machine when full. This keeps yucky wet rags out of my hamper and i don't have to sort through and pick them out. Instant load.

Oh how I love thee, babywipes.
How did I live without these suckers before I had a kid? I use them the way many people use clorox wipes, but I am kind of a freak about chemicals in my house and I use only natural or homeade cleaners. I figure if you can use a baby wipe on a BABY, you can safely wipe a counter with one and let your toddler lick away. I also love swiffer dusters. California is excessively dusty and these things make me not want to die and they also make me dust more thoroughly because I can get in and around a lot of stuff easily and I don't have to spray anything on anything.

Just clean the kitchen. There is no way around it.
If I force myself to get counters and table clean and dishes at least rinsed to go into the dishwasher and piled on one side of the sink (so I can still access other side of sink), it makes such a difference. Nothing is worse or more depressing than a kitchen full of crumbs and stinky dishes. It is never better to do it later. Ya just gotta get over it and do it.

**Here is where I fall down and I don't have a clue yet how to get better. But I am trying to figure it out.

I hate mopping. We have pergo everywhere (except tile in one bathroom) and while I will sweep, mopping exhausts me. With a dog and a toddler, this is gross. So I try to do it at least once a week, but there are always little black ugg spots on my floor and forget about around the table.

I don't know the last time my tub saw a scrubbing. Shameful. It mostly only happens when we have company. It is the unfortunate fact that you can shut that lovely shower curtain and try not to think about it that helps. And I also kid myself into believing that soap and hot water hits that floor every day. Tell that to the soap scum.

My house is a wreck all the time, we basically have to go back to one every night and then Zelda destroys it within ten minutes of good "clean" fun. But...we are finally getting to a point where everything has a spot and it is possible to get back to one in a timely fashion.

My nesting self has clearly been thinking about this alot, huh?


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