Lets discuss another one of my many roles, The Maid. The efforts I go to on this one are mostly for me more than anyone else, I have a higher level of “clean” than others in the house. I consider a clean house important for various reasons:
- Overall feeling in the house is calm
- Allows everyone to find what they need when they need it
- I’m not embarrassed when people stop by
- We are more likely to invite company over
- Minimize things like mold, mildew, bugs, mice and other pests
- Minimize temptations for the dog to chew on
While I believe having a clean, tidy house is important, I try to remind myself that it doesn’t have to be perfect. It is more important to me that I spend time with my family than perfecting my house.
So when do I do all this cleaning and tidying? I start with a schedule: Cleaning Plan. I keep this schedule posted right above my shopping list and schedule for the week inside my pantry door. I’ve been doing this schedule long enough that most days I don’t need to look at it, but sometimes life gets busy or I can never remember what “swing day” I’m on, so it is nice to have posted. Now that I’m used to the schedule I also don’t follow it exactly. I usually do things when I have time. For example, on preschool days, most my morning schedule is pushed back to afternoon etc.
Where to get started:
1. Pick a schedule that works for you. Use the one I posted or check out google or pinterest for other ideas, edit the schedule to meet your needs. I love my schedule because I have 2 days off a week (except for the daily items) and it’s not overwhelming! It is enough to keep my home very clean and tidy without spending hours cleaning on any day.
2. Post your schedule where you will see it. It is suppose to take 21 days to make a new habit. Make sure you check that schedule for 21 days and try not to skip!
3. Don’t do more. When you are getting started, and even when you’ve been doing the plan a while, don’t do more than what’s on the schedule. Unless you KNOW you have the time, energy, and motivation, trying to do more than what you have scheduled can bog you down and give you a feeling of being overwhelmed. My schedule says to do 1 load of laundry a day, sometimes I go crazy and do 5… then I have piles of clean laundry that just make me cry when I look at them. 1 load of laundry is MUCH more manageable.
4. Get help cleaning. No, don’t go hire someone, this “maid” thing is your responsibility and you will do the best job at it. Get the help of your children. Don’t start laughing, this is important. This is a teaching moment. Your responsibility as a parent is to teach your children to grow up and be independent adults who will one day contribute to society, learning how to care for a home is part of that. I also am constantly teaching them to clean up after themselves (very important skill!). After quiet time they clean their rooms, in the morning and bed time they put their clothes away, after they are done playing they put their toys away etc.
So with 3 little ones at home, a dog, my social life, ministries, responsibilities, running, and the rest of my life I surely stay up until midnight or get up at 4 am every day to do this right? NO! Remember step 4? I get 8-9 hours of sleep a night. I “try” to get up before my kids and get the day started, but then I do the cleaning with them in the morning. If we have morning plans we do it after lunch or after quiet time, whenever we can fit it in. I make a schedule for every day of the week so I know when that cleaning time will be.
I am still working on relaxing a little bit and letting the house look lived in-somewhat. Sometimes I see I may be going overboard when I start hearing my little ones walk in a room and come back to me and say “that place is a mess!”.