I enjoy cleaning. There is something so rewarding about transforming a chaotic, messy room into one of peace and order. I love a good before-and-after, and I like to see results.
Before I had children, I worked full-time. I kept up with laundry and dishes throughout the week, but deep cleaning was reserved for Saturdays. Once I had children, I quickly realized that I did not have the luxury of spending four or five consecutive hours deep cleaning my house. That’s when the following three things happened:
The demands of motherhood were much greater than I’d anticipated. I could not expect my house to be spotless, my child to be cared for, and my marriage and personal health to be nurtured. Something had to give, and it had to be the chores. I adopted the motto, “Clean enough is good enough,” and I’ve accepted that dusty baseboards won’t hurt anyone.
As previously stated, it would take me four to five hours to properly and deeply clean my entire house. I no longer have that many consecutive hours to do anything productive with children under my feet. However, I do have thirty minutes each day to get some cleaning done. I have a set chore for each day of the week (i.e., Mondays are for bathrooms, Tuesdays are for dusting, etc.) Admittedly there are days when the cleaning doesn’t quite go as planned. But having the schedule in place allows me to pick back up whenever I can and not get overwhelmed.
I stay productive by using my time as wisely as possible. By implementing a few shortcuts, I can get chores done a bit quicker:
- I keep cleaning products in each bathroom. By keeping these supplies within reach, I can get each bathroom cleaned in under 10 minutes. This is also very helpful when I get the call that a friend is about to drop by.
- I don’t separate my laundry. I try to do two loads of laundry each day in an effort to stay caught up. Separating laundry is one of those things that I just find unnecessary. I keep my husband’s work clothes separate because I wash them on the delicate cycle. But everything else gets thrown in together. I wash everything in cold water, and I’ve had no issues with colors bleeding.
- Purge, purge, purge. I’m far from being a minimalist, but I have found that the easiest way to keep my house clean is to keep less stuff in it. I used to love cute decorations and knick-knacks all over my house, but that was when I had all the time to clean all the things. So, for now, less is best.
In all honesty, I think having to lower my expectations, start a cleaning schedule, and find cleaning shortcuts was the best thing for me. It has allowed me to find somewhat of a balance between keeping my house clean enough while still having time to focus on my relationships with my husband, children, family, and friends.