I recently read Absolutely Organized: A Mom’s Guide to a No-Stress Schedule and a Clutter-Free Home by Debbie Lillard. It was an intoxicating self-indulgence for my nerdy soul.
One of Debbie’s key suggestions for a stress-free schedule was to create routines, like doing laundry every Thursday or grocery shopping every Sunday. With a baby who still makes explosive messes from both ends and a rambunctious puppy who loves to jump on me with muddy paws, doing laundry only once a week is not an option. My meal planning and food shopping routine is also a bit of a mess, but getting better. On the other hand, putting her suggestion to clean on Mondays into practice is one routine that’s really working for me.
Every Monday during the baby’s afternoon nap, I go through the house and clean the bathrooms, kitchen, and floors. I get through as much as I can before he wakes up, and rarely make it through the entire list in one naptime. So some weeks I start upstairs, other weeks I’ll start downstairs, and eventually everywhere gets a deep clean at least once a month. I try to tidy up/declutter a bit every night before I go to bed, so dealing with “stuff” is something I don’t have to focus on for Monday Cleaning.
Disclaimer: I hate to clean. There are just so many other things I’d rather be doing with my time. Pretty much anything else actually. Organizing I love. Rearranging I adore. But the chemical deep cleaning and sweeping? Not my thing. But, it needs to be done, too. There was one quote in the book that flipped a switch in my head and won me over to the idea of regular cleaning: ‘I clean for my family; I straighten up for guests.’
Whoa. Mindbending. This was an entirely new concept for me.
Yet, the idea made perfect sense. My family lives in our home everyday. We’re also the ones who would get sick when extra germs hang around. The mad scramble to clean up when friends come over was definitely a source of stress, and honestly one reason why I wouldn’t invite people over more often (that, and Baby’s early bedtime and still unpredictable nap schedule).
Switching my mentality from cleaning for guests to cleaning for my family motivated me develop my own cleaning routine, and so far it’s working. I’ve missed a few Mondays here or there, but never stressed about it because I knew I would catch up the next time Monday rolled around (funny how they just keep coming). I also would take a Monday off if I hard-core cleaned on an additional day the previous week (usually for guests… old habits die hard).
On that note though, having a cleaner house made me want to invite friends over more often. It’s a lot easier to say, “Come on over!” when my home is ready for them to walk into. Things may not be sparkling, but creating a healthy home for my family has been worth the extra cleaning effort, and having a routine in place is the what made it happen.
Do you have a cleaning routine? What tricks help you stay organized?
Thanks for the unwanted inspiration.
Ha! My pleasure
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I am reading that book right now! It was just what I needed to get me motivated to start getting my life organized. I loved the part where she suggested to wake up 30 minutes before your baby so you can get things done. I started waking up early this week to go for a run then take a shower. I feel like I can conquer the day and spend more quality time with my daughter when I do this. I have also started cleaning up before I go to bed so that when she wakes up in the morning I don’t have to worry about doing it. Great read!
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