I have a confession to make- I’m not a very good housekeeper. I was never much for cleaning in college, just occasionally, but I only had an apartment, and I didn’t have that much stuff, so things stayed tidy for the most part. Now I have a son-with toys and clothes and friends, I have a business-with …. a million different things! And I really have trouble keeping up, given that I’m also trying to work full-time and raise a son full-time (though I have contracted out some of that time-see previous post).
Last year-as I’ve mentioned-things got completely out of control. Particularly that last week before Christmas. I left my house TRASHED, when I went home for Christmas. When I got back, I had to clean for days just to make it presentable.
This year, I’ve made some rules-with the help of Flylady. She sends out emails about cleaning and decluttering every day, and while I don’t actually do what she says to do every day, it does help keep me motivated to clean. One of her main things is that you have to clean up after yourself. Duh.
Duh for some people, but not for me! I’m getting pulled in all directions some days, and I tend to hop from one thing to the next leaving messes behind me as I go, so by the end of the day, when I’m tired and just want to crash, there’s no way I can clean it all up. For most of the year, I can keep the house mostly tidy, but at Christmas, when every day is work, work, work, I just lose it.
So that’s the first rule
1. CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF
I need to start applying this rule to the basement as well. Last year I took out mountains of drill shavings, about 5 large rubbermaid containers full of wood scraps, and well, the sawdust is probably still down there!
Flylady tells a story about watching contractors work remodeling her home. Everyday they would stop 15-30 mintues before quitting time and clean everything up. Even though they were going to be right back to it tomorrow, because it wasn’t their home, and they had to keep it neat.
I keep reminding myself of that story. It doesn’t matter whether I am just going to be using my stuff tomorrow, cleaning it up will keep me from losing things, and it will keep my house pleasant to be in.
Obviously the most important time to clean up after yourself is meals. So the corollary to rule number one is – NEVER LEAVE DISHES IN THE SINK! All dishes must be washed immediately and put to dry. The drying rack (no dishwasher) must be emptied every morning. Dinner must be cleaned up immediately upon completion of the meal, whether Caleb is begging me to do something or not.
Well, times up. More rules tomorrow.
Tell me-how do you stay on top of the housework when you get busy? Do you know Flylady? If you work from home, how do you keep your work stuff from taking over the house?