Rules for Christmas Time

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?

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3 thoughts on “Rules for Christmas Time

  1. Housework always seems to be the first thing that I forget about when things get busy. I know about Flylady, and have been getting the emails for awhile (and i’m really trying to make another go of it). I sew, and have machines in 2 different rooms and my cutting table in a 3rd, so there is always bunches of stuff everywhere. always. I’m trying to work on it and Halloween is my busy time, so I’m in slight recovery mode before my christmas present sewing starts. Good luck!

  2. We are living in one room and I’m shocking at cleaning. At Uni (college) I was the only person to clean areas other than the kitchen so I thought I was quite good at cleaning, but there is nothing like sharing a house for building up ones tolerance to mess, for example..the hallway needs vacuuming when there are leaves collecting up against the skirting! If you don’t want to be tidying up after several other adults, build tolerance…
    Unfortunately some of that must have stuck as I have 3 kids and a husband now and I still have tolerance for mess that I should just clean.
    I am blessed with a husband who is very good at cleaning (Its his vacuum cleaner) and he does dishes to…but not after an evening meal, I’d rather do dishes in the morning around getting ready, than have chores cut into an evening.

  3. Hopefully flylady tips will help us out. Clutter just builds up with a little one. We try to put things back where they belong but we don’t have much space. I don’t believe that moving and getting more space is the answer (right now). I am trying to learn to live in the space we have and purge as much as possible.

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