Alright, Ladies, confession time… My name is Lindsey and I am a horrible housekeeper. There, I said it. It’s out in the open. (sigh of relief) Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, EVENTUALLY the house needs to get cleaned. When I was still working outside the home I seriously considered hiring a house cleaning service to come in and do all the dirty work cause I just could NOT see how I would ever have time to get to REALLY cleaning the house. As my time at work was coming to an end I began making all these lists of things I would be able to get done. Fun outings and activities with the kids, elaborate meals I would prepare, and yes, even house cleaning. Needless to say I had some pretty high ambitions for my new job, being a stay-at-home-mom. Well, a month or two in to my time at home I realized that, while I was definitely having lots more fun with my babies and even finding myself easing out of my cooking comfort zone of spaghetti and tacos, the house was no cleaner than it had been when I was going to work all day. Now don’t get me wrong, I get a lot of the major cleaning done. You know, the obvious stuff like picking up toys that are scattered around the living room, washing clothes, dishes, etc. But for whatever reason, my attention to detail is lacking. I typically do not notice the dust accumulating on the ceiling fans and picture frames, or the dirt/crumbs/etc scattering the kitchen floor, and certainly not all the stuff embedded in the carpets. So since these things go unnoticed when I’m making time to clean the house, they VERY rarely get done. I know, like I said I’m a horrible housekeeper. Thankfully, my husband is a little better at noticing these things. (Although I must admit I’m not always thankful for this) I must give him credit though, rather than coming home complaining about these specific chores going untouched, he’ll occasionally pick up the slack or make a little suggestion in passing like “You know, we really need to dust” (of course, he’s really saying YOU need to dust, but is wise enough with his wording to avoid what could turn into a not-so-pretty “discussion” if you will). But apparently, I haven’t been picking up on his subtle cues lately and he finally had to lay it all out there to get my attention. So here was this pretty lengthy list of areas around the house that were in desperate need of some TLC, most of which honestly had not even crossed my mind as needing to be done in the near future. So after a brief battle with my pride and avoiding the sinful instinct of getting defensive, I set to work… or at least THOUGHT about getting to work. To be honest, I was paralyzed. I am a list maker from way back and seeing everything that needed to be done, I didn’t know where to start and found myself so overwhelmed that I just did nothing for a couple days. Finally, in wanting to offer my husband a little hope that these things WOULD get done one way or another, I asked him to give me ONE thing that he would like to see done that day. After all, it’s not as if I had nothing else to do between caring to two kids under two, doing all the noticeable housework, cooking dinner, etc. I hoped that by focusing on one task at a time I would gradually get to all the things on this discouragingly long list. (Please do not read this as my husband being some kind of drill sergeant. I am really just a horrible housekeeper) Well, after almost a week, I can say that this has been working for me. As I complete one chore, I’ll ask him to give me another for the next day. Sometimes I’ll get on a roll and accomplish more than I had planned which REALLY boosts my confidence. But of course, there are still days that, due to unforeseen events (like my son getting eaten up by ants… yes, this happened the other day and we are still recovering, poor baby) even the one task doesn’t get done.
The secret is setting goals. SMALL goals. When small children are involved, you’re guaranteed to experience some set backs so don’t set yourself up for a let down by expecting too much of yourself. Some days it’s a GREAT accomplishment just to make it to bedtime with an ounce of sanity left after saying “No” seemingly ALL DAY! (We are entering the Terrible Two stage a little early, pray for us) It’s easy to think you have time to do so much, after all, you’re at home all day. Truth is, when you factor in all that you HAVE to do (changing diapers, getting kids fed, dealing with the occasional meltdown, etc.) we really aren’t left with a WHOLE lot of extra time. Managing the time that we do have seems to be an art that I am only beginning to figure out. I’d love to hear any tricks or tips on how you manage your time!
I will close with a little cleaning tip I recently discovered. Today’s chore was dusting the ceiling fans. Thanks to Pinterest, I learned how to make this job a little less messy… a pillow case! Yep, just a pillow case. Makes perfect sense when you think about it, but with my lack of cleaning skills I never would have thought to try this. So you just slip the pillow case over a fan blade and gently wipe all the dust off allowing it to fall into the pillow case. Please share any other cleaning tips you have found!