Friday, January 22, 2010

My Housework Homework

Does anyone else out there have difficulty maintaining their house (we're not even going to talk about sanity)? Or are you all June Cleavers?

I feel like it's a never-ending struggle. I want to be good at housekeeping, but I'm afraid I'm failing miserably.

I know. I have a toddler. And two dogs. And five cats. There's bound to be some sticky surfaces (out of the dogs' reach, that is;  otherwise, they take care of most spills!) and hair balls.

But it's not their messes that are the worst. It's we (us?) adults of the house. I'm a pile perfector ("No, no, don't move that! This is a pile of magazines I've read which have articles I want to keep, here's a pile for recyling, here's a pile for clothes that are too small, here's a pile of laundry to be washed...") and he's a handy hider ("This might be useful someday if all of civilization breaks down and we have to defend ourselves against bandits and make wind turbines and fix our own cars, so I'll store this thingamajig in the basement just in case...").

Together, we're unstoppable -ly messy.

I've been trying to change my ways this month. I've discovered that I can use the time I spend supervising Uli in the tub to handwash her diaper covers from that day (I wash them in the bathroom sink with a squirt of BioKleen and then hang them over the shower bar to dry overnight). And I've tried to remember to rinse all the dirty dishes as I'm putting them into the sink so that they're not difficult for Justin to wash-up later (we don't have an electric dishwasher).

But I still need to do more. I need to be more consistent with the deeper cleaning (I scrubbed the outsides of our kitchen cabinets last month for the first time... since I moved in!) and I need to get into a rhythm of mending (rather than piling clothing with holes into the corner of my room "for later") as well as continuing to rearrange the furniture in our house so it's more useful (I'm very pleased with my husband's use of the antique radio: rather than just being a place to pile things it's now a working stereo thanks to new speakers and the iPod dock cleverly stashed inside).

And I'm really really intrigued by the thought of putting together a Homemaking Binder. Have you heard of these? Do you use one? Tell me all about it! I'm getting ready to make one for myself and would love to hear personal experiences if you have any to share.


Anonymous February 13, 2010 at 9:49 AM  

Oh gosh, we're just like you guys. :) Except we don't have kids yet (only two dogs), so I shudder to think what the house will look like with a little one underfoot.

Two things have really worked for me: Windex and a stopwatch.

I now keep a little rag and a bottle of windex handy in each bathroom and the kitchen, and I quickly spray and wipe down all the surfaces every couple of days. It literally takes two minutes, and when I'm done I toss the rag in the laundry pile.

The other is the stopwatch, which I will set for 20 minutes, then dash around trying to sort through piles and pick up around the house. When the 20 minutes are up, I'm done and I've made progress.

It's kind of like when you're expecting guests, and all of a sudden you become super efficient at picking up around the house. :)

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