The Top 10 reasons not to clean:
- When you vacuum, you get the satisfaction of hearing stuff get sucked up.
- Dust bunnies are a type of insulation, aren’t they?
- If your house is in a state of CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome), you don’t feel obligated to host your friends or family for gatherings.
- If the house is too uncluttered it doesn’t have that “homey” feel.
- It’s fun to write messages in the dust!
- A too-clean house can lead to allergies just as much as a dirty house.
- I have better things to do with my time.
- Not cleaning means you can save money on vacuum filter bags and other cleaning supplies.
- I can get some exercise just by running around trying to find those misplaced keys, bills, etc.
- The house is just going to get dirty again, so why bother?
Ok, so I’m being funny. Actually, as a kid when I was hired to clean my bachelor uncle’s house, I enjoyed vacuuming for reason #1 (hearing the dirt) … well, that and getting paid for cleaning.
After just two weeks after implementing a cleaning schedule, I can’t imagine going back to the way I used to clean (or not clean).
Previous plan: try and clean every room in one day (usually Saturday). By setting one day to clean, if I wasn’t feeling well / we went out of town / I had a lot of errands to run … the plan would fail. And it might fail for weeks at a time, so then I’d have even more to do.
Current plan: Do a little bit each night. As I’ve said before, Flylady has helped … I don’t follow her plan exactly, and frankly I have a hard time keeping up with all of the emails, but it’s good motivation when I do read them. I’ve combined her methods with a few others I’ve read to come with my own schedule:
- Monday: Dust; water plants
- Tuesday: Clean kitchen
- Wednesday: clean out refrigerator; take out trash/recycling
- Thursday: vacuum and mop
- Friday: clean bathrooms
- Saturday: run errands
- Sunday: laundry
I may have to tweak this a bit yet, but for the most part it’s working very well. And since I actually do most of my household shopping during the week (so I don’t have to make a special trip back to town) and Dave has been doing most of the grocery shopping, my last couple of Saturdays have been FREE!
I used to think such a plan wouldn’t work – because by the weekend, there are several days of dust on everything. Wouldn’t it be better to have one day where it’s “perfect”? The problem is, it’s never perfect. As soon as you finish cleaning the dog tracks in mud, I decide to do some baking and dust the floor with flour, etc. And trying to clean everything in one day just made me Ms. CrabbyPants. Now when we have weekend visitors, the house is “mostly dusted” (is that like “mostly dead”?) and the floors and bathrooms still look good.
My two favorite cleaning tips?
1) I hated cleaning my toilets … just reading the warning labels on the toilet cleaners is enough to scare anyone. But why do we need to use that stuff?! Soap is soap. If you keep up with regular cleanings, it’s the swishing action that does most of the work (that’s why Flylady talks about doing a “swish and swipe” in the bathroom every morning). I went and picked up three of the largest bottles of antibacterial liquid soap I could find at the dollar store … one for each bathroom. No more harsh chemicals for me.
2) Microfiber is my friend. For a while I really liked using those Swiffer dusters because I could zip in between knick knacks and pictures without moving them. The problem was I never felt like I was doing a “good” cleaning with them… plus, the refills are an expense. My “good” cleanings were always done with paper towels or rags and dusting chemicals. Microfiber towels work so much better. It might take a bit longer as I’m picking up display items, but I’m also getting more dust – without having to use any sprays! Plus, there’s no cost – other than washing them. If you want to give them a try, do NOT pick up the towels in the cleaning aisle at the store. They’re likely to charge $3+ per towel! We found some at Fleet Farm for $4 for 3 towels. And an even better deal … $1 for 2 towels at Dollar Tree. They’re all exactly the same (even down to the REALLY BRIGHT colors)!
Spring isn’t the only time for cleaning!