I have mentioned this a little in previous blogs, but I thought it may be a good idea to devote a whole post to it, as the information will be helpful for working families with limited times as well as people like me, for whom taking care of yourself is almost a full-time job, or at least as much as you can handle in a day.
I have often made jokes over the years that I have a love/hate relationship with my house, I love it clean, I hate to actually clean it. I have discovered though, I do like cleaning, I find it therapeutic and a good time to think. Also, with the fibro, I have a lot of problems with my hands, I do my dishes by hand, I do my kid’s dishes when they let me, something about the warm soapy water is very beneficial.
When your whole house is messy it can be very disheartening, you don’t even know where to start. I clean a room a day, well, then it stays pretty clean. Even if you haven’t cleaned in awhile this technique works, just force yourself to only worry about that one room, and to start off you can devote a few days to one room, break it down into small, manageable chunks, grab boxes or containers to organize as you go, if your family leaves their clothes all over the living room again the day after you clean, give them a set time to pick it up or it gets put away by you, they then have to “buy” it back, with extra chores, age-appropriate of course.
I clean my bathroom twice a week and make my bed every day, if my kitchen counter is cleared from clutter, my bed is made, and my bathroom is reasonably clean, I feel like the whole house is clean, and that unexpected company would not be horrified by entering my home. Keep a running list of big jobs, and try to reserve one day a week or every other week to tackle a bigger project, like cleaning out the refrigerator, cleaning the oven, cleaning out your car, organizing you closet, cleaning out dresser drawers, and junk drawers. I try to clean out my closets once every 3 months or so, I put clean sheets on my bed the day I clean my bedroom, car once a week to once a month, depending on dust level and how often I am in it, refrigerator once a month at least, I do a “quick clean” once a week, wipe off shelves and check for forgotten leftovers, etc.
Don’t be afraid to make your life easier, I use a lavender scented multi-use formula for dusting everything, one bottle, one towel, and everything is clean and smells good. I usually do my kitchen twice a week also, but mop once, unless I need to more. There are a multitude of easy mops and brooms specially formulated for different floors. I use a regular broom, and have 2 mops, depending on dirt level and time. I water my houseplants every 4-5 days, after 4 I check the moisture level and water or wait accordingly.
I keep running lists of everything, all the food I eat, daily exercise, store lists for items I am getting low on, money spent and where, money I need to spend and where, what rooms I will clean on what day, and when I will try to get a bigger job done and what is due to be done.
I like natural cleaners too, I put half a lemon in my water every morning, when I take it out I sprinkle it with salt and use it to clean sinks and countertops, smells good and is completely natural. Vinegar and water make a great window and glass cleaner, you can use old newspapers for a streak free shine, there are many organic products in stores as well.
What it all comes down to, don’t stress yourself about it. Do a little at a time so that it doesn’t become overwhelming. You can be organized and keep your house reasonably clean, it’s possible, and can be easy.