Does doing housework zap your joy? The constant need to do housework affects many people negatively, but yet it must be done. The last thing most people want to do after a busy day of work is return home to the morning’s breakfast dishes. Many people wish their home would stay at least as clean as a hotel room the maid’s just serviced on day two of your stay. That is, practical and needed items will be accessible, but there will be a level of order and cleanliness that is obvious.
Just how does a person achieve this level of order and cleanliness? Is it possible? How does a person find the time to do it?
It can be achieved in many homes. Now, the term “many” indicates there are some homes that are more of a challenge. Exempt is the home of a family with small children. Small children need to be free to create, which often results in a bit of disarray. Parents of small children are over-taxed as it is. They, of all people, need the greatest leeway where housework is concerned. While they may benefit from implementing the systems mentioned below, their results may vary, and rightly so.
For the homeowners that really want to make tidiness happen, if they are willing to take the right steps, it is achievable. They need to be open to setting up a few good cleaning systems and to learning new patterns of behaviour. Then they need to agree to the terms of the new patterns and see them through.
Clutter Versus Dirt
To get started, it is important to realize there is a difference between clutter, dirt and germs. Half the job of housework is first tidying the clutter so that you can get to the dirt. In order to clear the clutter, there needs to be specific “homes” to place the items. One of the first “systems” you will need to create is hideaways for your possessions.
You may be familiar with the phrase, “A place for everything, and everything in its place”. That phrase holds a lot of weight. Creating homes for things may involve reworking closet spaces and cupboards, or adding storage units to your space.
You can’t go wrong with splurging on a few well-thought-out furniture pieces in which to store items. A bedroom armoire might be added to hold a television, but the deep drawers on the bottom section might be great for storing spare bedding and towels. The armoire’s top shelf might make a nice display nook for your favourite bedtime books. A bookshelf or two in another area of the house can hold the rest of your book collection.
A set of coat hooks, a small table with a drawer, a storage bench, or a combination of these near a doorway will be handy for storing the outdoor items you need access to regularly.
A filing cabinet can hold important papers. A small wooden cabinet can hold paper, cards, envelopes, binders, phone books and catalogues.
Tall storage cabinets tucked away in a basement corner can house lots of extra items you only need once in awhile, such as, family games, seasonal décor, extra linens, tools, etc.
Cleaning Versus Maintenance
There is also a difference between deep cleaning and daily maintenance. Deep cleaning is something you should do once weekly in order to tackle the dust and dirt, and to sanitize your home. It provides the foundation for easy maintenance you’ll do throughout the week.
- Here are a few tips to help you create a deep-cleaning system:
- Block out a few hours on your calendar specifically for cleaning.
- Pull yourself away from technology for that timeframe.
- Change into your most comfortable cleaning clothes and footwear.
- Light a scented candle and/or turn on your favourite music to kick-off your cleaning time.
- Use great tools that are fun, like a good vacuum, hot steam mop, long handled dust wand, etc.
- Set a timer for cleaning each room.
- Start with one room. Work around it clockwise until complete, or until the timer rings before moving on to the next room.
- Always work from the top down. Dust will fall downwards, so vacuuming and mopping should be last.
Daily Maintenance Tips
The next system to create is a maintenance system. Maintenance is what will keep your house looking hotel-room fresh throughout the week.
- Try incorporating some of these tips into your daily routine:
- Pull the blankets up when you first get out of bed.
- After using sinks, sanitize and dry them.
- Clean and dry kitchen or bathroom countertops after using them.
- Swish toilets as needed rather than leaving them for your deep-cleaning day.
- Use a dampened long-handled back scrubber to clean the bathroom floor behind the toilet and in the corners.
- Whisk your tub or shower area with a long-handled back scrubber and a bit of cleansing product. Use an extendable shower head for ease of rinsing the area.
- Empty the dishwasher before bed or first thing in the morning so that you can load the breakfast dishes.
Clean as You Go
The next most important system, is the “clean-as-you-go” system. That means putting things away and picking up after yourself. Quickly tidy any area you’re about to leave. If this process is new to you, it may take some practice and discipline to implement, but it will be worth it.
There are many reasons to stay on top of housework apart from hygienic reasons. Most people find that a clean and orderly space gives them a sense of peace. Not only that, being organized saves time. When you can find things because you’ve put them back into their “homes”, you’ll find you are a lot more efficient and less frustrated. It will help your attitude a lot to view housework as a form of self-respect rather than a chore.
A housework system has to work for you and your lifestyle or you won’t stick to it. Try a few of the systems mentioned here, adapt them as needed, and in no time your house will look and feel like a maid really does come in to clean it!