Thursday, April 15

Maintenance cleaning

I love cleaning and organizing . . . I always have. I love the feeling I get when I take the time to clean out a closet or drawer and put it all back together . . . organized. I love it! But I must admit when Barb asked me to share on spring-cleaning I realized I am at a loss. I do not think I have ever done a top to bottom cleaning of any house I have ever lived in (other than when I first moved in) and I never remember my mom doing it either. After thinking it through, I realized that I am a maintenance cleaner, not a once a year cleaner. Basically the thought of cleaning a house from top to bottom is so overwhelming to me, a natural born cleaner, that I can only imagine how the rest of you feel. So today, I am going to share my ideas of spring-cleaning, which is really my everyday kind of cleaning.

I am the kind of cleaner that cleans as I go throughout my day (I do deeper cleaning twice a month, like clean the toilets, scrub the floors etc. but my maintenance cleaning really helps make those cleaning days much easier). Maintenance cleaning takes some practice, but is well worth the effort. I know it can be taught because I am teaching my daughters, one of whom is born like me and the other who is not. Yet they are both learning to clean as they go.

For example, after breakfast my daughters bring their dishes to the sink and put away any milk and cereal boxes right after they are done. I place all dishes in the dishwasher as I use them. Even while I am making a meal, I will stop to place the dirty dishes in the dishwasher before I continue. It is much easier to clean out a just-used pot than one that has been sitting there throughout the meal or overnight. I have found that most cleaning jobs that seem like they would take so long to clean actually only take a fraction of the time and are much easier to finish than if I would have waited. Let me share an example from my girls. If they are playing with their toys and have made a huge mess and I don’t make them clean up after they are done, when I make them come back later the mess seems overwhelming. But if I tell them they need to clean up that mess before making another, they may not always be happy about it, but I get less complaining because they are looking forward to playing with the new toys and are more likely to clean up quickly so they can get onto playing. . .does that make sense?

Another thing my girls are learning is that when they get out of bed, the first thing they do is turn around and make their beds. It takes all of two seconds but makes their rooms look significantly more picked up by just doing that one thing.

I also put a load of laundry in the washer first thing in the morning, then change it after I shower slightly later in the morning. If I do a little laundry every day, it does not become overwhelming and stains don’t set in!

We are also teaching our girls to rinse out the sink after brushing their teeth and wiping down the counter after they are done. I would much prefer to wash an extra towel everyday and have a clean bathroom as opposed to cleaning dried-on toothpaste every week.

I will admit that my way of cleaning takes more time to set up in the beginning, but once the routines are set, the whole family is involved in keeping your house clean . . .not just you. I also think there is great value in teaching our children daily to take care of those things that they are blessed with. God has given us so much and I think I have a responsibility to teach my child to value and honor those blessings by keeping them clean. I know that cleaning often gets put to the back burner, but I would encourage you to take another look at maintenance cleaning and slowly bring your home back into order on a daily basis . . . happy cleaning!

No comments: