House & Home

My Kind of Clean

cleaning-washing-cleanup-the-ilo-48889.jpegLife is busy.

It’s also messy. Most of us do not have the luxury of a maid service, so it’s up to us to roll up our sleeves and do the dirty work. How we do our dirty work and how often is different for everyone.

I grew up thinking I was a lazy, messy person. I knew how to clean, but just couldn’t find the motivation. My mother was always cleaning and I observed my two sisters following her example when they settled into houses of their own. Nothing slowed them down: not children, the flu, or even full-time jobs. They just did it–and would complain how crazy it made them feel if they didn’t do it.

I like my surroundings to be neat and tidy, but have always found that I would just about do anything else first instead. I mean naps are awesome, right?

Nowadays I have two kids and the mess has reached a whole new level. It is no longer me and my husband making messes; it is my two adorable, sweet kids who tear through my house in a whirlwind of daily destruction.

I find I need order and a sense of control in this chaos. I need clean.

I am not talking about a perfect Martha Stewart clean or my mother and sisters’ perfection, but my own personal brand of clean.

I have discovered that you must ignore the critics and develop a sense of what works for you. Find your own balance of cleaning and organizing that makes you feel calm and good about your house.

Here are some tips that have worked for me:

  1. Find more efficient ways to clean. Research YouTube, the web, or even your local library for information about cleaning. Chances are you will find some great tips that really work for you. Being strategic about how much time you give to cleaning and mapping it out before you begin can make the process less overwhelming.
  2. Decluttering your surfaces and storage areas (which is a whole other article!) makes cleaning so much easier. Less stuff to clean means less stuff to clean and find home homes for.
  3. Listen to music when you clean. This can be fun for the kids too. They enjoy seeing their Mama sing and dance around while she is cleaning and will probably join in the fun. If the kids aren’t around listen to podcasts or books. You may even find yourself cleaning extra just to hear a little more.
  4. Open your windows even if only a short while (when it’s cold outside) to let out the old air and bring in some freshness. Light a candle while you clean. This is a great thing to do when the windows are open. If the candle is really strong it will be lightened by the outside air and I swear it just makes you feel good inside.
  5. Wear an apron! I know that sounds really 1950’s right, but I feel silly putting on an apron and sitting down. Putting an apron on signals to my brain that its time to get busy! Plus there are so many cute ones out there.
  6. Buy nice cleaning supplies. I used to have so many different kinds of products overflowing my cleaning cupboard. I was a sucker for every new cleaner advertisement that looked like a miracle in a bottle. I have realized though that I can get away with far less and that the tried and true are really all I need. Invest in a good spray mop so that you can make your own cleaner for it or fill it with whatever one you from the store. Buy a decent vacuum, but don’t break the bank. You don’t need the most expensive one out there to do a good job.

I hope you find some of these tips I have shared to be helpful. Remember your house is your oasis and the place where so many wonderful memories have happened and will be made. Take care of your house and it will take care of you.

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