Saturday, December 10, 2011

Finding My Groove

I am one of those people who thinks they have to sit down and write up a massive, year-long, decorated (preferably scrapbooked) PLAN before I can actually clean something.  No, I can't just dust.  I have to have a plan of attack first.  So I sit down with my notebook and my pencil -- I have used Excel to do this too -- and plan my dusting out for the entire year, which rooms I will do on which days (this process usually requires both coffee and chocolate in order to do it right)...

Well, I am beginning to believe that the planning isn't conducive to the cleaning.  Ya think?  (This sounds really familiar.  Did I post this EXACT same blog about 3 years ago?  Or maybe 3 months ago?  Ha!)

So here is my new plan.  When I see that something needs to be done, I will write it down in my planner in the "Weekly Priorities" section.  I will have a set cleaning time every day.  This cleaning time will be non-negotiable.  While my husband is at work, my main responsibilities are taking care of my children and my home, so once I know that the kids have what they need to survive for the next half hour, I will then proceed to spend that half hour cleaning something I have written down.  I will keep a record of what I am cleaning on which days.

This will be much like Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.  It is hard to make a budget until you know where your money goes.  In the same way, it will be difficult for me to plan a cleaning schedule until I know how often things in this house need to be cleaned.  I have lived here for 9 years; it is time for me to have this figured out!  I have been trying to use others' ideas of what should be cleaned when, and my house is just different than other houses.

We are here all day (homeschool seems to work better for us when we are actually at home, imagine that!), and have 3 children (one of them a newly-crawling baby who needs clean floors), a large hairy shedding dog, a little dog who sometimes mistakes the carpet in the basement for her own personal grass pad, a shedding cat who likes to sleep on anything that looks warm and soft (my piles of unfolded laundry are her favorite. thing. ever.)... are you beginning to see the picture here?   It all adds up to one big hairy mess if I don't keep on top of it.  And I haven't been keeping on top of it.  So what do I have?  A big hairy mess, you're right!

We have been blessed with a gorgeous home that has 5 bedrooms (2 of which are being used as my craft room and Mike's office), 4 bathrooms (!), 3 living areas (living/TV room, reading/fireplace room, and rec room in the basement), a kitchen that has everything I need, lots and lots of beautiful wood - one of the reasons we loved this house from the moment we walked into it, and one of the things I desperately need to take better care of so that it will retain that beauty.

My house will need to be cleaned more often than many others' houses.  No one else's schedule is going to be the same as mine.  I have to make my own schedule.  I know; what an epiphany! 

I'm off to implement the plan!  Wish me luck.