By Stacy Myers, Contributing Writer
I’m coming out of the cleaning closet. Are you ready for this? Much to my mother’s dismay, I do not do spring cleaning.
Yes, I know – your eyes are bugging out of your head. I see all these posts all over the internet about 10 Easy Steps to Spring Cleaning Your Home or Spring Cleaning Your Home Using Only Vinegar and One Towel! I’m keepin’ it real, y’all…I just send those posts directly to my trash folder. Booya.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…my goal in our home is to make sure we don’t live in a dump hole. At this stage of my life, with two little children and a messy dog, good enough has become good enough for me. When I’m 93, I won’t look back and say “Well honey, I sure do wish I had spring cleaned our house in 2013…I really missed out.”
Sometimes I’m getting 45 minutes of sleep at night. So I’ll be honest: The last thing on my mind is getting down on my hands and knees to clean the corners of the bathroom using a Q-tip or moving all the furniture out so that I can vacuum behind it.
In all stages of life, I’m trying to learn to give thanks – even when I’m cleaning up pee-pee off the bathroom floor or answering “why” 5.6 million times per day.
Some days are harder than others – some days my “spring cleaning” consists of mopping up milk after every meal. Some days I want to pull my hair out – but then I change my mind because I really don’t want to clean that up either. I’d rather spend my time playing with my babies and cooking – hanging laundry out to dry and gathering eggs with my daughter.
I am not the perfect mom. Considering I just yelled at my 3.5 year old because she spilled an entire cup of water all over the floor, I feel like a failure most of the time. But, I refuse to feel like a failure because I don’t spring clean…what mom needs more Mommy Guilt? Let’s kick it out. Bye-bye, Mommy Guilt!
Now, all that was not to say that we live in a pigsty. Yes, I do feel like I fight a losing battle with dust bunnies and grass all over the kitchen floor. Sometimes my daughter brings me handfuls of dust bunnies and says “Here, Mama.” Then she just goes back to her playing. Dust – it’s a fact of life.
I do my best to keep our home maintained instead of doing a deep clean once per year. To me, it makes more sense to make sure things are picked up regularly than to live in a big dump and just clean periodically. I’m the type of person that would become SO overwhelmed at a project that large that I just wouldn’t do it – I’d move instead.
So, what’s my secret and how do I live in a non-dump hole without Spring cleaning? I’ll tell you – lists. I use cleaning lists. They’ve saved my sanity on multiple occasions. Not only can I get things done this way, but when the husband comes home and wants to know what we did that day, I can actually tell him – instead of scratching my head and saying “Uhhhhh, eat?”
The first list I use is a free printable from Clean Mama called “31 Days to a Clean Home.” Her general idea is that if we get just a little bit done each day, then everything stays clean…well, as clean as you can get with two kids and a messy dog.
I don’t do something every day because life happens. But, I figure if I work myself through the list and start over regularly, the house is still getting cleaned. Bye, bye, dump hole.
I also use a weekly schedule. This is my MAIN list. If I get everything done on the list that day, then I move to the 31 Days list.
This is a printable from Tip Junkie called “Week at a Glance Cleaning Check List.” Barry (my husband) personalized this for me using Photoshop and I put it in a vintage frame. As I get things done, I cross them off with a dry-erase marker, and then I can start over the next week. Marking stuff off just makes me happy.
So, that’s my secret. No big revelation, huh? Also, as I clean I’m teaching Annie (3.5 years) to do the same…so that as she grows older, cleaning the house with me will become part of her chores.
Disclaimer: If you Spring clean, that’s cool. I don’t hate you. My Mama spring cleans, and she’s my best friend. I’m not pointing fingers…because when I do, there are three more pointing back at me.