Maybe You Should Ask Someone Else! LOL

June 1, 2007 at 5:36 pm (Uncategorized)

 Kristina emailed me this question:

Do you have a schedule or routine for getting all of the "other" stuff done in addition to the awesome homeschooling you do?  I can’t seem to keep up with a fun/hands on homeschool AND the laundry/housecleaning/grocery shopping etc.  Thought maybe you could blog about this for those of us that want to be more hands on with school as you are.

My first thought was (well after I stopped laughing!) "Maybe you should ask someone else!"  Not because I didn’t want to answer Kristina’s questions, but because, well I am FAR from the best housekeeper around. It is not because I did not have proper training.  My Mom runs the cleanest most organized house I have ever seen.  She is what The Fly Lady would call a BO.  (Born Organizer.)  My sister got the BO Gene too.  Me, not so much!  The problem is that since I was raised in a clean organized home I do yearn for it, but it is a real struggle for me.  So, after some thought I have decided to answer Kristina’s question.  I figure she asked me because she knows that we are in the same trench so to speak.  We are super busy homeschooling Mama’s who need to keep the house somewhat clean and organized also.  So here is what I do:

Laundry:
Laundry is a never ending task for anyone with kids! I do laundry everyday.  My laundry room is off my kitchen, so every time I pass through I start a load, switch a load or fold a load.  The kids put their own clothes away for the most part.  (Well, I put away the 3 year old clothes.)

Kid’s Rooms:
My kids are responsible for keeping their own rooms clean.  We use the Clean N’ Flip method brought to us by the brilliant minds over at Trigger Memory Systems!  (aka: Dena and Jennie from HSB!)  You can read my review of the Clean N’ Flip HERE

Kitchen:
My 12 year old is responsible for keeping the kitchen clean and has been for about 3 years.  He has gotten to where he does a pretty good job.  He still likes to leave anything he deems "gross" for me to wash, but he getting better at dealing with grossness!  LOL  I recently got a copy of another cool book from Dena and Jennie which is called Clean N’ Flip Zone Cleaning which cover cleaning the kitchen, bathrooms and living room.  It is another really cool product that I would highly recommend.  I plan on working this new method into our lives once we get moved.

10 Minute Tidy Ups:
We do A LOT of what we call 10 minute tidy ups.  Mom set the timer for 10 minutes and everyone cleans up for 10 minutes.,  You would be amazed what can be accomplished in 10 minutes X 4 people!  We usually do this 3 times a day right after each meal. 

Daily Cleaning
:
As far as the day to day stuff I do it is usually mostly n reaction to something that needs to be done.  If something wet is spilled, I mop.  If something dry is spilled I sweep.  I do run the vacuum cleaner on the family room rug every night before bed.  Word to the wise…NEVER by a solid red rug!  It shows everything! 

Reducing:
This one is a work in progress for me right now.  The one thing I am learning is that it is easier to keep you house clean if you have less stuff.  We have A LOT of stuff!  I am working on pairing down.  It is hard for me, most of our "stuff" is kid stuff and I LOVE kid stuff!  LOL  But, I am learning that we can do with less.  Right now 1/2 of our toys are packed in the garage.  It is helping me keep the house up while we are trying to sell the house.  This is a hard one for me because of school.  teaching your kids at home means you have A LOT of school related items in your home.  We are blessed to have a schoolroom, which is a godsend.  But, in part I just have to accept that homeschooling comes with a lot of stuff! 

Goal Setting:
One thing that has helped me is to set a goal for how I want the house to be kept.  My goal is somewhere between what comes naturally for me (chaos) and how my Mom keeps house (perfection!)  LOL  One thing I did shortly after I because a Stay at Home Mom was ask my husband what he wanted done every night when he got home from work.  Yes, I was fearful he would say "Dinner on the table, all laundry done, perfect tidy house, etc, etc, etc.)  You know what he said?  "I want the bed made and a cold soda waiting for me in the fridge."  (I love that man!)  This has been very helpful for me because on the days when everything has gone crazy I know what I NEED to do to make Hubby happy when he gets home.  Some days I am making that bed as he pulls in the driveway!  LOL  But, having a realistic goal is helpful to me & brings peace to our household!

General Cleaning:
I usually set aside one day each week to mop, dust, change sheets, clean bathrooms, etc.  During the school year it is usually Saturday.  The kids help me with whatever I assign them to do on this general cleaning day.  My "rent a kid" vacuums my staircase almost every Saturday morning.  (He’s my son’s best friend and sleeps over every Friday night. The only place we have carpet is our stairs.)

So , that is it.  Again, I am NO expert.  I do highly recommend the products over at  Trigger Memory System.  Also, if you want a ton of great ideas and guidance you can always sign up for the Fly Lady.  She specializes in helping people who live in CHAOSI (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome! Been there done that!  LOL) I did her emails for awhile and really learned a lot. 

If you are ever going to come visit me I need 2 hours notice so I can frantically clean!  LOL  If my Mom is coming to visit we need at least 2 weeks to get the house what the kids call "Grandma Clean!!!"  (This is one level above operating room clean!  LOL)

Okay, while I am on the topic of cleaning I have to tell you this funny story about my Mom.   My Mom has been widowed twice,  The 1st time after 34 years of Marriage to my Dad.  The 2nd time after 22 months married to a great guy named Vernon.  After Vernon died my Mom was living way out in the country in this beautiful house he had built.  One night she came home very late and was alone.  The front door of her house was standing wide open & lights were on!  Very wisely she used her cellphone and called the police.  She explained to them she had been out all day and it was possible she had left the door open, but didn’t feel comfortable going in the house alone.  They told her they would send an officer right out.  The officer arrived and went into the house to check things out.  A few minutes later he came out and said to my Mom "Well Mama, I checked it all out and I have to tel you.  If anyone was in there they must have broke in and cleaned the place!  I have had the opportunity to go inside a lot of houses with no notice in this line of work.  Your house is the cleanest one I have ever seen!" 

If this had been my house there are times he would have thought place HAD been ramsacked!  LOL

Hope this helps Kristina!

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5 Comments

  1. Angelheart said,

    I love this post this is true. Although I wanted to send you two to a great site I found. http://www.keepingthehome.com I really enjoy her way of keeping things neat. Since I am an organize nut making a home management notebook really worked for me. You can check her schedules and ideas on her side bar. I also look at it as a keepsake for my girls one day.

    I have been searching through you site and loving all the ideas. I am making the ABC stomp game tonight. This week I am going felt shopping. LOL I also got this craft in my inbox today. I love crafts and had to laugh. Thought since its made of felt I would send it to you. LOL http://www.instructables.com/id/EI77Q3TF11S8QDL/
    Course my beverage cozy would be Soda or water. LOL

    Nikki šŸ™‚

  2. momisteaching.com said,

    Oh my house looks like it has been broken in every day! LOL I keep telling myself i'll have years to clean after the boys are grown. šŸ˜‰

  3. Anonymous said,

    Thanks for these tips. Now that it's summer break for us, I plan on decluttering so I can keep up on housework better. I, too, have a mom who's a BO. I don't feel like I can live up to it! šŸ™‚ But, I'll settle for tidy and pretty clean. – Dana, http://www.alexml.blogspot.com

  4. jaminacema said,

    I thought I would post my Mom's response to this post! She emailed it to me, but I am copying it here.

    "You make me sound like a saint! I laugh every time I read your blog. I hope your friends don't think I am a grinch when it comes to cleaning. I will admit my house is always picked up, but not always dusted. And my office is another story. I have worked all afternoon cleaning my desk and reorganizing it. E***** said he was hoping I didn't lose the stick I stirred it with as I wouldn't be able to find anything. Evidently you don't remember the built in desk on 35th St., it was always piled up too. So my weak point is keeping the office organized. Maybe someday before I'm 90 I'll be able to figure out a system for the desk. LOL "

    If only a messy desk was my only housekeeping weakness! LOL

    Love you Mom!!!

  5. jaminacema said,

    Here is a GREAT post from Sprittibee titled:

    Ideas for Keeping Clutter to a Minimum for Moms

    http://sbees.blogspot.com/2007/06/ideas-for-keeping-clutter-to-minimum.html

    I couldn't have said it better myself!

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