A Housecleaning Breakthrough

Many years ago a friend introduced me to the Flylady. I went to her website and tried to implement some of the things that she said. Either I didn’t completely understand her methods or it just wasn’t going to work for that time in my life. My life has been a bit abnormal for the last 6 years. Just a reminder – I’ve had 5 pregnancies in 7 years, during 2 of which we built houses, and we have moved twice. I’ve been a little unsettled. However, wanting to get a little more control of my life I decided to check her out again. This time I decided to borrow her book, Sink Reflections, from the library.

I knew enough about her program that I didn’t think I could do it. However, she addressed two of my main problems in her book, perfectionism and wanting to wait till it’s dirty to clean it. So first the perfectionism – I would even try to clean up or straighten something if I couldn’t spend the time to do it perfect. So things never got done. In her book one lady said that it was the day she was suppose to vacuum but there were toys all over the floor. She decided to vacuum the parts of the floor that she could see and push the toys out of the way. Wow!! You mean you can really do that. I would either spend all day cleaning up the toys to vacuum the whole house and then be too tired to vacuum or I wouldn’t even attempt to vacuum because the floors weren’t clean. How liberating. So today I was in my bathroom and decided to wash my counter and sinks. Ordinarily I would only tackle this if I had time to clear the counter and do a perfect job. I didn’t have that much time this morning. So I sprayed the part of the counter that didn’t have anything on it and the sinks and wiped them down. I have a clean bathroom sink today. It feels wonderful. One day when I have time for a deep cleaning I will remove everything off the counter and do a thorough job. But the counter can’t really be that dirty underneath my little container of lotions.

So the second thing I learned is to clean it before it is dirty and it won’t get dirty. What??? You mean clean a clean toilet. But it doesn’t need to be cleaned. Flylady says to swish your toilet every morning. I haven’t swished mine every morning but I have swished it more often then I have done in the past. In fact this morning when I swished it wasn’t even dirty yet. Now I think to myself if I clean it before it gets dirty it won’t ever be dirty. I bought a cheap toilet brush and container, filled the container with a little water and all-purpose soap and set it by the toilet. My brush doesn’t get nasty if the toilet isn’t nasty. And you don’t have to use harsh cleaners to clean a clean toilet. This morning after my shower I cleaned a clean shower. I spent 30 minutes or so on Saturday cleaning a yucky shower. I got the toothbrush out and everything. Well this morning after my shower I sprayed a little cleaner on it and wiped it down with my bath towel. Of course I wiped it after I dried off. My towel had been used twice already and it was time to be washed. Ordinarily I would never wipe a mildewed shower with my regular bath towel, but…. my shower didn’t have any grime on it yet. And it only took a few extra minutes to wipe this morning and it didn’t take a toothbrush.

Keeping the bathrooms clean has been a place I have struggled with since I left my Mother’s house. I hate cleaning the bathroom. And it takes so long to get it to look so perfect. This new method is actually fun and takes little time. I am hoping I will eventually get to the place of swishing my toilet and swiping my sink and shower on a daily basis. They say it takes 40 days to create a new habit. I’m getting close. I’ll give myself a little more grace considering the number of interruptions to my daily routine.

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