Tuesday, October 25, 2011

31 Days {Day 25} Heroine? Saint? Housekeeper?

You sometimes see a woman who would have made a Joan of Arc in another century and climate, threshing herself to pieces over all the mean worry of housekeeping.

 ~Rudyard Kipling

The thought of a courageous, dedicated, persistent, faithful woman not unlike Joan of Arc, being defeated by housework sounds ridiculous.  Someone who could march against enemies and stand up to major criticism and look death in the face and not run, being all torn up over cleaning?
  But it happens, doesn't it?

Not my favorite thing.  Maybe if I used that hazmat suit the woman in the picture is wearing when I clean my shower, I'd feel better about it.  Now, I've definitely been known to clean like a mad woman when I'm stressed, but usually the thing that finally motivates me to clean is a guest. Which prompted my husband to say one time as I was furiously cleaning in preparation of party guests...

If we don't live in a clean house on a regular basis, then why should guests get better than the family?  
Don't we deserve a clean house more than guests?


So, that reality check and my own frustration over the mess prompted me
 to come up with what I like to call my 
Minimum Maintenance.  

It's basically doing a little housework each day so things stay in control and you don't have to do a major clean up...unless of course you want to.
I just chose a few items to do in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening and put them into my daily schedule.  Each item doesn't take more than 5 or 10 minutes tops.  Once you get into the routine it goes pretty quick and best part is, you stay on top of the things that normally would pile up.

Here's what my list looks like:
1.  Make bed
2. Empty dishwasher
3. Start a load of laundry
4. Clean up breakfast & load dishes into dishwasher

1.  Clean up lunch and load dishes into dishwasher
2. Fold and put away laundry
3. Deal with mail and boy's school papers

1. Clean up dinner and load dishes into dishwasher & turn it on
2. Wipe down table and kitchen counters
3. Sweep kitchen & dining room floors 
4. Wipe down bathroom after boys in bed
5. Clean sweep (pick up any items that are still out and put back in their homes)

Now you'll notice that not everything gets cleaned.  That's because it's minimum maintenance. I'm not doing any dusting or vacuuming.  That stuff gets done another time.  Also, I'm only doing 1 load of laundry but I'm doing it each day.  So, instead of taking an entire day (and let's be honest people, it turns into 2-3 days) to do laundry, I've found that by doing 1 load a day Monday-Saturday, that it's so much easier and doesn't eat up much time at all.  And everyone's favorite clothes get cleaned more often instead of sitting in a hamper for a week waiting for the next laundry day...bonus.

How can you incorporate the Minimum Maintenance routine into your day?

Think about what usually piles up in your house.  Is it mail, laundry, dishes?  Then have a plan to tackle those things daily.  Is it toys?  Then put that on your MM list and get your kids involved in the daily routine.
What you maintain daily will stay under control. 

And, I promise, do this each day and you don't have to lock the doors, close the shades and pretend no one's home when a guest stops by (get this) unexpectedly.

Now, just so you know that I'm not a Minimum Maintenance Maven, yet.  Let me get real here for a moment...

Yes these are actual pics...taken today.
I fell off the wagon and went back to my old ways, before Minimum Maintenance.  During the past couple weeks of preparing for my boy's elementary school Harvest Fest, I let things go.  This is what I ended up with...and worse (I conveniently left those other pics out).  But, that's ok.  I'm getting right back on, getting the hazmat suit out and getting things in order.
  Then, Minimum Maintenance will be key in helping me keeping things tidy again.  May not earn me heroine or saint status, but it'll help bring some peace to the house.

So, what do you think?
  Can Minimum Maintenance work for you?  

Have you missed a day in reading 31 Days of Seeking Peace in the Midst of the Mess ?  

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Krystina said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

If we don't live in a clean house on a regular basis, then why should guests get better than the family?
Don't we deserve a clean house more than guests?

Ed Cracks me up!!!
I also loved the easy going and will eat anything from the menu plannin blog!! :) I so miss being a part of your household! :D

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