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A cleaning revelation!

June 6, 2009

I don’t know about you but I find it a constant challenge to keep on top of laundry, cleaning and home maintenance whilst home schooling and doing everything else that fills my blessed life!

I’m constantly trying to come up with plans and schedules to perfect my home management; none of which seem to work on a long term basis.

I’ve recently realised that I’m a ‘perfectionist’!! I never would have put that term anywhere near me, but during my recent reading of ‘Sink Reflections‘ it hit me like a brick! If I can’t get in done in one block 4 hour session, without uninterruptions I’d rather leave it as it is!! What mother has an uninterrupted 4 hour session in their week? Not me…therefore my home often needs a lot of work; this causes unrest and major hesitation when someone knocks on the door for a spontaneous cuppa!!

Call for change!

I’m still working my way through the ‘Sink Reflections‘ but the Fly Lady has been a HUGE help to me already. I can’t recommend this book enough if you’re anything like me; I’m learning to make small changes everyday, incorporate morning and evening routines and totally de-clutter my home (but not overnight…and that’s fine!!).

One thing that the ‘Flylady‘ suggests is using a timer for your cleaning spurts, even just 10/15 minutes a day can start you on your journey to a clutter free home.

If the house looks like a whirl wind has gone through it and I feel totally overwhelmed I pick a room, set my timer (use my phone at the moment) for 15 minutes and get to work. Once the timer goes off, I head into another room, set my timer for 15 minutes again and get to work. Once the timer has gone off again I many go back to the previous room again or take a quick stab at another one. It’s amazing what you can do in 15 minutes.

This is a great technique for that ‘how am I supposed to clean the house with all these children around’ feeling; short intervals of work while the children are playing, studying, napping or just happily occupied – it IS possible to organise your busy, blessing filled home! I’ve even got N & J doing it, rather than just sending them to ‘tidy their rooms’, I explain exactly what they need to do, set the timer for 15 mins and set them to work!

So today is Saturday, I love Saturdays, we usually sleep a little later after family movie night on Friday night and if we don’t have any plans out of the house we try and get some jobs done as well as relaxing together , baking etc.

Last night after our movie I went up stairs to feed Micah and settle him down to sleep and ended up falling asleep myself! So I came downstairs to this:

Arrgh! Not good; so here goes, Dave had taken the children out with him to run some errands and Micah was asleep so I set my timer for 15 minutes and away I go…

Timer goes off (by the way, we don’t have a dishwasher) and I’m pleased with my progress…may return to the kitchen later

Micah still sleeping so I empty the dryer of cloth nappies and set my timer for another 15 minutes
All folded into piles of nappies, inserts (for pocket nappies), washable wipes (I make my own but also have some of these wipes because they are so gorgeous!), muslins and washable liners.

Timer still ticking so I even had time to pop upstairs and put everything away in the nappy drawers in the boys room…just in time for Micah to wake up from his nap!

After a cuddle with baby M I thought I’d have a bash at another 15 minutes while Dave and the children were still out so I put Micah to work on his treasure basket.

He was happy to oblige!
After a morning of DIY and a few days of ‘entrance way dumping’ this area needed a bit of work (again!!), so on goes the timer for 15 mins.

And here we have a clear hallway again, I even had time to put the kettle on…

…for a cuppa in my new lovely mug that Dave bought me on holiday, ready for re-cap from ‘sink reflections’ and a flick through my Above Rubies magazine that arrived this morning!

So that’s what I achieved in 45 minutes this morning; there is still lots to do; cupboards to sort, clutter to throw out, rooms to clean, but I’m taking babysteps and enjoying it every step of the way.

I was very blessed; just as I sat down for my cuppa hubby and children walked through the door with flowers for Mama!

Have a GREAT weekend!


8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2009 9:37 am

    Cleaning the house is very important chore to do. It would be very nice to spend the time with your family doing house cleaning once in awhile. The pictures are very great! Goes along with your background music. Keep blogging!

  2. June 7, 2009 4:30 pm

    I totally do the 15 minute thing. I also add a few variations – sometimes I say I'll put away 100 items of laundry, or 25 things which shouldn't be in the lounge in a commercial break. It is amazing how much difference a little time can make. Bit by bit you make real inroads into the underlying stuff (the cupboards etc you mention).

  3. June 7, 2009 5:01 pm

    Hi Jasmine, thanks for your comment! The children get involved with most of the house keeping, even my 4 year old has the job of emptying the bins everyday and does a great job of it…but also the 15 minute shots at a deep clean (child free) are valuable.Hey Anna – thanks for your comment 😉

  4. June 7, 2009 9:28 pm

    Love the flylady! Thanks for reminding me about the 15 minute timer! I love using that for jobs I keep putting off!

  5. June 8, 2009 5:41 pm

    Thank you for your inspiring blog entry. The 15 mins thing sounds great, I'm going to give it a whirl. I've often felt frustrated and discouraged because the house isn't what I want it to be and there doesn't seem to be enough time to do it all in! The book sounds great too. You're wonderful, xxx

  6. June 10, 2009 1:50 pm

    any chance i can borrow that book when you're done?

  7. June 10, 2009 2:05 pm

    Fly Lady has changed my life!!! Seriously. The past 12 months have gradually seen the house becoming much tidier and easier to keep on top of. As of the last month or so we have 15 mins after dinner when the kids will play and Sam and I tackle the ktichen and lounge together before putting the kids to bed, and i generally have another 15 mins during the evenign to fold the day's laundry. These are my "regular" 15 mins, and I then try and fit in one or two others during the day. I now have time to do the laundry (2 loads a day), and keep on top of the mess, dishwasher etc etc etc. Much harder though at the weekend or holidays when Sam is at home too as I'm so out of routine!!! I don't stick exactly to the fly lady routine but follow the principles, especially adding a bit more to the routine in time rather than trying to tackle all in one go!! another great blog Leah x

  8. July 27, 2009 6:12 pm

    this is a great post and so helpful. I hope to some day get that book! thank you!

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