C is for Cleaning (Housecleaning That Is...)
Posted by Leah Courtney in homemaking | Comments : 0
When people hear that I homeschool or when I'm talking with a newly homeschooling mom, one of the first questions I get is "How can you clean the house and cook and take care of younger kids and still homeschool?" This post is my answer in part.
I'm going to offer a BIG disclaimer here. I do not do this perfectly. This is a plan. If life worked perfectly, this is the way I would do things. Often life does not work perfectly. Kids get sick. I get sick. I have a bad fibro day. People run late. And on and on and on. If you come see me in real life, you will see that my house isn't always beautifully picked up. Try never fully picked up. Six people live here. We make messes, sometimes faster than I can clean them up.
Having offered that disclaimer, I believe that things run more smoothly when there is a plan or routine in place. I know from experience that we function better and get more done and feel more peaceful when we can stick to routines. I know that I feel more relaxed if my house is clean and in order. I learned early in my years of motherhood that I needed a plan to keep the house clean. Over the years that plan has shifted and changed to meet our needs, but I have kept the same basic routine. It is now pretty ingrained in me, and it is just easy. Anything takes time to become habit. If you decide after you read this post that you think a cleaning schedule will help you, don't expect it to be easy and routine immediately. After weeks it may be easier and after months it will be a routine.
I'm not exactly sure what spurred me on to develop this schedule, but I am pretty sure it was in a book a read. In fact I think that Elizabeth George discusses this in her book Life Management forBusy Women . I know this is one of the ones I read early in my married life that really gave me some good guidance for home management.
Terri Maxwell also talks about cleaning routines in Managers of their Homes. I think that I already had my routine in place by the time I read this one, but there is some great information there about household routines. If you're looking for some inspiration to help you get started with a cleaning routine, either of these would be a good place to start.
So, on to my routine. It's very simple. The principles here are:
1.Divide the main housecleaning chores into five main groups. Assign each chore to a day.
2. Pick up little messes as they happen before they build up. That way the weekly cleaning goes quickly.
3. Do things like dishes as they happen also. It is much easier and quicker to clear dishes from one meal than a kitchen full of dirty stuff from the whole day.
4. Have a set time during the day that is usually the time to do that chore.
5. Assign big chores to a month. Each month on a day you have less to clean or a weekend, tackle that month's big chore.
Here is an example of what it looks like for me. I do some laundry every day except Sunday in addition to that day's chore. I usually do my chore/chores after lunch. That's when my kids are doing independent work and I have a few minutes. This has been different during different seasons of life. For a long time when I had little ones napping, I would use the first hour of nap to do my chore then read my Bible. Then I would nap for an hour.
Monday-Big laundry day (Catch up from Sunday)
Wednesday- Sweep and mop kitchen
Thursday-Dust and vacuum
Friday- Catch up or big chore day
January/July-Kitchen-clean fridge and pantry; deep clean cabinets and stove
February/August- Laundry- clean out and straighten the laundry room
March/September-Bathrooms-clean out old cleaners, soaps, etc.; deep clean floors, baseboards, etc.
April/October-Bedrooms- deep dusting, deep vacuuming
May/November- Floors-heavy vacuum baseboards, clean wood floors
June/December- Heavy dusting- clean cobwebs, baseboards
If you are feeling frustrated and overwhelmed about cleaning on top of your homeschooling and child rearing, try the cleaning schedule. Having a schedule and sticking to it means you need much less time each day for actual cleaning.
Now if I could just be as organized about cooking!
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