Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

10 Favorite Housekeeping Shortcuts

Oh housekeeping....I must admit of late there has been little of this. Until this past weekend. The day after Thanksgiving I kicked into overdrive and went after some areas of the house that had been plaguing me. Under the guise of wanting to put the tree in the living room this year I made some drastic changes....and I'm not done yet. Six weeks of no medication left me barely able to function on a basic level. I've a lot to catch up on. I never considered hiring someone else to clean my house, but that was before MS and two kids. Lugging the vacuum around is enough to knock me out for a while. Some days I can barely stand, let alone stand at the sink and do dishes. Besides I spend much of my day washing buckets and brushes. The last thing I want to do is go home and do dishes.

But I have to admit, another part of me loves to throw on an apron, tie my hair up in a bandanna, toss on some up-beat singable music, and go crazy with a deep clean.  I do feel that on some level we've lost the 'art' of housekeeping. I'll save the how and why for another day. Just know that some of my favorite reading are volumes dedicated to housekeeping; both vintage and modern.

So what are my tricks, (other than the obvious 'ignore it)???

1. Have a place for everything. This is a biggie, I am discovering. Especially if you have kids. They don't grasp commands like "Clean up this room", but they do get "Put the Legos back where they belong." I spent a lot of time this weekend arranging organized homes for toys and crafting supplies. I even involved the kids. "Should we put the people and animals together in one drawer?" "Do we keep the toy sushi set separate or mix it in with the other food?" They are more likely to comply when they feel they have been a part of the process. And label it all. Everything. Then no one can say, "I don't know where this goes." (insert whiny tone here)

2. Now that it has a place, put it where it goes. Simple right? I'm very guilty of this. Don't put it next to where it goes. Put it where it goes. Now. Not later. Not when 40 other things are piled on it. Now. Simple but effective.

3. No food in the bedrooms. Never. Ever.

4. If you spill it, wipe it up. Right away. Doubly so for the bathroom. My 5 year old knows that if he pees on or around the toilet, he is to clean it up. I keep a tub of disinfectant wipes on top of the toilet just for that reason.

5. Simplify. This is an on going process for me. I come from a family of borderline hoarders. And working in Theatre hasn't helped the cause. With ever dwindling budgets, we feel the urge to save everything, because you never know when you might need it and not have the budget left for it. Really examine your life. Do you really need fancy towels for every holiday?  Do you wear every pair of shoes you own? Or all the clothes in your closet? Are you going to read those books again? or watch those old VHS's? Get rid of it. Don't like some knick-knack that Great-Aunt Matilda gave you as a wedding present? Give it away. The hardest thing for me has been keeping items out of guilt, but that's a topic for a whole post unto itself.

6. Change things around. I'm forever moving furniture around. It might drive my husband a little nuts, but I don't care. Change is good, even if it freaks out the cats. It keeps you from getting bored with what you have and buying more stuff you don't need. As the kids grow and out grow things, I find myself taking advantage of rearranging opportunities more and more. My mum and I would rearrange the living room at least once a year. We'd make a day of it and have a blast. She was just bemoaning my being so far away because she wanted to rearrange her bedroom and missed my input.

7. Open the windows...weather permitting of course. A little fresh air goes a long way. Even if just for a little while before you go back to heating or air conditioning. It makes a difference.

8. Throw some potpourri in your vacuum cleaner bag. (if you have the bag kind) You get a little aroma therapy while vacuuming and the house smells great.

9. Make the beds. It completely changes the look of the room.

10. Music. Make it singable/danceable. Something that makes you want to move and you'll see how much faster you get through it all.

I have to laugh. When I first saw this topic I thought ugh. But now I just want to write boat-loads about housekeeping, and my thoughts and theories
and crazy stories.