Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Epiphany... well, sorta

Yep, that pretty much sums it up
My cleaning skills, or the lack thereof, are really a sore spot with me.  In all honesty, I'm not comfortable having anyone in my home unless I have already spent the day cleaning. I feel that the clutter is a reflection on me as a wife and a mother.  I mean, if I can't keep house well, how can I be good at either of those?   But, even feeling that way,  I have the hardest time getting my lazy butt off of the couch to do something about it.

It really does feels like this sometimes!!
My number one excuse that I use is that I am simply too "overwhelmed" by the mess.  I don't know where to start, so I don't do anything.  Pretty lame, huh?  My number two excuse is that the kids were being needy.  I think that is human nature-- to blame someone else for your suckiness problems.  And my all time favorite-  I'm not naturally a clean person, so cleaning goes against the grain...

I figured out today that all of those excuses are, well, crap.

I stumbled on The Flylady over 4 years ago when Matt and I were first married.  She helps people like me get organized.  I have to admit, that when I do like she suggests, my house stays clean.  But as soon as the kids start harassing me I hit a snag, I fall back into my old habits.  I can confidently tell you why I think I am having so much trouble.

Flylady insists that you get dressed all the way down to your shoes.  Sounds relatively easy until you are stuck at home all day.  I've been getting around doing this by telling myself there is no point in getting out of my PJs.  Getting dressed equals more laundry, and laundry, as you all may know, is not my friend.  But, the truth is, I do notice a difference in my day when I put shoes on.  I really am more productive!

Another Flylady suggestion is to set your timer.  I do this all the time.  My husband makes fun of me for it.  But, I am a scatterbrain and seeing the amount of time I have left in a certain area forces me to focus on only that area.  Otherwise, I would be cleaning the counter, walk into another room to put something away and BAM!  I'm find myself on Facebook back on the couch.  So, I've been setting my timer for 15 minutes. And it has been working-- as long as the kids are asleep.

Then I had The Epiphany.  Maybe, if I set my timer for a shorter time, I could actually get something done before distraction attacks me!  Trust me when I say that anything would be an improvement...  So, today, I've been setting my timer for 5 minutes instead of 15.  I am both proud and embarrassed to announce that within 25 minutes my house looked really good.  It was by nowhere near spotless but it didn't look like a toy box threw up all over the place either.   And because I was moving so fast, Piper and M thought it was a game.  Piper was even singing "Clean it up, clean it up" while picking up her crayons. 

I am by no means cured of my lazy messy ways, but this, I think, is a step in the right direction.  Since I am definitely in need of guidance,  I would love to hear ways you maintain your home.


  1. I'd love to give you advice, but I am the exact same way. My house is a mess all the time, it's horrible! A huge part of my problem is my hubby, he is the biggest pack rat I've ever seen. He saves everything. BUT at the same time, I'm lazy as all get out!
    The only thing I have found that works for me is having someone come over. If I know that I have company coming, I get moving and get it all done. Also, my cousin and I have days where we both help each other. I go to her house and help her clean, and she helps with mine. For some reason, it's so much eaiser to clean her house than mine!
    I need some help too!, I will check out Flylady!

  2. It is easier to clean someone else's house! Do you think it is because when it is someone else's mess we are more objective? Maybe because we are not emotionalyly attached to the mess?
    I would love to have a cleaning partner. Any volunteers? ;)

  3. I haven't been doing well lately. My husband doesn't like me to clean when he's home, he prefers I do it when he's at work. Yet, he's working shifts and gets my schedule out of balance. By the time he leaves for work, it's after I've already done the breakfast, lunch, dinner things and then I don't feel like it.
    Then when I get up in the morning he's coming home from work and doesn't want to hear the noise of me cleaning. Sorry, I am a noisey cleaner. So I try to keep the house quiet, which isn't always easy with two dogs who like to play and bark at each other. The rest is easy, like I don't have the TV on. I'm not much of a TV watcher anyways.
    Maybe I'll get up earlier, and do the five minute timer challenge like you said, and see if I can get some more done than I've been able to lately.

  4. I with you, lfhpueblo! I am a noisy cleaner, too. If the music isn't blaring more than likely I'm sitting on the couch!

  5. Hi there! I am your newest follower!

  6. I know this may not work for you since you have a smaller one that needs more attention, but I am just like you with the cleaning and I have finally found something that works for me. Even the laundry. About 10:00 I put Claire (2yrs) in her room and put up a gate. I set the timer for 1 hour and clean up as much as I can. She know that this is mommy's cleaning time so she pretty much plays without much complaint. Every so often I'll poke my head in and see if she's okay. I really get a lot done. I don't tackle heavy stuff during this hour. I take two days a week and tackle a big cleaning object during her nap time. The other days are mine during naptime. I hope you maybe can use some of this because I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!!! Oh, and about laundry... I've finally realized that I have to do a load a day no matter what kind of excuses I can come up with. It's the ONLY way I can keep it under control. If not, you can't see the floor in my laundry room for the clothes. It's pathetic! Oh and about what you said about getting dressed.. For some reason, if I don't take a shower and get ready (just a tshirt and cotton shorts) I am useless to the world. I don't know what it is about it!!