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.