This past week has been one of the toughest in a while, between my husband having surgery, my baby going through a growth spurt and teething, and the acute onset of a flare-up. It’s hard to climb the stairs let alone clean when you have a flare. But I did get the opportunity to assess the things that motivate me to clean. Pain or no pain there will always be an excuse not to do it if I look for one.
I wore my pajamas all day.
Sweatpants, pajamas, nighties, something comfortable, whatever you call it, if it inspires laziness, expect to be lazy. Makeyourself get dressed in something that will keep you moving. For some people, they feel energetic if they are wearing their shoes. I know that if I am wearing jeans, I don’t want to lay down. I use this to my advantage.
Get Lazy once, Get lazy twice…
If I skip one aspect of my daily routine, like a domino effect, everything else is out of whack for the entire day, then the next day I am too overwhelmed by it to truly catch up. Therefore the entire week is void. So the key here for me at least is to not divert from my daily routine for anything.
Making Rules for Yourself
I have tried many methods to keep myself in check, like not being allowed to watch TV if the dishes are dirty, chore charts and the like. This has never worked. But what has worked for me, is to say, I cannot cook dinner if I have out dirty dishes. I cannot make lunch if I have dirty dishes. I cannot leave a room without something in my hand to put away.
Try having cleaning supplies readily available in every room
I don’t mean go out and buy duplicates of everything, but have something hanging in the shower to wipe it down every time you get out. Stick some cleaner in your toilet brush holder, so that you don’t have to run to the other room to get the chemicals every time the toilet is dirty. Have some Clorox wipes in your entertainment center so that when you go to look for a movie or game, you can go ahead and dust everything in arms length. Use baby wipes containers to divide up your Clorox wipes into different rooms of the house. Make your own Clorox wipes by cutting up old tee shirts. Then you can’t say it didn’t get done because you were out of wipes.
The reason that fly lady doesn’t work for me, is because her method is to give yourself an excuse to leave a mess alone until a particular day of the week. I find that if I leave a mess alone I will not feel any more motivated to deal with it later. I get momentum from each mess that I clean. I go to do the dishes, then it motivates me to clean the sink, and I already have out the cleaners, so I clean the counter, then I notice a smudge on the cabinet, and the coffee tray, then I notice the bathroom, which leads me to the laundry room. I do the laundry, then I notice cleaning the kitchen left me with a dirty floor. I clean the kitchen floor and go on and do the living room and stairs while I already have out the vacuum. I go to dump out the vacuum and I take out the trash. I had to pick up everything just to vacuum and before I know it the whole house is clean. It has become a routine that I have grown fond of. Usually II empty the dishwasher from the night before while my coffee is brewing, and do everything else right before dinner.
I find it important to have an empty sink when I go to cook. That might make no sense because I am just about to make another mess, but hear me out, If your dishwasher is full of clean dishes, then all of your dirty dishes are going into the sink. If you already had dirty dishes in the sink then you don’t have room to wash them as you go. Everything dries on the dishes, then you end up having to use more elbow grease later before they can go in the dishwasher. If you ear right after you cook then even your serveware gets piled on top, and your probably tired after eating, so you don’t tackle it till morning. Then you see the mess when you go to make your coffee, and say, its too early for this.
Bottom line: have a clean sink when you go to make dinner. Never leave a mess for later, and find a method that works for you.
Another thing that helped motivate me, was that I gave open invitations for people to stop by, or for my husband’s friends to come over after work. Knowing anyone could stop by any time keeps me on my toes.
What helps you keep your house clean?