Guest post by Becky at Franticmommy
A smiling a happy Mom casually sweeps up dirt into her neat little dustpan. She pauses and smiles, gazing out the window at the glorious day, relishing the singing of the birds. She deeply breathes in the sweet clean air in as she surveys her spotless kingdom….
(Insert sound of scratching record here)
Riiiighhht….. Ok ladies. Here’s the real world. Your feet hit the floor running every morning and don’t stop until you fall into bed at night. Your house looks like wolves live there and you live out of the laundry basket and the dish drainer. Clean the oven? Yeah whatever. The next oven I’m gonna buy is one that flushes.
The reality is, as moms we are pulled in so many different directions these days. Life moves quickly, schedules are packed, and sometimes our cleaning routines suffer.
BUT….don’t despair. Molly and The Big Comfy Couch to the rescue! Huh? Whatchu say? Well, let me explain. My 4 year old is a hardcore fan of Molly and The Big Comfy Couch. Why a child who sleeps in her princess gear would be interested in a show from the 80’s is beyond me, but I will say I have pulled one useful concept from this quirky little show. It’s the Ten Second Tidy. Long story short the main character Loonette the Clown tends to make a mess throughout the course of the show. The crap/toys she pulls out of her Big Comfy Couch is mind-boggling. And the fact it all goes back in the couch is even more perplexing. But the bottom line is, she takes “10 seconds” and tidies up her surrounding area.
The same concept can be used in our homes and routines. Although we can’t speed up time (thanks to movie magic) and make the mess disappear in 10 seconds, we can pick one area a day and spend 15 minutes doing some damage control. Pick a “zone” so to speak. Your zone for the day could be the bathroom, the laundry room, or even the kitchen. Just pick a zone and git ‘er done! A little bit a day is better than trying to tackle Mount St.Tons-o-Crud at the end of the week.
Here’s another suggestion. As you clean and declutter, determine which items need a “path” and which need a “home”. Items that need a “home” could be coats that need to be hung up, shoes that could be put away in closets, & toys into the toy box.
An item that needs a “path” could be the broken toy that needs to go to Daddy’s workshop to be fixed, the shirt that needs to be sent to the ironing board, or the junk that needs a “path” to the dumpster! If you process your clutter with this in mind, the end result will be more satisfying than moving your piles from room to room.
Oh, and here’s one more thought/idea on items that need a “path”:
TRASH CANS AND SHREDDERS ARE YOUR FRIENDS–Are you being buried under a landslide of excess paperwork? Are you snowed under in the middle of July? Paper is one of the largest contributors to home/office clutter. Studies have shown most people are keepers. They keep every scrap of information, flyers, mail, and advertisements “just in case.” In those cases, 80 percent of what you keep, you will never need again, and even if you do, it could be recreated or obtained from another source. Remember, your trash can and shredder are your friends.
So Mommy’s rally your troops, form a game plan, and attack that clutter! But don’t expect miracles the first day. Like anything a cleaning plan needs proper care and feeding, and a little help from the whole family. I have a friend that plots her “zones” on calendar. Monday=kitchen, Tuesday=bathroom, and so on. I think it’s always best to have your cleaning routine in some sort of written form. It’s hard to stick with an plan if you don’t have a road map to guide you.
I’d like to leave you with one last thought. Please, please don’t obsess about the perfection of your home. At the end of the day, if you gave it your best shot and took care of your family, THAT is what counts. I always say, “if you come to my house and it’s a mess…that just means I play with my kids.” ☺
Becky Flansburg a.k.a Franticmommy is a professional at not-much-of anything….other than being a Mom…and a big cheeseball. I’m not plugging anything, I just like to write. And oh yeah, if you stopped by my blog and subscribed to my cheesball-ed-ness, I would be deliriously happy. Boo-yah!