Sunday, January 11, 2009

Clean with Children

Some people have asked me how I make it possible to take care of 6 children (my 5 and then Colton) and clean. I began to think about how I do it. So here it is at this "zoo". Mind that I try to do these things but like everything else sometimes LIFE changes my intention.

Many of us balk at the idea of a home-cleaning routine. First, cleaning takes time – more time than most busy women have. Second, cleaning is not terribly fun. And the fact that it is not fun is exacerbated by the fact that as soon as you finish cleaning something, it begins to get dirty once again. Time consuming, no fun, and little reward – that's what cleaning is, right? But what if you can change the way you think about dirt and getting rid of it? With the right home-cleaning routine under your belt, your happy home can indeed stay clean enough to allow guests inside without worrying about what they might see. And you will bask in the satisfaction of knowing that you and your family are living a relatively dirt-free and orderly existence.

There is no right way to create a home cleaning schedule. The correct routine will be the one that works the best for your lifestyle so you can stick with it. Do not structure your home-cleaning routine so precisely that there is no room for unexpected emergencies, like sick kids or a surprise visit from your mother-in-law. Do not put unreasonable expectations on yourself either, like cleaning the entire house from top to bottom on a day when you have other activities already on the calendar. or have small children.

You can either choose to clean one room each day; do one daily chore, like dusting on Mondays and vacuuming on Tuesdays; or spend one day a month deep cleaning your home and then use the rest of the days for quick touch-ups as necessary. I also have a Roomba, Revi, that helps me. I make sure that "Revi" runs each day in at least two rooms. To all those husbands out there; I feel that this machine makes cleaning easier and keeps my sanity. Also the laundry is done when there is a load of laundry not when there are no clean clothes. Most of my cleaning is done when it is dirty.

Once you have determined a general system that will work for you, it's time to make a list of the chores that will be worked into your home-cleaning routine.

The Daily Do's

- Making beds
- Washing dishes
- Picking up the toy room
- Clearing the clutter

The Weekly Work List

- Vacuum and mop floors
- Dust
- Clean out the refrigerator & microwave
- Change the bed linens
- Scrub the bathrooms

Monthly Musts

- Vacuum upholstery, lamp shades
- Dust air vents, ceiling fans, light fixtures and moldings
- Wipe down the front of kitchen cabinets
- Wipe and disinfect door handles
- Change the furnace filter and check smoke alarms
- Clean and disinfect trash cans
- Clean the inside of windows and the sills

Quarterly Quests

- Clean exterior doors and hose down patios
- Inspect and do any necessary maintenance on heating and cooling units
- Wash curtains and blinds
- Wipe down baseboards
- Clean oven and scrub stove hood
- Wash or dry-clean comforters, pillows and slipcovers
- Clean out closets

12-Month Tasks

- Clean windows inside and out
- Professionally clean carpets
- Wash walls
- Clean out the pantry and any kitchen cabinets as needed

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