Sunday, February 5, 2012


I am not one of those moms who say "just shut the door, I don't want to see it, you have to live in it." Nope, I'm the Mom that does daily checks of the kids bedrooms to make sure they are in order. I have always believed that the kids learn good habits early on.  So from a very early age they were taught to pick up their toys, put their clothes in the hamper and make their beds. Was it a struggle? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes Yes Yes.  Today as teenagers, I know when I walk into their bedrooms everything will be in order. How did I do it? Simple threats and motivation!  Seriously, it was easy with one of my boys, he is naturally a neat and orderly child. My oldest however was pigpen.  He would never clean his room or put clothes in the hamper and finally I had enough. Why was I yelling at him day after day just to keep getting the same results?  Finally one day, I went into his room and took everything out in garbage bags. EVERYTHING!  I had him help me clean every inch of the bedroom.  I then wrote a list of things I expected from him. On the list was things like, Make Bed, Put Clothes In Hamper, Keep Dresser Clean, etc. At the bottom of the note was a clear and precise message..If These Things Are Not Done Every Day, You Will Hand Over Your Cell Phone For Two Days. If  You Argue With Me About This You Will Lose Your Cell Phone For One Week.  If You Continue To Argue With Me, You Will Lose Your Cell Phone For One Month.  I had him read it, he agreed to it, and we taped it to his mirror.  It's been well over 4 months, and I have never had to take his cell phone away. Why didn't I do this years ago? I would have saved myself a lot of frustration, headaches and grey hair!! I check his room daily, and it's immaculate. He must really love his phone!  This works with xbox, going to friends houses, taking  favorite toys away, etc.  We of course have to be consistent and follow through on our threats!  When my boys were younger they were much cleaner!! As teenage boys they can be lazy slobs at times! I'm not a drill sgt.  I don't expect them to do the dusting and vacuuming of their rooms, but I do expect them to keep their rooms cleaned and picked up. I went through the trouble of doing the heavy cleaning, so respect me and my time for that. It's like that in the rest of the house also. Leave it the way you find it!! Clean!!  Have respect and pride in yourself and your space! What works for you? How do you motivate your kids to keep their rooms clean?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Your Cleaning Schedule and Routine

Most of the traffic to this blog seems to be for the scheduling and housework lists. I just want to remind everyone, when looking at the cleaning schedule I have posted, remember that this is just an example. Everyone has different lives. While one woman may have several children and work full time, there may be another woman who has one child and stays at home.These two women are going to have completely different cleaning routines.  What works for one, doesn't work for  everyone.  With that said, here are a few guidelines to get you started at making and keeping your own cleaning routine!

  • ROUTINE! A routine is something you do consistently. Be sure to be consistent. You have to discipline yourself and get into a habit of just doing it! Sure it's easier to go sit on the couch after dinner than to clean up the kitchen. However, what your doing is just creating more work for yourself! The dishes aren't going to clean themselves! Tomorrow morning they will still be there, and on top of them will now be the breakfast dishes.  This is the same thing that will happen if you neglect to wipe down the bathroom everyday. Instead of taking 5 minutes to clean a day of grime, you will end up spending much more time cleaning several days worth of grime! "AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE!" Believe me, it's much easier to throw in one load of laundry a day, rather than 10 loads once a week! Much easier and faster to fold and put away, plus the small load isn't so daunting and overwhelming and makes you want to quit before you even start it!

  • DECLUTTER!  Do yourself a favor and toss the junk! With less junk comes less cleaning.  You'll have more space to organize the things you want, need and love. You'll have less things to pick up, dust and clean.  Less clutter means less stress. Be brutal when you start going through things to toss or donate.  Ask yourself some questions: Do I love it?  Do I use it? Will I use it (be honest!)  Will I fix it/Mend it? (be honest) Could someone use this more than me?  After answering the questions honestly, you will know if it's junk, or something you can donate! 

  • ORGANIZE!  Now that you've rid yourself and home of the clutter, take the time to organize what you have. If you follow the simple rule of "A  PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE", you'll find your home is always picked up and ready to be cleaned without having to go through and put things away before you start scrubbing. Invest in bins, organizers, boxes, baskets or whatever you find works for you. We'll use the bathroom for an example. Everyone in my home has their own basket that is kept under the sink. In each basket is their shampoos, soaps, hair products, razors, combs, brushes, lotions, etc. Doing this saves time, space and headaches. When they go in the bathroom, they grab their basket, use their stuff and then they put it away. There is never a bunch of junk all over the counter, it's all neatly tucked away and organized. This makes life a lot easier to wipe down the sink and counter without having to put all the stuff away and wipe that off too..keeping it baskets under the sink keeps all the bottles dust free also! Another example is mail. Oh the piles of paper and mail. I keep to very pretty baskets on top of the refrigerator. They are deep so no one who comes to my house can see what's inside of them. But one basket is for mail, and one basket is for "stuff". It's my version of a junk drawer. I need all the drawer and cupboard space I can get and I'm not filling one of them with junk. So the "it doesn't really have a home" stuff goes into the basket. When I do the bills once a month, I grab both baskets, go through the mail, do the bills and then the junk basket gets cleaned out too! So get organized and you will cut your cleaning time in half!

  • Cleaning Supplies!  I keep my supplies in a caddy that I can carry from room to room. I have dust clothes, duster, magic erasers, etc. inside it.There are some things that I don't carry around.  In each bathroom I keep a can of cleanser, a roll of paper towel and a bottle of windex, bathroom cleaner and sponges.They are stored in a basket under the sink.(yes, I love baskets!) If I don't have to go and get it out of another room, or run downstairs to grab it, it's a lot easier. I just open the cabinet and do my daily spray, swipe, wipe. It's convenient and the excuse of not feeling like going down to grab the supplies or "I'll do it later" is out the window. All your supplies are there, so "just do it"!
So having a cleaning schedule and routine isn't enough. You have to have a plan, discipline, organization and a little creativity. In no time you'll be whipping through your daily and weekly chore lists in half the time it takes you now!