There are many different ways to approach cleaning and decluttering your home. But first things first, while doing your spring cleaning you must "keep up" with the daily tasks. These daily tasks include keeping the dishes clean, keeping on top of the laundry, and planning your meals so you know what's ahead.
Establishing routines is a good start. Routines such as:
- Getting dressed to your shoes when you first get up in the morning.
- Making your bed.
- Swishing and swiping your sink and toilet.
In order to remember your routines, you should write them down and tape them where you will see them. For example, if you have written your morning routine down, tape it to your bathroom mirror. Your afternoon routine can be taped to the refrigerator, and the evening routine can be placed on the refrigerator also. Once you have your routines written down, you can also place them in a Home Management Binder.
You may have all the cleaning included in your routines, but you may not. Your routines may just get you through the basic daily tasks that I mentioned before: keeping the dishes clean, keeping the laundry caught up, and planning the weekly menu--which includes cooking the meals. If this is the case, then you need to find a method that works for you.
Deep Cleaning Styles and Methods:
You may be thinking: How do I tackle all the jobs that need to be done? Every room needs a deep cleaning, how do I go about that?
You can break down your deep cleaning jobs room by room OR by jobs. That simply means that you can go about your cleaning by focusing on one room at a time or one job at a time.
One room at a time would simply mean that you go through every room and closet in the home, one room or closet each day. One job at at time means you would clean by category: all floors that need swept and mopped, all floors that need to be vacuumed, cleaning off and wiping down all appliances in the house (refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot, stove top and oven, standing mixer, toaster oven, TV, printer & computer monitor, stereo equipment, washer and dryer), all shelving wiped and cleared of clutter, all cobwebs in corners, all window sills, washing windows and blinds, etc.
The important thing is that you make a list, whether you approach one room at a time or one job at a time. Flylady has an excellent list for cleaning room by room. Candy breaks her days down task by task (or job by job). However, you need to find something that works for you and stay with it.
Having someone keep you accountable may be just the motivation you need. You could have a friend from church or an online friend help to keep you accountable. You could also join Flylady's group or the Large Family Logistics group and they will send you reminders via email everyday. When you have completed the task, you delete the email. No list needed, because they send you your list via email!
What do you do when you have deep cleaned the entire house?
Now the possibility of you doing this depends on your abilities and your responsibilities. How many children do you have to teach and train? What does your schedule look like? Are you outside the home more than you are inside it? Are you healthy? Are you nursing or pregnant?
You have to factor all of these things in when you are scheduling your work and they all attribute to how fast your house will be clean. But the key here is maintenance. Once you get your house clean, you must maintain it by continuing to do the same jobs over and over again. Daily repetition will also create habits, and habits create a clean and comfortable home.
So, what about the children's daily jobs?
When you are doing your daily deep cleaning and daily tasks the children should be right there with you. However, that doesn't mean they are getting in the way, but they are working right along side you. Training them to do this isn't easy, but it is necessary. With proper training and encouragement they will eventually develop the skills they need to clean up a room. They will also be able to help you to train their younger siblings.
Currently my children are responsible for these jobs listed:
~Unloading the dishwasher (my oldest is also able to load the dishwasher on his own when asked).
~Cleaning the living room and kid's room floors.
~Cleaning the kitchen floor, and sweeping the floor.
~Cleaning their bedrooms.
~Making their beds and our bed if we ask.
~When the occasion arises, they are able to sort the laundry in the bathroom, and clean the vanity and sinks--which I call their "Bathroom Magic".
~Sometimes they like to help me fold the laundry and put it away.
As a young mother with many small children, I still struggle to keep up with all of my deep cleaning duties, but I am striving to become more organized and to get rid of things that I no longer need. Less is more, as the saying goes. The less you have to pick up, the more time you have to spend time with the family that God has blessed you with.
Remember, take one day at a time, don't overwhelm yourself with too much to do in one day, and SMILE. You are doing this for your LORD, your husband, your family, and yourself. Also find a friend who will joyfully keep you accountable, it is not only encouraging but motivating.