Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Cleanin' house

I don't like housework. Actually, I hate housework. You could even say that I hate housework with a passion usually reserved for mice and other rodents (and that's really saying something, because I flippin' hate mice).

Okay, so you get the idea.

The thing is, when you hate doing something that much, you sometimes tend to not do it. Which can lead to a messy, dirty house. It bothers me, yes, but not enough to get my rear in gear and start cleaning. It's a conundrum, I tell you.

There are three things that I've found that actually help me keep my house relatively clean and tidy in spite of the fact that I'm obviously domestically challenged.

One. Work in 15 minute blocks. It totally depresses me to think about spending hours on end doing laundry, tidying the living room or mopping the floors. So I walk into a room, literally set a timer, and work as hard as I can for 15 minutes in that room. I'm telling you, you can get a lot accomplished in 15 minutes! I reason with myself before I get started too. "Spend 15 minutes tackling that mountain of laundry and then you can make yourself a cup of coffee." It totally works. Most of the time, I end up going over my 15 minutes or moving to the next room and resetting the timer. It helps me to focus on one room and one task at a time, it's too overwhelming to think of everything that must get done.

Two. Clean up messes as you make them. I'm still working on this one, but it's a good habit to get into. I love to cook and bake, but I'm notorious for leaving the dinner dishes, and the mess from the creation of dinner, until the next morning late at night to clean up. Another reason that I'm trying to implement this one is that I really want to send a message to my daughter that we take care of our things. It's okay to play and make a big mess, but when we are done, we take the time to put everything back in it's place.

Three. Invite people over. Nothing, and I mean nothing, motivates me to really clean my house like the knowledge that people will soon be invading my home and inspecting my housekeeping abilities. So I invite them over. Knowing that my house is unkept. Because I know that once the invitation is accepted, I'll move heaven and earth to get my house in order. And we all know that there is a difference between "clean" and "company clean".

I'm sure there are at least three or four people who are laughing right now at the absurdity of me writing a post with housekeeping tips. Go ahead, have a good laugh. I'm the first to admit that if you show up at my house unannounced, there is a good chance I won't let you in the door. But I think it's important that we acknowledge and accept our weaknesses and then work towards improving them.

So let's talk housework, shall we? What's your #1 housekeeping tip?


  1. I HATE housework too. And uhh... you can tell by my house sometimes. Especially the one room we usually stay in because it has all my son's toys in it. And yeah, the laundry.

    15 minute blocks sound like a good idea. I'm going to try that. Something that sometimes helps me is putting on a show while I fold laundry. I'll set it on the bed, set the baby down beside me with some toys, turn on I Love Lucy, and tackle the mountain.

    In fact, I need to do that tomorrow.

    I also make lists, sometimes.

  2. Um, I hate cleaning too. But I love a clean house. However, the tricky bit is: I reallyreally hate cleaning up after people. And since I currently live in a 1200 square foot house with 4 other people, well, there's always cleaning up to do,

    So here's my solution: podcasts. I know you're a mom, so you have to listen for Peanut, but I load my iPod with some of my favorite 'casts and go to town, and before I know it, the house is sparkling and my brain is entertained! Awesomeness.

    Current favorites: CraftLit (all-time favorite, you must check it out), The Moth, Filmspotting. You can find them all through iTunes.

  3. I have no tips because I am awful at keeping house, too. Here's a link to my confessions (I had a plant growing out of my sink- pictures at But I do know that I will be purchasing a timer soon, because I think that is the BEST idea I have ever heard. Just like I said in labor, I can do ANYTHING for 15 minutes (speaking of transition). Great post! Thanks for the wonderful tips. I'm having company over on Saturday... gotta go clean... :)

  4. Inviting people over is definitely a winner in my book. I also do laundry throughout the week, so that it doesn't all pile up. And, when it comes to cleaning my sons room, I get him involved. He's only 20 months old, but he loves "helping." He's really not too bad at it, and it makes the task more enjoyable to do it together.