In last week’s episode, I promised you that I would give you the lowdown on how I keep my house clean in the second part of our cleaning series. If you like to peel back the curtain and see how other people do things, this episode is for you.
I must say that I mostly feel like I do house cleaning poorly. My baseboards are usually dirty.
So not only do I homeschool three kids, and they are teens who do a lot of things independently, but typically it ends up being about three hours a day that I am like right there with my kids doing the homeschooling. Sometimes that’s just motivational, and sometimes it’s sitting and working with them. When sitting with them like that, I try not to multitask.
It’s different now that they’re older, I can walk away and change the laundry, or maybe I can go into the kitchen and unload the dishwasher and have one kid sit at the bar and do his math. Some kids need to be watched more than others, but I try to focus on the school thing and not multitask. Then on top of that, I work about four to five hours a day here from home.
So I spend anywhere from four to five hours a day, usually about six days a week, working on the podcast, the products we offer, the membership, and everything else if I’m writing a new book or releasing a new course. And so I’m here working on that. Between homeschooling and work, it’s about as much as a full-time job.
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Habits are the key to keeping a home clean enough
So how do I get things done? Well, it’s habits — it’s daily habits, and lots and lots of routines. And then, of course, my kids help quite a bit.
We are just coming off a season where my husband worked part-time with the Alabama National Guard for several years and then didn’t work anywhere else, so he was home a lot. He was here a lot, ran the kids around, and cleaned quite a bit. He kept up with many things like running the kids around and doctor’s appointments, and getting the oil changed in the van. Those, to me, are the tough things.
Now we’re shifting into this time of life where I have to do more of that and more of the cleaning, and it has been quite the adjustment for me there. I actually keep things pretty tidy in the main areas of the house because I will go behind people and pick items up. I don’t see it as a hill to die on, to make people come and pick up all of their messes all the time. I’m the one who wants it moved. I’m the one that it’s bothering; I’ll pick it up and put it away. I don’t feel like I’ve got to train my children to do that because I require other things from them.
So I do a lot of tidying throughout the day just as I go through my day. Now, that doesn’t mean my house is always highly tidy at any given moment. There’s a lot of junk lying around, but when it bothers me, I pick it up. And then I do things like my morning routine.
My morning routine includes a Fly Lady Swish and Swipe of the bathroom. The morning routine also includes unloading the dishwasher so I can load it back up as the day goes on and I then won’t have a sink full of dishes. It includes wiping any crumbs off the counters and making my bed every day. Those are the kinds of things that I do every morning. We also tidy up the kitchen after dinner or every meal, and that keeps us on top of a lot of things.
Chores for kids are an important part of the cleaning process
My kids have chores on their school list each. So each child has chores that they’re responsible for all the time. Olivia has a schedule of vacuuming that she’s supposed to follow.
John takes out the garbage. He’s in charge of all of the home sanitation when it comes to the trash, getting it to the road, bringing the can back, collecting up all the garbage weekly from all the little bitty garbage cans, and then taking out the kitchen garbage anytime it needs to be taken out.
Thomas is in charge of feeding the animals.
These chores get done every day, but the kids also get chores put on their school lists. Each day they have to clean their room, and sometimes I will put other little chores on that school list for them to do. They also each do their own laundry.
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Once a week deeper cleaning
Once a week, we do a Fly Lady Weekly Home Blessing. I do not do everything Fly Lady recommends. I’ve modified this to fit our family. Garbage always gets picked up on Monday, but we’ve added some other things to the blessing hour, like mopping the kitchen floor in the entryway and vacuuming the living room. We call it our Weekly Home Blessing Hour, but honestly, if we each take two to three jobs, it takes us about 20 minutes.
So when you come into the main parts of our house, it will be tidy, clean, and smelling fresh. We do this like fairly religiously every single week. Where we fail is deep cleaning.
This is the part I’m struggling with right now. The “system” we’re using at the moment is that every few months I get a wild hair and rouse all the troops and make everybody deep clean a couple of sections of the house.
This is where we like to wipe all the other places that don’t get dusted regularly, clean off the mini blinds, vacuum the corners, or scrub out the shower. This is the part I’m struggling with — how do we get in this deeper cleaning? I’ve thought about zone cleaning on a loop schedule. I’ve thought about doing the once-a-month cleaning, or even someone suggested to me just doing the daily task from the Fly Lady app. I might do that, but I haven’t found a system that works. That is what I’m working on right now.
That’s why I say we clean badly. We’re keeping our head above water with our weekly home blessing and daily habits, and yeah, the other stuff; we’re just doing the best we can. So that is my cleaning routine. Hopefully, you took a little comfort in the fact that it is tidy enough but not perfect.
Next week we’ll be talking about an essential part of your cleaning routine, and it’s probably not what you would expect.
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Pam, thank you for your honesty and openness to share what you do (and don’t) get to with cleaning. I have had a hard time over the last 9 years in getting it all to work with homeschooling, cleaning, my home business teaching piano lessons, and having babies in the mix. Big kids are helpful but the deep cleaning always seems to get glossed over. Anyways, I’m thinking of trying a rotation loop schedule of regular cleaning (bathrooms, dusting, mopping,, windows), deep cleaning items (wiping light switches and remotes, cinager cleaning the hard water spots, cleaning the blinds, etc.), and decluttering an area(decrease that inventory so I don’t have to manage it!)
Seems like I can’t deep clean because there’s too much clutter that I’ve just gotten used to seeing around. I’ve been enjoying listening to Dawn from The Minimal Mom on YouTube and it’s been so helpful at getting the mindset to get rid of things that are just a drain on my mental list.