I’ve been using my spreadsheet for weekly cleaning tasks for the past several weeks now, and it’s working out real well. Some of you may have thought the spreadsheet was a silly and superfluous step, but for me it was necessary because I was missing too many tasks week-to-week. Fortunately, it's now becoming routine enough that I don’t need the spreadsheet to remind me of some of the more infrequent tasks.
While it’s fairly easy to psych up and tackle a bunch of tasks in a few hours one morning a week, it is much harder to discipline oneself to not let things get too out of hand between cleaning days (Thursdays are working well for me). Everything looks so nice after it’s cleaned and shined, but it can all go downhill fast in a matter of minutes. If I allow this downhill trend to continue to compound, I'll be buried in an avalanche fast. Then, I'll be dreading my cleaning day because it will seem so overwhelming.
Keeping a consistently clean house requires much diligence. I used to think that I was the only one who struggled so hard with housekeeping—not so much the act scrubbing, dusting, and vacuuming, but the discipline of not letting things get out of control. I have come to realize that there really is no magic formula for keeping a clean house, nor is there an easy way out. It is hard work, and that’s ok.
"Let us not dread labor. Beautiful rewards and satisfaction come from labor. Sweat and work are not to be despised, as they bring enjoyable results. Cleanliness and order enhance the environment of our homes and surround our loved ones with comfort. This makes the labor of our hands worth the effort." (Heaven at Home: Establishing and Enjoying a Peaceful HomeHelpful housekeeping hints build on top of each other. Slowly as time goes on, you’ll find you’re doing better than you were before. It’s a process, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Plus, there are different stages of life—some much harder than others for keeping things tidy. Be patient through these stages and don’t be too hard on yourself. As you consistently practice discipline, it will become a habit. When the stage of little children (or whatever else) passes, housekeeping disciplines will be more noticeable in your home.
What are some of the disciplines I’m talking about?
- Putting something away right away, all the way.
- Picking up a mess right away, all the way.
- Not allowing too many messes to happen simultaneously (This is my weak point. The kids can dump out toys, and I allow them to leave them to have a snack, which they spill and get crumbs all over the floor, and then I remember I have to throw in a load of laundry, and then they get markers out and write where they shouldn’t, and on and on we go. You can see how things can get completely out of control very fast).
- Doing dishes and putting them away right away. (They don’t build up too badly this way).
- Sweeping the floor after every meal.
- Many others!
Please share any housekeeping disciplines that help you in the comments section!