I have always been a bit of a neat-freak. As a teenager I would clean my room every weekend. At University, the cleaner in my halls of residence wouldn’t just come in and clean; No she would come in and ask if what bits were left for her to finish. As I’ve got older and acquired more space to clean, my standards have lowered slightly. But we tidy our house at the end of everyday to keep it neat: putting away toys, washing-up, hoovering-up crumbs. So you can imagine my absolute horror when one night last week, as I settled down for my bedtime read, Sam said “Do you think we need to consider getting a cleaner?”
After I picked myself back of the floor, I realised he had a point. It had not passed me by that whilst our house was tidy, we’d grown lax in the cleaning. (To be very clear here, we haven’t been living in filth; There was just slightly more dust around than we would typically like.) I have never felt we needed a cleaner and I still don’t know (not that i begrudge those who do); But it made me realise that we need to start investing even more time in looking after our living spaces.
Last year whilst I was on maternity leave, I managed to stay on top of the cleaning reasonably well, especially in our old house. In one of my old blog posts, 6 ways to keep on top of things, I outlined some of my top tips for staying in control of life. In the (almost) 12 months since I wrote it, I have lost sight of my number 1 tip: make lists your friends. We had a chore list pinned on our pin board in the old house. We did a full cycle of cleaning every fortnight. But I never created an updated list when we moved. Then I went back to work. And now we are where we are now.
Things must change. Time is precious now more than ever, with H taking more and more energy each day. BUT there is time to fit in cleaning. It doesn’t need to be an arduous thing and we need to get back in the habit of doing little and often. I want to live in a house which is both neat and clean. I also want H to understand the importance of housework. To date I have done cleaning whilst she naps, but now she is older we can do tasks like dusting and hoovering whilst she’s awake; On Sunday I hoovered the upstairs and whilst I used the nozzle to do the skirting boards, H followed me round with the handle. She thought it was a great game trying to copy mummy!
So, The Plan:
- Get the house spotless (or as close as H will allow!) again – almost done;
- Create a new ‘chore list’ and put it on the notice board;
- Schedule cleaning time in to my week: 1 or 2 evenings per week and part of the weekend;
- Encourage Sam to do the same for his chores;
- Make sure we get into a routine – embracing my own ‘think small’ advice!
Wish us luck!