Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How clean is your home?

 The other day, I was mopping the floor and thought about how clean is my home, really? 

Let me back up, last year, I had both knees replaced, in February and May. I then let my cleaning lady go because let’s face it, she didn’t get my home clean. So through the next twelve months, I started to really clean my home.
Purging items from children that moved out, cleaning out closets, straightening drawers, scrubbing, mopping, bleaching and organizing. However, my home is still not clean. I mean, it is vastly cleaner than last year. I remodeled three bedrooms from top to bottom but it still has corners of the house that are dirty. 

Remember, my husband and children are not living at home. Hubby works in New Mexico and I live in Tennessee. So how does a woman who works, has a family and a full social calendar of soccer games, piano recitals and cub scouts get their home clean. 

The answer is they can’t without a plan. 

One method that is popular is to attack the house in 15 minute sections of time and once the house is free of clutter, the house will be so easy to maintain that they will be able to breeze through cleaning in an hour. I never found this method to be helpful. About the time I just get down to scrubbing with some elbow grease, the timer would go off and I was supposed to stop. Meanwhile, I only got one window sill clean and the rest of the house has a layer of dust on it. 

I posted my cleaning schedule several weeks ago. But even with all the effort I put into cleaning my house, I still have dirt. So here is my theory.
Cleaning your home requires consistent effort and elbow grease. You can mop your floor for three months but eventually you have to get on your hands and knees to get the corners. Cleaning is hard work. I suspect that is why so many ladies have given up cleaning their home for either a cleaning lady or a multitude of platitudes about how the children won’t remember if the home was clean. It is so much more important to be a good mom. 

I won’t tell you about my neighbor that I had to help babysit her children because her dad was in the hospital and there were maggots in the sink. She thought she was a terrific mom, and she was, but seriously disgusting. I never let my children play at her house again. 

So here is the good news. I am making progress. Eventually I know that my house will be clean. By cleaning my home in three sizable bites and dedicating extra time to deeper cleaning, I am moving forward. I dedicate two weeks a year to spring and fall cleaning. And every member of the family is involved. The Saturday before Easter is dedicated to the entire family scrubbing outside windows. 

This home is not only my job to clean but all the family should have responsibilities. Even though my children do not live here, they drop off their dogs, raid my fridge, eat the meals, have mom paint their tables, use my iron, etc. They pay me back by helping around the house and they always have.  

 My children have always had a chore list. They are a member of the family. And that comes with duties. They can even wear costumes if they want... like my vacuuming bunny?


I would help either of them scrub their home too… Hey I am their mom.
Next week, we will start dividing up household chores to get your home clean.


  1. good hints Cynthia....the house can get away from you before you know what is great if all family members kick in to help and not just leave it to dear Mom....

  2. Horray! Another very informative post.

    I agree, keeping a home is hard and persistant work.

    I do have someone who helps me clean. She is a Godsend! But I clean everyday.

    I am passing this post along to my daughter and husband. They are such cleaners. It is nice to hear other "cleanies"!

  3. How clean is my house? It depends on what time of day you ask me. If it's dark or shadowy it's very clean! When the sun is shining in it's not as clean. You understand right?

    It was definitely much cleaner when I wasn't working.

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