Monday, May 7, 2012
As busy as April was, May is much worse. Everything always seems to hit in May and this year proves to be no different. A is halfway through Driver's Ed, we're finishing up C's Gymnastics classes, her recital was this past weekend, the approach of A's prom, Mother's Day, a business trip for my husband, K's birthday, family vacation, Z's Graduation and the planning of his Open House, where the goal is to have a thoroughly cleaned house, beautiful yard and tons of his favorite food to host an amazing and memorable party for our son. That's pressure. (Oh my goodness, my little boy is graduating. Okay, now I'm crying.)
Throw in the day to day cleaning, yard work, appointments, clients, kids activities and May is utter chaos. And did I mention my early Mother's Day gift? A puppy!! A tiny black and white Llassapoo, who may or may not resemble a skunk, and is currently sitting on my lap trying to lick my coffee mug. If memory serves, that's exactly how C got addicted to coffee as an infant. But I digress.
Enter Pinterest. The site that, with a simple scroll of your mouse, can make you feel hungry, inadequate, bitter and inspired all at once. I don't have a Pinterest account. I simply stalk, copy and paste. A lot. It's a great place to gather ideas and recipes for big events. Pinterest was partially responsible for something I made for my husband's party. It showed a little flower pot full of suckers with "Getting Old Sucks" stenciled across the front. Cute! I think I can do that. Three weeks, 1,000 suckers and a 3-tiered topiary later, I had created what became known as "Sucker-Man", a 15 lb monstrosity who is sitting on our dining room table. I tend to take things too far. Shocked, right?
But one Pinterest idea seems to be working. It's a Spring Cleaning schedule. Cleaning is not my strong suit. I like things straightened and surface clean, but don't look too deep....or run a white glove anywhere....or turn on the ceiling fan above the dining room table unless you want chunks of dust bunnies flying into your food.
I've tried to spring clean. But, I'm easily distracted, going from one thing to the next while leaving a string of half done projects in my wake. This schedule solves that problem completely. The idea is to do one thing per day. Don't get distracted by other things, because they'll have their day.
So in preparation for Z's party, I decided to give this a try. I'm now 7 days in and I can't believe the difference it's making. It's scary what I'd gotten used to over the years of living in our house. Now it doesn't seem to matter if there's dishes in the sink or toys all over the floor, the house has a CLEAN feel to it! And since Vinegar was the Pinterest suggested cleaning solution of choice, my house has a wonderful smell....kind of potato salad-y....mmmm.....
Here's what I'm doing for anyone interested in giving this a try. I combined a few things to do on the same day to save time and some of it made sense to do together.
Day 1: Clean all light fixtures, ceiling fans, cobwebs along the ceiling and corners and dust all horizontal surfaces. This could be broken down into 4 separate days, but I combined them so that I could sweep and mop the floors immediately afterward because, trust me, they needed it immediately afterward. Side Note: I had NO idea how many horizontal surfaces we have in our house until I made my way from room to room. Don't forget the tops of door frames. I also realized I need to look up more often. *shudder*
Day 2: Spot clean all the walls. My stairwell was a disaster. Apparently none of my children use banisters....or napkins.
Day 3: Vacuum the furniture, wash all the blinds and remove and launder all curtains. Again, you could break this down if you wanted.
Day 4: Spot clean the carpet. My Little Green Machine came in very handy!
Day 5: Deep clean the kitchen, including sorting and organizing the cupboards, drawers and fridge. This was an all day job for me that actually ended with the decision to repaint the kitchen.
Day 6: Deep clean the bathroom, including sorting and organizing the medicine cabinet, linen closet, and drawers.
Day 7: Wash the windows and window tracks both inside and out.
Day 8: Sort through your clothes and donate things you don't wear anymore.
Day 9: Wash all bedding, including the bed skirt and comforter. Sprinkle the mattress with Baking Soda and vacuum it up after 1 hour.
Day 10: Repaint the kitchen. (Sigh) Obviously, that won't apply to everyone.
Day 11: Hire a cleaning lady so this never happens again.
All you great house cleaners, please feel free to share ideas, helpful tips or anything I've missed so I can add it to my list!