I wanted to take just a minute and talk about how we clean our homes. Not actually the finer points, but really our attitude as we are going about our duties. Our attitude can make all the difference in how much gets done, and how well it gets done...but the reason it gets done can affect our peace and our families' as well.
I happen to clean to a schedule and think it's the best way. For instance, every morning I make the bed, do the dishes, and give my toilet and sinks the once over. Every week the mirrors and windows get cleaned, things get dusted, and the floors get vacuumed. Every month I work on a certain room. An example would be, let's say I'm in the bedroom. That week the closet would get cleaned out on Monday, the mattress gets flipped and furniture gets deep down dusted on Tuesday, etc. All of this I have written down on index cards and keep it in an index card box. You could use a binder or whatever you like, but it's important to write it down. The reasons are, if you write it down you will feel like you actually accomplished something, you won't forget (put off) cleaning out under your sink on Kitchen Week, and you'll be much more efficient in your routines with a plan of action.
Right now my husband is on Work Comp, my son is here, and we have pets. When I clean, I need everyone out of the house. Yes. They have to leave. I cannot clean if they are watching a movie or up running around under foot asking me where such-and-such is or what's for dinner. They go out and walk around the feed store looking at stuff, or they'll grab a soda and go for a drive. Sometimes they can take the dog to the river for a walk off the leash. Whatever they do is fine with me...I just need them OUT.
When I clean, I need to make sure my attitude is right. It's hard to clean when you are unmotivated and looking at that stack of dishes like they need to wash themselves, and best hurry up about it for you don't have all day. I need motivation. I need to find other women doing the same things I am. It's wonderfully incentivizing to read a blog by a woman who makes a post saying she just got done picking vegetables out of her garden, and is peacefully sweeping and mopping her home. Perhaps she says something like, "This is my favorite chore, for I think about my ancestors who had to do this before. I feel the kinship of this simple act of sweeping. I like the rhythm and motion of it." After reading this, I'd be ready to sweep my floor.
Another thing that helps my attitude is changing my frame of mind from "I have to clean" to "I want to bless my family". I think of giving them the gift of a clean house and I try to think of specifics. I clean the entertainment center so it's more pleasant for Daniel to watch a movie. I clean the fridge so Bobby can navigate the fridge when he's looking for something to snack on. I try not to think, "Yuck! Who's socks are these and why are they under the couch? Further, is that green mold growing on them???"
I love having music when I clean. I don't mean fast paced southern rock. I mean classical Bach. He is my favorite composer, I think. When I put this music on, I'm peaceful yet surprisingly motivated. The serenity I feel helps me to move around the house unhurried from the dishes to the vacuuming, going about the age old tasks my Great Grandmother did on her turkey farm, and my Great Great Grandmother did in Ireland, and my Great Great Grandmother did in Scotland. My family is traced back to the Picts and somehow I love listening to Bach and thinking about how my ancestral Grandmothers cared for their families.
Lastly, let me give you the gift of morale. Chew gum! There are studies that have been done that say chewing gum helps boost mental focus for 20 minutes. I love the flavor and snapping gum while I work is somehow invigorating. We actually picked up a big bag of Super Bubba or whatever on sale just after Halloween, so I'm good on gum for probably a couple of months or so, lol! Another thing that will keep your spirits up is to burn a scented candle. I actually like using melts. One tea light will last like 4 hours or so and they are really cheap. The melts themselves are about $2 for 6 and my personal favorites are the Better Homes brand Walmart sells. In fact, right now as I write this, there is one labled "Fresh Air" burning right now. (My absolute favorite are the cucumber variety!)
Hopefully this post finds you ladies joyful if not downright happy with a sense of tranquility.