How to Find Time for Deep Cleaning When The Basics Are Never Finished
Maybe I'm weird (don't feel a need to voice your opinion on that), but I have a hard time getting to the deeper cleaning in my house.
My husband says it's because I'm a perfectionist (which also happens to be what Flylady says in her book.) You'd never know I'm a perfectionist by looking at my house, but I'm learning that it's probably true.
WHY PERFECTIONISTS ARE MESSIER PEOPLE
The reason perfectionists are often messier is because we (okay, I'm owning up to it) don't like to do a job unless we have time to do it perfectly.
The people with really clean houses are the people who are okay with “good enough”. They don't have time to scrub the bathroom top to bottom everyday, so they're okay with wiping out the sink really quickly.
Perfectionists, on the other hand, look around the bathroom and say, “Ugh! It's so dirty in here! I have got to get in here and scrub it!” And then we walk out, waiting to clean anything until we have half an hour free to polish every nook and cranny.
So when it comes to deep cleaning, I have a very hard time ever getting to things like dusting cobwebs, washing windows, or cleaning the oven (actually, let's not even talk about the oven. I don't have any idea when the last time I cleaned the oven was.)
I can't stand to clean the oven when the rest of the kitchen is dirty. But because lots of people live here, and most of us are home all day every day, there are always random dishes to be done. There are always crumbs on the floor that I just swept. So I can't ever do something extra because the regular stuff is never done.
I'm crazy either way. If the regular stuff is not done, I feel crazy. If the bigger stuff sits there and sits there and sits there, taunting me, I feel crazy too.
WHAT MOWING THE LAWN TAUGHT ME ABOUT MYSELF
I love to mow the lawn because it's one thing I can do that actually feels finished when I'm done. When I walk outside, I can actually see that, “Hey! I did something!” I get to enjoy the results of my efforts for at least a week!
So, knowing my propensity toward perfectionism, and knowing just how badly I need that visual sense of accomplishment, I knew I needed more lawn mowing type experiences. I needed to be able to do a job and visually see that it was done, even if it became undone the very second I finished.
One of my Facebook friends recently linked to the Motivated Moms planner, and I took a peek at it. I immediately thought, “Gasp! That's exactly what I need!”
It tells me exactly what to do, every single day of the year, and I get to check the box off and tell myself, “This job is done! Good job!”
Here's what one week looks like:
On the left side, I have all the daily basics. (You know, those things that are never done? Thanks to those handy little check boxes, if I've done them once, they are considered done, and I have visual proof that they're done. )
On the right side, there are a few of the deeper cleaning chores listed for each day. It's enough to get the entire house cleaned from top to bottom every week, and once again, I can see that it's done. So even if my eyes can't enjoy the sight of the actually clean house for very long, I can still enjoy the visual sense of accomplishment by having a record of all the work I've done.
The planner has a paper version as well as an app, so you can use whichever format works better for you. I wanted the paper version because apps like this usually tend to get “lost” in the depths of my phone. I use it for a little bit and then it's “out of sight, out of mind.”
You could technically make something like this yourself for free too, if money is tight. I did when I was first married. I walked through every room in my house and made a list of every single chore that would ever need to be done and how often it needed to be done. Then I took a calendar and wrote down each chore on every single day of the year. If something needed to be done quarterly, I put it on the calendar once every three months, and so forth.
It took a long time, y'all! But it can be done, if that's what you're determined to do.
Over time, as kids came along, things got topsy turvy and that calendar got lost in the shuffle.
But I'm excited to try this system again and see if I can finally get to some of those other jobs that have been bothering me for too long!