Cleaning cleaning! Not everyone likes. It requires quite the physical exertion and discipline to do it. I am not sure how to motivate others to do it. All I can do is share what I have done to learn to love it. I think of my home as my little kingdom like I have mentioned before, so when I take care of it I feel like I am doing a good job at taking care of what I have been given. I also see a house as an investment. The more I take care of it the more it will be worth and the easier it will be to sell it. I like clean environments because I thrive better in them. I feel clean when what is around me is clean as well.
I take pride in being a good housewife. Growing up in Italy I always felt like a housewife (the casalinga) was viewed like a distinct job that you take seriously and take pride in it. Being a housewife meant that you were the ultimate expert in anything home. From cleaning techniques, to cooking, to having your kid well groomed. The women that did it took pride in it and had their homes always spic and span and ironed everything down to their kids underwear. I have seen moms do that, more on that on my ironing tips.
I saw the same when I moved to the Canary Islands. My best friend’s mom was a housewife with two kids and she took great pride in waking up and making breakfast, than sweeping patios, watering plants, washing clothes, preparing lunches, taking the kids to and fro, ironing, cleaning bathrooms, then preparing meals. I always admired how she would carefully place the items in the refrigerator after going grocery shopping. Or how she would take the time to scrub her dishes with tons of soap and make sure that every nick and corner was cleaned. She would mop her house almost every other day and then would sit on her porch and soak up the sun while the freshly cleaned floors were drying with the windows opened. My grandmother was a house wife as well. And so was my step grandmother. She was more the type that would take chickens and rabbits and kill them and skin them and cook them for dinner. But she would also bake fresh bread and always have some treat ready for me to eat when I visited her. From a glass of water to a piece of fruit.
These are all the things that always made me actually admire housewives. I never viewed them as lazy, or any less. I saw confident women in them that knew what they were doing. Women that knew how to roll some fresh pasta and that were particular with how they washed their cups so that they would dry without water spots. Some may call them boring and women that have nothing else to do. I saw the precision in what they did and the care they put into what was given to them. They cared for their kids even if it meant that they constantly yelled at them to get them to have manners, play well with friends, or to grow up to be proper man and women. I hope you can go to Europe to witness this for yourself. Oh and don’t forget the apron. One of my mom’s friends had an apron with frills and would sew her own dresses. She would sew anything for anyone if you ever asked her to.
So how did this cleaning list get started? When I first got married we lived in an apartment and Saturday was cleaning day. That’s how it was for us growing up to. We could do it quickly since the place was small and we both worked and went to school. Then when we had kids I started doing most of the cleaning. Eventually I realized that I preferred cleaning during the week so that on Saturday we could all go out as a family. I realized also that I couldn’t quite clean the whole house by myself uninterrupted with little ones at home. Plus it would take me too long.
Because I was cleaning every day I started noticing that I was having a hard time keeping track of the timing of things etc etc. So I came up with a system to help me remember which days I would do that and so that I wouldn’t end up repeating things or spend my whole day every day cleaning. It’s like giving yourself homework. When I ask my kids to do a chore they do it real fast and move on without even thinking about it twice. By having this system I knew I could tackle my whole home when needed and get it done faster and not have to look for dirty walls or weather my baseboards hadn’t been done in a while.
I’ll break down a few thing son my list.
I set two days because our family has lots of loads to do.
I fold clothes as I go a little bit each day, but by wednesday the goals is to be done.
Anything at the Bottom are things that I either do once a month or every other week. The things at the top are weekly.
Make bed: I make my bed every day. I think of the military that say that discipline comes from starting by making your bed. I’ll another story as to way I am so constant about it. For me it’s that accomplishment moment that says I am out of bed and I start one baby step at a time. My first baby step is making my bed! Sometimes I still shower first, or go to the gym, but when I get started with my day, I make my bed right away! Hey life sometimes happen, so be prepared for being kind to yourself if needed as well and letting go.
Put clothes away: Every morning there are a few things around the home that are around from everybody getting ready. I call that my put clothes away moment.
Disinfect kitchen: This one means wipe cabinets. I do it on the inside but only every 6 months.
Polish Cabinets: This one means to apply the oily nourishing product to anything that is made of wood at home. Not the painted cabinets or furniture, though.
Magic Eraser nad Paint Retouches: This one is for when walls get dinged. I keep my paint colors for walls, doors and baseboards in jars and once a month I know where it got damages and I paint over it with a small brush. I blend it in well so it doesn’t show as much against the natural light. I try to wipe stains with a magic eraser sponge at first always. I go gentle though because it cleanses stains by gently sanding down your walls.
Dishes: I do dishes throughout the day, I empty out the dish washer in the morning, but after dinner it’s my cleaning time when I can run the dishwasher and do dishes by hand. Then I clean up counters and close down the kitchen and living room for the night. I tidy up things a bit before bed.
You can change and adapt this to your needs. I can honestly say that my home hasn’t been dirty for a very long time because of this though. It’s not a perfect system. I change it when we have a baby and life gets in the way, but when our normal routines are going it has always worked out. Happy Cleaning!
Ask me more questions if you have them!