Friday, March 23, 2012

Another Friday

When you live where- and what- you work, Fridays can get to feeling like just another day in a long, long line.

Sure, there are things that make each day special, and Fridays always hold that ramp-down anticipation in the air that can only come with the conclusion of the week, but still... Saturday will come around, and the same things will need to happen that morning that demand attention on a Wednesday, or a Monday, or a Sunday.

For us, Fridays do hold something that sets them apart from other days- Fridays are cleaning days. In addition to our little pick-up, straighten-up, mini-mess-management cleaning efforts, Fridays are when bathrooms, floors, sheets, and most laundry get full attention. I have it down to a science, y'all. In fact, most days I can get the entire downstairs half of the house clean in Henry's morning nap time.

For some reason this week, I've totally slacked on most of my efforts to manage the mini-messes, though, justifying it with the impending cleaning that usually happens on Fridays.

Now it's Friday.


Waking up to the feeling that your house is yuckier than usual and just waiting for you is a buh feeling. Especially when you have to leap-frog over little laundry piles to get to the bathroom, then you actually crunch through petrified crumbs on your way to the coffee pot (was that a piece of pancake from Tuesday?), and your foot sticks to something as you walk to the sink... and that's not even touching on the greenish, pollenish film on all the flat surfaces from having the windows wide open all week...

So what's a girl to do? Why, make that coffee extra strong, throw a batch of these muffins in to the oven, and strategize, of course!

My Trusty Routine Cleaning Strategy

1. Pick up: you can't clean anything when there are toys, laundry, books, magazines, cups, etc. everywhere, SO my first step is always to pick up and put away, or at least relocate to the correct room.

2. Do your thing from the top down: dirt and dust follow gravity! SO don't start by sweeping or vacuuming, because you'll be redoing it before the day is done... especially if you have a family member who is an expert at flinging... well... everything.

3. Go chore-by-chore, not room-by-room: if I try to focus on one complete room at a time, I usually find myself distracted, and, say, changing out the laundry because while cleaning the kitchen I realized I still hadn't put my shoes away and on the way to the closet realized the washer needed to be emptied. Instead, if I'm just doing floors, all at once and right now, I'm moving, I'm working, and I'm completing a task that has a tangible beginning and end. 

4. Work on the hard stuff when the mess-makers are away: when my "helper" is with me, you can guarantee I'm not cleaning her room, or picking up her toys, OR working with something really yucky or chemically (read: litterbox or potties). I am, however, doing a few of the things she can "help" with, like sheets, or sweeping. It helps keep the 'done' list from being undone, and lets her help with stuff that is safe and within her skill level.

5. On an average week (ahem), clean as you go! One ounce of prevention is worth ten ounces of cure, people, and it's so true.

I should probably add a 6th point to this list: get off the computer. I guess I should take my own advice and get started, because the Littles will be up soon, and I sure don't want these week-old crumbs on the floor to start looking like a good breakfast supplement to the Henny-Benny.

Despite it all, I still can't help but feel glad it's "just" another Friday.

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