I wanted a break from cleaning! But, of course, I don't want to skip the cleaning... This is my new solution, and I'm in love with it!
Instead of my typical habit of dividing all of my weekly cleaning tasks into separate days, I've started completing them in just 1-2 sittings per week! And. I. Love. It.
I love it because there's an end in sight. I can enjoy a random Wednesday without needing to clean anything, and yet nothing was skipped! I enjoy some extra "me time" (more on that in a bit!).
I'm talking specifically about cleaning tasks here, like vacuuming and cleaning the bathrooms. I still tidy up messes every day, just like I brush my teeth every day. (More about that correlation is this post.)
But these days, I've been feeling irritated with the constant necessity to clean. I just want to get the cleaning over with, and enjoy a break! So I stopped trying to do something every day, and I knock it all out in 1-2 sessions per week. And I've been pleasantly surprised to find that it doesn't take as long as I thought it would! And the freedom I feel on a Wednesday when I don't need to clean anything has been a real happiness booster!
I have had times in my life when one chore per day worked wonderfully, and I know others who love a daily chore routine! I don't think you need to change things if what you're doing is working well for you! But when it's not working well, it's time to try something different!
Maybe knocking out all the annoying work in 1-2 sessions sounds great to you, or it maybe it sounds terrible. Or intimidating. Or impossible. But I have a few tricks up my sleeve! Here's how this is possible for me, and could be possible for you. It might even become your new favorite way to get cleaning out of the way!
I don't *find* an hour to do some cleaning. I always *create* the time. I don't wait for the perfect opportunity. I just get started. These minutes aren't going to magically appear.
I *ask* for help. This doesn't magically appear either. I purposefully go get it. If I knock out the cleaning on an evening, which is my usual habit, I ask Nick to entertain the kids and feed them dinner. I don't try to do everything. Other things can wait, or be done by someone else.
If there's no help available, I let the toddlers be mad at me. They're allowed to be annoyed with me. I try my best to keep them entertained, and invite them to help clean. Sometimes they're content, sometimes they're not. Sometimes they end up watching a movie, sometimes they just sit there and fuss. And it's okay. They are learning what it's like to live a life and take care of things.
I don't clean things that aren't dirty. If a window looks fine, I leave it. If we didn't even use the bathtub, I don't clean it. Don't waste your time on something that needs nothing! **This one thing on its own could make or break your cleaning routine!
Sometimes I do almost everything in one sitting. Sometimes I don't. It doesn't really matter. I get as much done as I can that day, and finish the rest on another day. The main objective is still obtained - allowing myself a break from cleaning, without skipping the cleaning. Vastly important!
I use this time as "me time!" It's an excuse to take a break from something else (like feeding the babies dinner... again) and pop in some headphones! Making it semi-enjoyable is essential.
I RELISH the days where I am free to do no cleaning! How glorious! There are no chores looming over my head. I don't have to spend every evening forcing myself to clean something. When the next week comes and it's time to do the cleaning again, I remember how awesome it feels TO BE DONE, and that helps me get going!
Here's what a typical cleaning session looks like for me:
I tell Nick that I will be cleaning and ask him (directly!) to take care of our two toddlers. (I talk about why this is so important in this post.) I put in some headphones and turn on whatever podcast sounds fun at that moment. I'm turning this into "me time!"
I'll do a quick clean of the bathrooms - they're not too filthy because I don't usually skip the cleaning - and while the supplies are out I'll check the windows to see if any of them need a wash. I'll give the kitchen floor a quick sweep and wash, since I have the supplies out to clean the bathroom floors anyway. I'll either vacuum or dust, depending on what I feel like that day. I use a microfiber dust mitt, so dusting is quite easy, and I go pretty fast!
On a different day, I will vacuum, or dust - whichever I didn't get to before.
I will spend 1-1.5 hours at a time cleaning, MAXIMUM, and it goes by quickly when I have my headphones in.
And perhaps the biggest truth that we all know but love to ignore: when you clean it regularly, it doesn't take very long. There's no way I could clean my house that quickly if I kept skipping the chores - you know.... because I wanted a break!
This new routine gives me that break! Without skipping anything.
Do you usually do your cleaning all at once, or spaced out? Or do you only clean sporadically, waiting until it can't be put off any longer? Share your story in the comments! I've done all three of those.