I do Flylady. I grew up in a pig sty and left to my own devices, it threatens to get back to that. I don't want my kids to grow up in the kind of environment I grew up in but even more so, *I* don't want to live like that ever again. At times (like when I'm struggling with depression issues) it gets bad but thankfully my dh (despite two jobs) steps in a lot and it never gets as awful as what I grew up in.
For me it's not about lazy. Well, maybe I am, I don't know,
But for me it's about being overwhelmed. I know Flylady isn't for everyone but her "you can do anything for 15 minutes" thing really helps me. I set the timer a lot. And I follow her advice to pick a spot and stick to it instead of fluttering all over the house randomly picking up stuff (Which I totally catch myself doing). I'm currently reading the S.H.E. books that inspired Flylady. They are funny and inspirational and I'm getting a lot out of them
I also follow her advice to do things half *$$ed
She preaches against perfectionism. Like Calicocatt said, some of us have a tendency to get involved in doing things "right" which means it takes 3 hours to clean an oven and then we're too tired and overwhelmed to do anything else. Definitely don't do that
Flylady suggests things like wiping down the shower with a facecloth and some shampoo while you are in there instead of letting it get to the point where you have to scrub for 45 minutes. Or wiping down a counter with plain water while waiting for a kitchen timer instead of saying you don't have time to do it right so why bother.
Like Calicocatt, I also used to think you had to clean "all day" to have things neat and would sniff at people with neat houses thinking they never spent time with their kids. Now I see people saying that and I can't get too ticked off because I know where they are and I've been there, yk? Like Calicocatt said. I walk through the house on a regular basis and clean up, so maybe that is "cleaning all day" but if I time it (and yes, at times I have) it only takes a few minutes each time. For example, the other day the backroom was seriously trashed so I told the kids it needed a "five minute room rescue". So we set the timer for 5 minutes to pick up. I told the kids when the timer went off, we'd stop, done or not (that's a Flylady thing too). I thought for sure we'd end up with a mess but figured that it would at least be a bit cleaner than when we started. Would you believe that we were done before the timer rang? So I vacuumed really fast
A big thing for me is also having "a place for everything". Now when we pick up, even the three year old knows a dinosaur goes in the dinosaur bin, a stuffed animal goes in the stuffed animal cradle, etc. It saves a lot of time and mental effort not having to sit there and stare at something and wonder where it goes. If something doesn't have a place then I have to think - is it important enough to *make* a place for it? If the answer is no, then don't keep it. We do have one miscellaneous (sp?
) bin right now and when it gets too full I go through it and find out why.
We've had the house sparkling (at least on the surface) many times before. My dh would bust his butt cleaning up for a kid's party. It would take days and lots of stress and finally the place would be nice. And then, slowly, it would revert to messy again. Having routines and a cleaning schedule written down really help me in that regard. The longest I clean at one time is one hour, but most days it's only 15 or 30 minutes at a time (but at least two or three sessions).
I also can't stress enough to get your kids involved. Once they are toddling you can hand them a rag or a spray bottle and make cleaning fun
Yes, you will still be doing pretty much all the work and they'll just be playing but they get to spend time with you and they are learning life skills
It's partly personality though. My 3 year old picks up much better than my 7. Both kids enjoy dusting and wiping though.
A friend of mine was a big inspiration for me. I noticed when we went to playdates at her house (when our kids were younger and we were in the same room with them most of the time) she would clean up the toys after they played. The kids would play with dress up and then wander to another room to play dolls, so my friend would clean up the dress up (uh, I'd help
). It would take her all of 60 seconds to put them away and we'd continue talking all the time. I thought it was very different from how I did things at home. I'd let the kids trash the place all day and then at the end of the day it was, of course, an unmanageable mess that would take a long time to clean (if I even bothered). The other day, reading the S.H.E. book there was a quote where they asked a "Born Organized" friend how she did it. She pointed to a row of used tea bags on the counter and told them "What you do is make the cup of tea and then you THROW THE BAG AWAY!" (yes, that's a quote,
- I typed it out for inspiration). My whole rambling point is, if you do it little bit by little bit, and clean as you go, then it's much easier to do and much easier to maintain.