Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The Big Clean (Part 1)

If you are anything like me, the end of winter signals the end of your quasi-hybernative state, and heralds the arrival of the chirpy voice of your inner early bird. That voice tweets loudly in your ear..."Time to clean!  Organise!  Open the curtains and the windows!" I confess that I am guilty of not always bothering to open the bedroom curtains on the long dark nights and short dark days of winter, but spring is here! The days are getting lighter and longer, and there is less room for excuses. (By the way, I use the phrases "the end of winter" and "spring is here" loosely....a couple of days ago was the first day of spring, and it is currently a blizzard outside!)

Fortunately, we are Jim is currently in the process of remodelling and re-purposing our downstairs bathroom/mudroom/coat closet into a utility room and bathroom with a shower.  This means I will no longer have to go outside to get to the washer and dryer. Yay! They are currently in a small outside room that also houses a multitude of spiders/cobwebs. ( I keep telling myself that not having to fight the spiders or the elements will make it easier to keep on top of the laundry....we'll see!)  Unfortunately, this means I will not get to indulge my inner perfectionist while spring cleaning, due to the contents of that area being spread throughout the house. On the plus side, I'm told that this is a good exercise for my inner perfectionist.  (Her mantra is "If you can't do it perfectly, don't do it at all!"......... Lots of things don't get done around here).

Upon pondering how to go about my usual day or two of spring cleaning and organising, I realised it will be a little trickier to find a large chunk of time to clean now that our little family contains a third member.  A family member who would, undoubtedly, leap at the opportunity to put the nozzle of a spray bottle of bleach into his mouth. (Good parenting dictates that I must not allow him the chance to do so).  Sadly, I do not have the energy, the time, or the motivation to break the actual cleaning down to span two weeks worth of nap times. I need a large chunk of time, and I need a plan of attack. (EDIT:  Remember that thing about not spreading it out?  I spoke too soon, because there is no way I'll be able to get a large enough chunk of time to do the whole house. I'm focusing on one room at a time, whenever I have a couple of hours...a.k.a. nap times). So, here are my tips on making the Big Clean happen. 
  1. Drink some coffee.  (And then drink some more coffee).
  2.  Put a date on the calender for the Big Clean. (Set aside a day, or in my case two,  that you will plan on getting your cleaning done)
  3. Use your childs nap times (or whatever time you find in a day) in the week or two leading up to the Big Clean to declutter and organise. This isn't hard for me, because I think organising is fun.  (I know....I'm weird. There will be lots of pictures to come of all the stuff that I have labelled).
  4. Try to get on top of your "normal" weekly cleaning and laundry in the week leading up to the Big Clean.  
  5. If you have small children and it is possible, GET A BABYSITTER for the day, or even just for a few hours... You can also utilize nap time! (If you are anything like me, you really, really love your child(ren).  But, man oh man, do you feel like Superwoman when you aren't thinking about dirty diapers and choking hazards while trying to accomplish something non-baby centred).
  6. Make a mental note of any particular area that bugs you or would make you cringe/gag if your child were to touch/lick it.
  7. Make a list, or find a good list online, of cleaning tasks to accomplish.  Here is the list that I am following this year. (If you don't already know this about me, you will learn how much I love a good list).
  8. Prioritise your list, so that you can tackle the most important areas first.  
  9. Make sure you have all the cleaning supplies you will need.
  10. Create an Organization Station
  11. Write a blog about how you will clean all the things, so that you have to actually do it on the day you have planned.  (This is to ward off the temptation of taking an extended nap....especially if you have a babysitter for the whole day ).
I have a friend coming to babysit tomorrow, which means productivity and energy should be at an all time high!  Wish me luck!

 What are your tips on getting ready for the Big Clean?  Do you like to tackle it all at once, or do you like to spread it out so that it doesn't feel too overwhelming?

    1 comment:

    1. Sounds like you are all ready. We will be interested in hearing how it went in part 2.


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