Beating the Buzzer

Cleaning is such a chore. I have always hated cleaning. I would usually pay my little sister to clean my room growing up. I mean, at $6 that was a bargain!!! Why wouldn’t I outsource the dreaded task? Of course after I got my first job, she wised up and upped her fee to $20. Being perfectly honest, even after an adult and moving far away from Little Sister every time she came to visit there would always be a day set aside for her to help me organize or deep clean some problem area of my home. It’s embarrassing to admit this, but it’s the truth. As I take a look around I realize that I’m not the only one in my peer group that find keeping up with the housework for whatever reason near impossible.

There are so many reasons why the dishes stack up and the bookshelves collect folded clothes to be put away at some later time. Whether we have a husband that has no idea where the sink is and leaves his dishes stacked 3 deep on the coffee table. The kid decided to build a fort including every toy they haven’t played with in 3 years to the living room, but have since forgotten about the fort and now have gone to some new activity in their bedroom. Or you have just got done wrangling the kitchen to find your living room rampaged. A bubble bath and a good book feels like a better way to spend your time than cleaning up another room that will be dismantled in 2.3 seconds. Only to realize that the tub needs a good scrubbing. Ugh.

Pinterest has so many useful tips and tricks to ‘keep up’ with your house. Often as I read these blogs I wondered if the blogger ever really had a messy house to begin with. The most helpful thing for me is to set a realistic time frame to aim towards with tackling the cleaning. I’ve seen many blogs say ‘trick yourself into cleaning in 5 minute bursts’. What? 5 minute bursts? I’d be lucky to clear off even half of my dining room table to wipe it down in 5 minutes. I would get no where if I tackled my whole house in that manner. My favorite time interval is an hour. I’m not saying that when I started the massive clean and declutter of my house that I was able to even finish one room in that amount of time (in fact one room of my house took my husband and I two full days), but I can guarantee that in that time the dent that was made was vastly motivational to keep going. Also an hour is a good time to take a break to evaluate your progress and redirect efforts as needed.

It can be fun racing yourself with a timer. If last time I got the dishes put away and dishwasher loaded up in an hour, then next time I’ll try to get the counters wiped down as well. A little friendly competition with myself usually gets more elbow grease out of me.

My biggest hurtle is my breaks. I would sit on the couch after cleaning for a certain amount of time with the intention of reading or losing myself into the internet for 10 minutes and next thing I know an hour and a half flew by. I had to set myself break timers as well as working timers. It’s so easy to give myself an ‘Atta boy when I’ve done part of the job. But once the job is completely done feeling it’s weight off the shoulders is out of this world.

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