Tuesday, February 8, 2011

An "Off" Day - Keeping it Tidy in Chaos

I think I have determined that I have indeed inherited my Grandma Janet's cleaning gene.  I love a tidy, clutter-free house.  But let's face it that doesn't always happen and isn't entirely realistic with kids.

I have been following the Flylady's cleaning and home organization plan.  So far it has worked out really well.  I am really seeing a difference in the house.  BUT, the true test of any good housekeeping plan is what happens when you have a totally "off" day.

Monday was that day.  We are attempting to potty train Leonard, my 2.5 year old.  My 1 year old, Isabela, is teething (molars! eek!).  Whiny baby, son who keeps peeing and pooping his pants...all at 7:00am.  Needless to say by 10:00, this was my house.

 I need some really scary movie music inserted in here.  HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?  Anyways, this totally makes me twitch.  I'm not even addressing my bathroom, bedroom or the kid's room...it's just too terrible.  I finally just had to lay down the crabby baby (who was out for the count within 2 minutes). 
 Leonard settled in with a book...

And I went into attack mode.  I didn't really know how much time I would have, but I figured anything that could get done would be helpful.

So I did an experiment.  I timed myself to see how long it would take to get my main living areas under control.  I did a quick sweep of the rooms for trash and dishes and went to work.  Here are some tips.
  • Go one room at a time.  I usually start in my kitchen, it's always the worst. DO NOT get stuck on random stuff in another room.
  • Don't try to do your entire house at once.  I usually just tackle the main living areas where we hang out most.
  • Don't just stuff things into random places.  This means more work later and it's how clutter rears it's ugly head.  Just put things where they go.
  • When you move on to your main living areas, grab a cleaning rag or disinfecting wipes to wipe smudges and other assorted grossness, and a plastic grocery bag for trash.  
When I started the clock said 10:35, I was done at 11:06.  Not too bad considering Leonard spilled his juice everywhere and that meant more cleaning...

End Product

 Don't kid yourself, there will be toys in your living room.  Just have bins on hand to keep it under control.  I have a "kitchen" bin, a books bin and a random toys bin which gets taken back to their room every few days to be emptied.  Oh and my husband's work area is behind that window...yeah...working on that...

See what a difference 30 minutes makes?  Because the house has fewer clutter spots and I have been in a pretty consistent routine, the mess vanished quickly.  There wasn't even more mess under the mess if you know what I mean?

When you have these kinds of days (or maybe this is everyday?) resist the urge to plop down, veg in front of the TV or computer and recount the horrors of the morning.  Realize that by doing a quick tidy you will help prevent further chaos the rest of the day and I don't know about you, but if I am in the middle of chaos, I feel like chaos. 

Once you finish THEN have some relaxing time.  You will feel amazing and your hubby will say wow, the house looks so great even though the toddler peed his pants 8 times in one day, how do you do it!  And yep, you ARE that awesome :)

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