Day 121: My Tiny Friends -- I don't mind your overall existence, but not in my home, please!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Okay so this post is exclusively related to bed bugs, flies, any kind of insect in my home. I know I've not been always so great with the CLEANING aspect of my life, even when I was not partially immobile.... Still, it is important to my overall wellness -- physically, emotionally and overall health -- to keep my home clean. I know this. It's a constant struggle, though, and my tendencies have gotten in the way of my marriage, even being partially to blame for my son going for adoption.

I sincerely want to change, but I have so many bad habits.

I'd like to hear people share tips. How do you stay clean? I have a relatively small space to keep clean, but it doesn't seem to matter? And how much of a mess is tolerable? Do you keep it spotless and de-cluttered 100% or do you feel more comfortable with a small amount of disorder? What are your reasons and why, if I may ask?

And if you learned to clean, how did you learn, and can you share recommendations for becoming MORE clean (for folks like me who desperately want a makeover in this area)?
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  • MJK0430
    Look up Flylady on the net. She recommends starting with the sink and working 15 minutes at a time. It changed my entire life!
    2246 days ago
    I've definitely had my slobbish times and, even now, I still dislike chores and would avoid them if I had the option.

    That said, I think the first and most important rule to cleanliness in my life is to "do it now". When I change clothes, dirty items go into the hamper - not in a pile near where I'm standing. When I cook, as soon as I'm done with the knife or the pot, I wash it. Why? It's mentally easier to tackle a couple of dishes or a few clothes. Once they stack up ... the amount of work to do them grows and starts to look overwhelming.

    I also schedule certain cleaning actions rather than just know I have to get them done. There is a day and time I go to the laundromat. Sure, I can reschedule if needed, but I don't let myself just put it off - the new day and time has to be entered on the schedule. Anything that is done less often than weekly is very important to schedule - such as washing bed sheets and pillow cases or scrubbing the toilet.

    No, I do not keep my space spotless and de-cluttered 100% of the time. But I do keep it tidy. I'm certainly comfortable with some disorder, but I also notice that the more disorder there is, the more chaotic my habits and thinking are. I don't have to scrub until things are pristine, but I do have to clean enough that they are sanitary. The big why is health - physical and mental.

    One lesson for me a few years ago had to do with an almost new bathroom in the apartment I moved to with my DDa and DS. I cleaned it rarely and sporadically and minimally. Maybe once a year it got a mostly clean going over, but otherwise a monthly swish and wipe was iffy. After four year, I actually went to tackle it one day to get it as clean as I could. No matter how much elbow grease I put into it, nothing was going to look anywhere near close to new. I realized then that had I been cleaning it regularly, it would have been in much better condition and I wouldn't be working so hard at the time with so little result.

    A good portion of what I do is built from the concepts in a book called S.H.E. (Sidetracked Home Executives). Others here on Spark have mentioned Flylady.Net - where one of the two sisters who wrote S.H.E. is involved. There might be some ideas for you there.

    Oh, and you can even apply the same ideas from SparkPeople to other areas of your life, including cleanliness. Small changes to habits that add up. If you normally leave your bed unmade, start a streak of making it daily. If you leave dirty dishes, start a streak of washing them within 30 minutes of finishing with them. Set long-term goals, then short term goals that help you work toward them. Figure out rewards for milestones.
    2246 days ago
    I just follow the flow of the family & pick up or sweep There is no magic formula to being tidy...but if it makes you feel uneasy then it must be cleaning time .If you don't use an item over a year they say put it in a donation bag. I sure hope it helps and good luck with your chores. emoticon
    2246 days ago
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