Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cleaning up

I've hit a bit of a "wall" with my spring cleaning.  I started off with good intentions, and with a plan, and I did pretty well for the first few days.  I didn't necessarily do the specific cleaning task that was assigned for that day, but I at least did one of the tasks on the list.  I cleaned out my fridge, I cleaned my microwave and oven (although the oven still needs work - I discovered that I need more than just Norwex and elbow grease for the amount of baked-on junk I've got in there.  I'll need some actual oven cleaner). 
I even cleaned out my kitchen drawers.  I didn't think to take a "before" picture, but check out this "after" picture of my Tupperware drawer (you can imagine the before - chaos).  I was pretty proud of my efforts.  However, somewhere between the weather warming up (I guess it's called "spring cleaning" and not "summer cleaning" for a reason!) and the amount of other day-to-day cleaning that needed to happen, I lost my motivation.  I guess I find it hard to spend a lot of time and effort cleaning areas that only I will see (or some even I will never see, like dusting the tops of my kitchen cabinets).  I know these things are important to do every now and then (even if we can't see the dust, I'm sure we still breathe it in), I'm just not sure that now will be the time that they get done.  Or perhaps they will just get done at a much slower rate, or on rainy days.

I have had some cleaning successes, though.  I think I'm doing pretty well with dealing with the amount of paper that's sitting around, and I'm working at being more intentional in getting things in general into their proper place (for example, putting my Sunday shoes away in my closet where they belong, instead of leaving them by the back door all week).  We've also been doing well with getting Annika to clean up her toys each evening.  Sure, we still do most of the work, but I'm sure it won't always be like that.  I'm actually considering going through her toys and getting rid of the ones she doesn't play with much (or moving them down to the basement), so there's not as much toy clutter in the living room (thanks for the inspiration, Mel!).  I may not be dusting the ceilings or organizing the pantry, but I think in general the house is looking a lot tidier, and that's what is more important to me right now.

Even though I haven't been doing the cleaning tasks each day, I've still been reading a chapter of the book (31 Days to Clean) each day, and I'm really enjoying it.  These past few days seem to have been written for me, as they've been about overcoming laziness and getting past the feeling of futility in cleaning ("it's just going to get dirty again, so why bother?").  That's a biggie for me - feeling like it doesn't matter what I do, things will just get messy again.  As soon as the laundry is done, there's another dirty bib.  As soon as I vacuum the floor, there's crumbs under the table again.  As soon as the toys are put away, they're pulled out and strewn all over the house again.  The fact is, though, that that's life - that's our world.  Everything is moving towards a state of disorder and decay, but that doesn't give us the right to just give up and go along with it.  We were given the responsibility of taking care of this world (and our homes are part of that), even though the task is difficult at times.  It's been a good reminder to me to persevere, even when the task seems never-ending.

However, if the weather stays warm like this, I'm going to go outside and play! :)


LaughingLady said...

I feel like I've hit a bit of a wall, too. I worked like CRAZY the first two weeks ~ partly because I was all motivated and partly because we were getting company. The tasks for this week are ones that I kind of already tackled last week in preparation for company and my intention was to go back to last week's Martha challenges and finish them, but now yardwork is calling and I'm just tired!! My body can't handle all this sudden hard work!!

I'd like to continue trying to keep up for the most part, but I think the next time I do this (and I plan to do it twice a year from now on), I will make up my own Martha challenges based on these ones.

I agree some things seem really nit-picky and won't be noticed by anyone if they get done or not, so I want to focus on the wall- and window-washing, shelf-organizing, de-cluttering, etc. before I concern myself with the stuff no one will really notice but me! (like cleaning the top of my kitchen cupboards or organizing my pantry!)

Andrea said...

I'm starting this challenge too, but I'm sort of doing my own thing. I want to go off of the list (and add some things too, if needed), but mix 'n match them as I like. Part of it will depend on what is necessary, part of it will depend on my schedule and the weather.

Today, for example, I was babysitting my niece & nephew, so I wanted to be in the house (my niece was napping and I wanted to be sure to hear her if she started crying) so I got to work in the kitchen. I scrubbed the outside of the fridge and stove, cleaned the microwave and toaster (inside and out) and scrubbed the hood fan.

On days when I'm working, chances are I won't get much spring cleaning done, but I'm okay with that. I just find having a specific list helps with knowing where to start. It's nice to be able to cross things off, even if it's not necessarily in the 'right' order, or even every day.