My Cleaning Routine for the Summer

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

During my 20 years in the U.S., I noticed that the perfect companion for spring cleaning is a relaxed summer. Too bad that doesn't work for me.

This summer, in particular, there are 9 of us at our home: 6 kids and 3 adults. I have learned that kids are not a professional cleaning service and I shouldn't expect them to behave as such. They do respond well to a 5-minute pickup session. The rest is up to me. 

Another challenge I have is the time and energy to clean. I work a full-time job and my morning time is already assigned to something other than cleaning. The solution is to clean when I get back home. Here's how I'm swinging house cleaning this summer

1. I set my limits. There isn't a day I'm not tired after work but I set time limits to cleaning. Whether I invest 30 or 45 minutes to different tasks, I convince myself that it needs to be done and that I will feel better. I'm often correct. Yesterday for example, I set my alarm for 45 minutes. I folded my clothes and I was able to get organized for the week. Setting boundaries gives me freedom. 

2. I divide and conquer. I don't try to do everything at once. I wish I could. I might divide my chores over several days and at the end of the week, the major tasks are covered. One day I might swipe and mop floors. Another day I might clean bathrooms. I combine laundry with those tasks and at the end of the week, I have a good hang of my chores.  

3. I identify the non-negotiables. Laundry and dishes are always the priority. All the other chores follow. I have learned that when everything is in disarray, I should start with laundry and dishes. Bathrooms follow pretty closely together. The key is to identify what will do the most good. 

4. I try not to be frustrated. Dread is the worse cleaning companion. It slows me down and it makes every task unbearable. I have learned to look at a dirty room, take a deep breath and say, I will take care of it when I have a chance. I just can't afford to be weighed down by frustration. I used to be so frustrated in the past and it never helped me make progress with my cleaning. I had to let frustration go out the door. 

5. I hide toys and clothes. I found those big laundry bags and I filled two of them with toys. I put the toys in the attic. I think about the playroom as a museum: we change the exhibition sometimes. No, I don't ask my kids about it, I just do it. When I bring the toys back, it feels like Christmas. I've donated a lot of clothes and because of the number of people at our home, there's only so much decluttering I can do this summer. I hid half of my kid's clothes, so they don't get every-thing dirty. They have more than enough clothes to wear as it is. Hiding a portion of their wardrobe is practical. I did the same with my winter clothes. I'm the person who had clothes for all seasons hanging in her closet. Not anymore. 

How do you handle your summer cleaning routine?