The Nose. It Knows.

With yesterday came the return of routine.

Since Thanksgiving, we had been pretty routine-free around here.  Some of that was because of crazy heart/soul/mind/energy-consuming things like traveling and directing plays and writing e-books and such.

And then there were those little things called “Christmas” and “New Year.”

I mean, who cleans bathrooms on Christmas Eve??

Especially when the family members who were supposed to come over had to cancel because of sickness . . . .

So while the past several/who-knows-how-many Tuesdays have passed by without the words “Bathroom Day” ever entering my brain, last night it hit me.

Not the guilt, so much . . . as the smell. 

Yes.  As I answered a few emails after my kids went to bed . . . I caught a whiff.

A whiff wafting from the open door of my kids’ bathroom.

My boys‘ bathroom.

My boys’ bathroom that I’ve been pretending didn’t exist for, ahem, a while

There was actually a moment over Christmas break when I needed to, well . . . go.  My master bathroom was occupied as was the half bath in the gameroom.  I panicked.  It’s a rare thing, even with our family of five, to not have an available bathroom in this three-potty house.

Wait.  Oh.  That’s right.  We do have three potties.  And one was even available at that moment. 

Technically.

It’s just that I never, and I do mean never ever, use that bathroom.

Ever.

And my self-diagnosed Time Passage Awareness Disorder (which worsens during periods of tunnel-vision) had flared up excessively of late.

Which meant that never-to-be-used-by-me bathroom was worse than usual.

Which meant I was more than willing to cross my legs and let my eyes water a little until one of the other two potties was free.

So this morning, even though I could think of a thousand-ba-jillion totally logical and legit reasons to pretend it wasn’t Bathroom Day, I got over it.

And cleaned them.

And lo and behold, they look and smell ever-so-much better.  And it took me less than 40 minutes to clean all of them.  Not “Who wants a tour of my entire house?” clean, but “Aaaahhhh, doesn’t it feel good to be home?” clean.

And that is why I have a Bathroom Day.  To keep “Cleaning Bathrooms” from being a task that gets repeatedly pushed to the bottom of a never-ending To Do List.  To combat my Time Passage Awareness Disorder and make me face the reality that it’s been more-than-two Tuesdays since I cleaned bathrooms and that another week of purposeful oblivion might require the use of special hazmat equipment in that particular bathroom.

Oh.  And I even decluttered.  See that humongous branch sticking out of the red vase?  The branch-vase-combo has been there a long time and was officially getting on my nerves.

So I decluttered it.

Just like that.  Stuck it in the Donate Box and smiled a little smile of victory.

Speaking of decluttering . . . .

Have you purchased a copy of my new e-book?  Yes, I’m planning to promote it every single day in every single post for this entire month while it’s on sale for its introductory price of $4.  There’s even a special combo price to get it and 28 Days to Hope for Your Home together.  And 28 Days has habits in it that keep things like the subject of this post from happening . . .

 

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My Weekly House Cleaning Tasks – With a Printable Version

I’m on a journey.

Although in my 36 years, I have awakened many, many times with a resolve to change my slobbish ways . . . that resolve did little to clean my house.

I had to clean it myself.

And keep it clean.

Learning skills and letting them build on one another is what has made the difference. For the first six months or so of this deslobification process, I only worked on developing daily habits. My goal was to recognize what things needed to be done daily (that I wasn’t doing) and force myself to do them until they felt natural. It made a huge difference and my house was more livable than it had been in years.

But once I started to feel like the house was somewhat under control, I realized that I needed to be more consistent with my real cleaning tasks. Y’know, pesky things like scrubbing toilets and mopping kitchens and other things that were ever-so-easy to put off.

So, building on the success of my Laundry Day, I started trying to clean bathrooms every Tuesday. Once that felt more natural and I saw how much of a difference it made, I designated Thursday as Mopping Day and Friday as Dust and Vacuum Day.

house

This is not some crazy new-fangled idea of mine. I’m pretty sure it’s what normal people have been doing for . . . umm . . . forever. But when my home was ruled by stuff, and cleaning a bathroom meant digging a path to its door and unearthing all of the things needed to clean it, the thought of doing all of that EVERY SINGLE WEEK was overwhelming.

So, what’s my point? It’s been a process. Waking up one day and saying I was going to start cleaning showers, dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and washing every last item of dirty clothing in this house every single week would have been just that . . . saying it. I wouldn’t have gotten much farther than that.

But, just in case you’re to the point where you might be ready for weekly tasks, I thought I’d share a printable version of my schedule. Please don’t take it as an “I have to do this exactly this way” or even as advice. It’s just an example for you to look at if you feel like you’re ready. And even if you do want to create a weekly task list for yourself, your days will almost certainly be different from mine. I do laundry on Monday because it is the day when I’m most likely to be home. I have grocery shopping on Wed because I’m out that day anyway. Maybe doing one load of laundry a day works better for you, and you don’t need a day designated for laundry. It’s your home, and you’re the only one who can figure out what will work for you.

Before I share my printable list, let me try to explain my slob-logic. Remember, I have no “cleaning intuition” like normal people have. If I wait until I notice the need, have the time, and feel the urge to clean all at the same time, I end up waiting for a very long time. Knowing that I clean bathrooms on Tuesdays means that I plan my day around getting that done. Otherwise, I plan my day and cleaning the bathroom never enters my mind. (Ok, I plan my month and cleaning the bathroom never enters my mind.) And if something comes up and I can’t clean bathrooms on Tuesday, all is not lost. When the next Tuesday rolls around, the bathrooms get cleaned. Get it? It’s on the list. Not on the never-ending-to-do-list that gets shoved in the corner and forgotten and never ever finished, but on the oh-it’s-Tuesday-and-so-it’s-been-at-least-a-week-since-I-cleaned-the-bathroom list.

If you’d like, you can go here to print a weekly house cleaning task list. (The printable version includes my list and a somewhat customizable list for you.)

I’m linking this up to Works for Me Wednesday over at We Are THAT Family.

P.S. If you happen to be normal, and see a big glaring omission on my list, something that every decent and self-respecting person should do weekly, please don’t share. My house is so much better than it was pre-blog, and I’d rather live in this present state of cluelessness than be overwhelmed with something else to add right now.

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My Vacuum Cleaner’s New Frontier

It’s Friday . . . so I dusted and vacuumed.  In the past two months or so of this new Task-a-Day thing, I’ve developed a bit of a method for vacuuming my house.   Since all the main areas of the house have hardwood floors, I go through first with the broom and get the corners and edges swept out into the middle of the floor.  Then I can vacuum quickly and not have to try to shove the vacuum cleaner into tight spaces. 

I vacuumed the:

Dining Room.

Living Room.

Office.

Small hallways.

Done.

I automatically thought I was done.  But then I realized that I could actually vacuum my master bedroom.  The floor is clear(ish)! 

In the past, I’ve given it a good vacuuming when I finished a maniacal cleaning session, but the clutter generally reappeared quickly enough that it wasn’t a possibility the next time I had a random Vacuum Day. 

Sooo, Dust and Vacuum Day is going to take longer now . . . ummmm . . . great.  But that’s okay, I’m happy to have my presentable-unless-you-actually-enter-the-room-and-look-at-the-corner-by-my-side-of-the-bed master bedroom. 

Also today I:

Made bed.

Emptied dishwasher and cleaned kitchen.

Swept kitchen.

Did a whole-house pickup.

Ran a load of laundry.  With my new Laundry Day, I haven’t been doing any loads except on Mondays, and it’s working great.  However, an exception had to be made since we seem to have a child who has developed a strange habit of getting up to use the restroom in the middle of the night – completely asleep – and putting his underwear in the toilet.  Yes, underwear IN the toilet.  I can understand peeing in the hamper (don’t like it, but I do understand the possible sleep-reasoning) but I really have absolutely no idea what the sleep-logic here is.  And this is at least the THIRD time this has happened.  Oh the joys of parenthood. 

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--Nony

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