Monday, April 30, 2012

Deep Thoughts About Deep Cleaning

I am almost finished with deep-cleaning the house.  It's been quite an experience for me.  I'm going to be honest here; I've cleaned things these past two months that I've never cleaned before.  I didn't even know you had to clean them.  And I've collected some thoughts.

Besides the normal dishes, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, I can't remember doing much deep cleaning as a kid (maybe I've suppressed it all).  And I was a messy (though not quite as bad as my daughter, thankyouverymuch!) so it certainly wasn't a desire of mine to do anything above and beyond the "huge load" of chores that I already had to do.  Due to the circumstances of my life, I had an attitude problem, to be quite honest with you, and that attitude affected a lot of things into my marriage, my housekeeping being a huge one.  I became a busy working mother, and as long as we had clean clothes and food, we were doing just fine.

I'm sorry to say that some of this attitude has carried even until the present (though I'm continually improving, Thank you, Sis Johnson!).  I'm a busy, tired, stay-at-home, homeschooling, mother of four children, one of them who has autism.  I'm doing great to get food on the table, (you know I cook mostly from scratch, right?) and keep us in clean clothes! 

And maybe some of that attitude is true.  All of those things I mentioned above are all valid excuses.  But, something changed about six months ago, maybe longer, I'm not really sure.  I just know that I began to make it a priority to have the house picked up before Jim and Katelyn got home.  Now, mind you, most of it consists of picking up all the toys scattered around the house and depositing them into the playroom, which then gets picked up three or four times a week.  But just having the mess out of the main part of the house is huge!  It makes it so relaxing to be able to sit down with Jim in the living room and not have a huge mess of toys laying around.  And, I noticed that if we do it a couple of times a day, it doesn't take quite so long.

Then I started assigning other cleaning chores to a certain time/day.  No, it doesn't always get done perfectly, exactly when it's supposed to, but things are getting done more often.  And I don't find myself going "Um, it's all a mess, so why bother?"

Finally, I got to the point where I wanted to deep clean the whole house.  There are many different ways to do it.  Money Saving Mom just did a series during the month of April where she assigned one cleaning chore every day.

But, for me, I found that I liked doing one room at a time.  I would go into each room, start at the top and work my way down.  First I would declutter the area, then I would clean it.  I scrubbed cleaned walls and doors, I cleaned cabinets and closets, I cleaned the washer and dryer.  The refrigerator.  I pulled out the stove and cleaned under it.  Something else?  The dishwasher.  I never knew that you had to clean the inside of the dishwasher, but it was pretty gross.  The baseboards.  Know what else?  I've never cleaned baseboards before.  But, after I was done, I found myself noticing them, how white they were and how nice they looked.

It made me happy!  I felt so content and at peace to open the fridge and see how nice and shiny it was.  The dishwasher, the same.  The walls?  Wow, I can't believe I got that gunk off!

And now that I'm almost done, I'm looking forward to starting all over again.  And this time, it won't take me nearly as long because it's not nearly as dirty as it was the first time.

I started out devoting 30 minutes a day to this deep cleaning and its taken me about two months, though the past three weeks or so I've been spending three to four hours a day on it.  So I know that if I just continue to give 30 minutes a day to deep cleaning, that I can continue to have a cleaner house.

I actually look forward to cleaning now.  I actually want to get the mop out and clean the floor.  I think I must be crazy, lol.

I've also realized that I need to get the kids even more involved in the cleaning, mainly Katelyn.  I do have them do chores, but not the deep cleaning.  But, if I don't have them do it, how will they learn?  Maybe my mom DID do all those things when I was a kid, I just don't remember it because she never had me do it?

So, look out kids, hehehehe.  I know some people who have their kids clean baseboards for punishment.  I think that's a terrific idea.

I know my husband is happier, too.  Poor guy is NOT a messy, yet he had to marry one.  I know it's been hard on him.  Last night at Jubilee, Bro Winsted made a comment about children learning to be rebellious from a rebellious wife.  My first thought was "I'm not rebellious."  But the Lord quickly spoke to my heart and reminded me about all the times I leave my junk in the van, even when it drives Jim crazy.  And the times that I don't make the kids eat at the table.  Or when I leave my cup on the floor for a little one to kick over.  Yikes.

So, what's my point?

1. If you truly can only get so much done, then yes, food and clothing are a priority.
2.  But once you start to have more free time, find out what pleases your husband, makes you happy and brings peace and contentment to your home.  For us, it's having a cleaner house so that we can relax and have fun in it.
3.  Devote a certain amount of time every day to achieving that goal.  For me, it's 30 minutes a day of focused, deep cleaning.
4. Teach your children to clean, too.  First of all, they make most of the mess, they need to clean it up.  Second, how can they take care of their own homes if they've not been taught how?

I'm off to clean!



  1. Amen! I like to "deep" clean on Monday's, since it's my only day off. I turn on Jesus Name radio full blast and me and Rachel "shout" through whatever room we are cleaning. We make a fun time of it. At the end of each day I grab a basket for each room of the house and pick up stuff that may be scattered about and put them in their own basket. Then I take each basket one by one and put the things away. Usually it is toys and shoes=) The nice thing is that my husband has a pet peeve regarding dishes. He hates to go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink, so I can count on him to help me get them cleaned before we go to sleep. Rachel loves to sweep and mop so that is what she does while we do dishes (of course I have to re-do, but she has fun).
    I was always taught as a child that if I didn't clean then I might not go up in the rapture if it happened while there was a mess...some may say that's too exaggerated but trust me, it worked! After-all, cleanliness is next to least that's what my mama always said =)

    1. hahahaha! That's great! I'm gonna try that one on Katelyn.

      I made her clean baseboards yesterday as punishment for not getting the kitchen cleaned in a timely manner (this is a problem for her) She came back and said "That was easy and kinda fun!" Girl, you just got yourself a new job, lol!

  2. Loved this post, Jen! I do the deep cleaning the same room at a time. It helps that we don't live in a mansion so we don't have a lot of rooms to clean! hahaha.

    1. Yup, I found myself thinking "Why would I want a bigger house, and more stuff??? I'd just have to clean it all!"