Monday, November 14, 2011

Change It Up Challenge (Nov): Cleaning

I come from a very clean family--one of my Dad's first memories of me is when I mopped up my own juice spill when I was two years old (which I'm sure I learned from watching my mother, who is the cleanest person I know). Unfortunately, that go-getter attitude towards cleaning that I had when I was two did not carry over to my adult life, or even to my teenage life (or even over to the next year of life, I'm afraid). I think my mom has been telling me to clean my room since I was old enough to start accumulating too much stuff (a.k.a., preschool). I just always had better things to do than clean, it seemed--extracurricular activities, reading, friends, work,, for me, has always been a weekend thing: wake up Saturday morning, cook up some creamed eggs over toast, then clean the house for 4 hours. And this system worked just great for my early college years, because I always had roommates who were willing to clean on a daily basis :).

The cruel irony of my personal bad habits when it comes to cleaning is this: although I am not, by nature, a very clean person, I am VERY used to living in a clean house. If anyone has ever had the pleasure of being at my mom's house, you know that it is always immaculate. Therefore, I expect to live in a clean house, but don't have the tendencies towards making it that way. Oh cruel, cruel world.

Now that I'm married, I've found that my "roommate" seems to have the exact same cleaning habits I do, but that he doesn't require quite the same standard of perfection of cleanliness.

Translation: our apartment has turned into a fire hazard.

And the time has come to do something about it.

So this month, I'm asking you for your advice:
-How do you split the cleaning duties between yourself and your significant other?
-What strategies do you have for maintaining an orderly home despite a busy schedule?
-I have way too much stuff and not enough places to put it: do you have any organizational strategies for me? Any cute ideas you've  seen on Pinterest to make a small space hold more stuff?

I welcome your answers to these and any other comments you might have. I will try my best to try them all. And in my report at the end of the month, if I tried your suggestion, I'll make sure to credit you with that in the post.
Wish me luck!


  1. uh yeah, hand and foot and byuopoly were way better uses of our time.

  2. Lol Mara! I would say the easiest thing for me has been to do a daily cleaning chore list. I looked at the things that NEED to be done daily and decided that was: dishes. amen. (which don't really get done daily, but I wish it did, as you have witnessed my horrendous pile of dishes) Tidying was another daily need. Those are on everyday of the week. Then I take mon-sat and add a little chore. for example mine is: Mon- vacuum, Tues-mop and spot dust, Wed- clean bathroom, Thurs- Laundry, Fri- Vacuum (again), Sat- mop and deep clean whatever for 2(ish) hours (or catch up, which is usually what I end up doing) Sun I just do the daily needs. So there it is, my cleaning attempt at a schedule which sometimes I am really good and other times I get behind, but it still feels good to have a plan laid out. As for Cabe and I splitting the chores... I stay at home while cabe goes to school so I assume most household responsibilities when it comes to cleaning. He takes out all garbage (and gets it to the road), pulls the plug when the dishwater is icky, kills the spiders when I move beds, and pretty much anything else that requires a lot of muscle or the stomach to do. He's great to help when I ask, but we don't have assignments. I'm excited to hear how everything goes with your change it up :).

  3. wow, you don't want my advise! you should see my apartment... i never have the energy to clean.

    vince grew up in a house with a very tidy mom, and a mom who cleaned a lot for him... so, he was used to that standard but not used to always having to be the one to keep it that way. i came from a house full of clutter even though it kind of drives me crazy.

    so, i'm anxiously waiting your results post because i need help too!!


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