Do What You Know: For a Cleaner Home

Do What You Know

When I was first married, I knew little about keeping a home. I thought there were much more important things to learn, in order to be a good wife and mother -- the career I chose at four years of age.

My father always said that mother's cleaning was annoying, and I assumed (wrongly) that all men thought the same. Well, I wasn't going to be an annoying wife!

What a shock I had, those first months of marriage! My husband thought a house should be spotlessly clean. Now where did he get a strange idea like that?

This difference in thinking led to more than one fight, but since my chosen career was that of wife and mother, pleasing my husband was my top priority... which meant I needed to change.

My husband still tells me that watching me clean is sexy!
My husband still tells me that watching me clean is sexy!

A Change of Attitude

To make a long story short, I had no clue where to begin. My idea of house work was to do a major make-over every six weeks or so, because by then, enough of a mess had accumulated, that you could see your accomplishments! Laundry and dishes, of course, being done as needed -- when the drawers and cupboards where empty.

Overwhelmed, by the task of cleaning a house every day, for I really thought I wound never get anything else done, I asked my husband, "Where do I begin?"

Now, I'm sure he thought that was a really strange question, because he simply replied, "Just do what you know!"

Panic washed over me, as I wondered, 'What do I know?' Then, 'What would he do?' That was the magic question: I suddenly knew where to start!

I washed all the dishes, and put them away. Then the counters and stove got a good cleaning. Loads of laundry were washed, dried and put away, floors were swept. I did all the chores that I knew how to do, and that evening he was pleased with me.

I visited with friends, and watched how they kept their homes clean. I asked questions, and learned which cleaners worked best. I found out it doesn't have to take all day to keep a home reasonable clean.


What I Know!

1. First Impressions are Important

What someone sees first leaves a lasting impression. That is why curb appeal is so important to selling a home. What my husband sees, hears and smells, when he walks through the door in the evening will set the tone for the night.

Starting at the front door, clear everything unpleasant out of sight! Make it smell good in the house, supper cooking should do the job. Don't be yelling at the children when he comes home, reading aloud to them is a better sound.

If you don't have time to set things in order, then spray on some perfume and meet him at the door with a smile and kiss. He won't notice the mess until later!

2. Making the Bed takes Less Than 5 Minutes

It also sets the tone for the day, knowing there will be a comfortable place to relax when all is done. I don't understand the why of this, but a made bed also makes getting other things done easier.

If making your bed takes longer than five minutes, then I suggest simplifying.

3. The Sooner the Dishes are Done, the Easier they are to Do

Run a sink of water as you are cooking, and keep the pans washed up, unless you serve out of them, then get the dishes done as soon as a meal is over with. If every one pitches in, it only takes a few minutes to set the kitchen and dining area in order.

4. Floors and Bathrooms

To me, nothing is more disgusting than crunchy floors and dirty bathrooms. The reward of a clean floor on bare feet and a clean bathroom is well worth the few minutes they take to maintain, even in a house like mine.

5. Have an Order

Having an order to get things done in helps me not to run haphazardly around the house, wondering what to do. My mom is responsible for this tip. She told me to start at the front door and work clockwise around the house. This can be applied to any room, the main thing for me, is to deal with everything I know how to do, and not get hung up on bits that I am unsure about. When what I know is done, I can ask for help on the rest.

6. Attitude Makes All the Difference

My attitude towards something makes the difference. If I say, "I can't," then I won't. When I look around and say, "Others have, so I can too," then I find a way.   Remember the little train?  If he could, then I can too!

If you are depressed, get the help you need, starting with at least 30 minutes of sunlight a day!

7. I'll Never be Perfect

But that doesn't keep me from doing what I know. My motto is:

Do what you know, and the rest will be easy!

Ivorwen, 2009.

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Comments 28 comments

Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 7 years ago from HubPages, FB

Today I learned something :-). Thanks.


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

I'm glad Vladimir! Thanks for reading.


alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 7 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

Liked your hub. Good advice. My mother was always sick, so my sister and I had to do all the house work. By the time I got married, I could do everything there was to do to keep a house in tiptop shape. And good thing! Cause I opened a bed and breakfast 15 years ago and all that housekeeping knowledge really comes in handy.


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thank you Alekhouse, I found out I could do a lot more than I thought, when I took on a daycare for several years.


Joy At Home profile image

Joy At Home 7 years ago from United States

Okay, Ivorwen, you've given great advice - twice - on keeping a clean house. This all helps. But now I want you to do a hub on how to keep your peace of mind when your man wants to scatter things that belong in his shop throughout the house....100' extension cords snaking all over the kitchen floor while I'm trying to cook supper (more often than not, running out a door or window to some tool in the yard)...a bulky air compressor thawing (and draining) in my laundry room (thank God this only happens during the coldest parts of winter)...three coffee cans of screws, sockets, and assorted drill bits that have been acumulating over the last few years, stacked on the clothes dryer... You get the idea.

I mean, I get the cleaning thing...I can always go toss these things back in the shop where they belong, but five minutes later, they'd be back underfoot. So how do you get a man to understand the "first impressions" concept?

Now you've got your work all cut out! ;-)


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Keeping your peace of mind, when your husband ideas that differ from your own -- is that what you are after, or is it a husband training course you are looking for?

So far I have not been successful at retraining my man... If I had been, I wouldn't know so much about cleaning.


Joy At Home profile image

Joy At Home 7 years ago from United States

Well, I'd say I was after a man-training course...but I know those aren't for sale at any price, so...maybe what I need is a mind-set that enjoys messes!

Oh, horrors.


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin

Great words! If only the rest of the family would help :)


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

RG, it does help to have the others pitch in, doesn't it?

Joy, maybe you could try my once every six weeks idea -- surely you could get your husband to pitch in when a scoop shovel is needed to clear the walk ways.  :) 

Oh, horrors!


LiftedUp 7 years ago

Ivorwen--

Get rid of everything unsightly, beginning at the front door?! That means I have to chop the mudporch off the house! Well, maybe I could just keep shutting the closet doors, and take comfort in the fact that there is a lovely view of the dining room from the porch as well, and that if you can tiptoe your way through the sand that so rapidly accumulates in that room, you can enjoy the rest of our home.

Now, how to make the outside of the home look as good as my vision of the inside . . . I often wish some of those who write garden articles in magazines, or who write the ads on the outside of the garden catalogues would come work for me for a week or two. Or just send a subordinate to help with the weeding!

Thanks for the uplilft today.


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

LiftedUp --

I understand your dilemma! Having a split level entry doesn't lead to the most pleasant view, especially with the kitchen at the top of the stairs, but aside from moving, there is not much I can do about it... So I keep the dirt and shoes corralled, and the dishes put away. At least your closet has doors!

I wish my house looked like it came out of a magazine too, but that would mean censuring all outdoor creativity... getting rid of equipment and vehicles... convincing my DH that skulls and branches don't count as landscaping... etc. Yep, we'd have to move to obtain that idea environment! :)


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

You are a clear thinker; you express yourself well; you have excellent ideas; you have a great heart. Your husband is one lucky man!


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thanks James!


badcompany99 7 years ago

jeeez if ya wear that cleaning get yer ass over to my ship right away ; )


\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

Is this a re vamp....... useful to the non cleaners, like me... Brenda


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Aye, aye, Captain!


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

You could call it that Brenda! I wrote it because I am teaching my children and reminding myself of these things everyday, and hoping they will be useful to others also. I can get overwhelmed just looking at a pile of dirty dishes, but if I do what I know, the job is soon done.

I hope you are having a good day. (Hugs)


\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

enjoying a lazy day on here, had a very busy weekend.   Having visitors for a few days tomorrow so will be looking at your advice in the morning when I start the mamoth task of getting the house ready........

hugs back to you and your family..xxx


dineane profile image

dineane 7 years ago from North Carolina

all sounds so simple, doesn't it? I've had a time with cleaning too, until I discovered flylady - have you seen her website? Good stuff! Your hub has many of the same tips!


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Sounds simple, but it still takes work! I have looked at Flylady, her method is actually a revamp of "The Sidetracked Home Executive (TM)," but the binder annoyed me, and I went back to the box of cards; however, I know that Flylady has been a great blessing to many.


wesleycox profile image

wesleycox 7 years ago from Back in Texas, at least until August 2012

Great tips, I also hate crunchy floors, it makes me sick.


Mary Moon profile image

Mary Moon 6 years ago

Your tips are great, I will use them tomorrow when I am cleaning up after the weekend. I know what you mean about keeping the man in your life happy, my man likes a clean n tidy ship also. But I do have to remind myself at times, with having a large family, that other people probably worry about the mess more than I do. And when the kids have grown up and left home it will be tidy, but quiet, and I will probably miss the mess then. x


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Some days, it does seem that messes are made faster than I can clean, especially with five boys, but I have taught them to help with the cleaning too. It works. Since I have them clear all of their things out of the living area, they keep a lot of their mess in their rooms.


charanjeet kaur profile image

charanjeet kaur 6 years ago from Delhi

Even after so many months, the beauty of the hub is not lost in time. Loved the concept and ideas, makes life simpler. With the ideas cleaning will be a breeze for sure, if you make a small rock seem like a mountain, conquering it will be difficult.


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thank you Charanjeet. Breaking things down into doable bits is certainly one of the best way to conquer the 'mountain.'


thehis profile image

thehis 6 years ago from San Diego

You're right about the attitude part!


joy56 5 years ago

found it ........ my comment as Brenda Scully is still sat there, aw...... thinking of becoming me again...... love and hugs.


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 5 years ago from Hither and Yonder Author

Thanks Joy, and hugs back at ya!

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