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.
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!
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