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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Sunday, August 8, 2010

The last word on housework

After reading everyone's comments yesterday I called on of my sisters, Nancy, to ask how she does it. Her house is large and her two kids are still small and she works part-time and does a million crafty things (see her shoes in an earlier post).

And her house is immaculate. Her thoughts echoed what some of you have said, do small bursts, some things she just doesn't do,  and do things on designated days so you don't think about it the rest of the time.

Small bursts: she buys those antibacterial wipes at Cosco and wipes the bathroom and kitchen throughout the week and then throws them away. That way there is no big cleaning once a week. 

"During the week as I spend most of my time on the main floor I do a bit everyday perhaps only 15 or 20 minutes. Vacuum, dust (which I hate to do, it is so boring).The kitchen is an on going day to day clean, 5 minutes here 5 minutes there, like wipe counters and cupboards."

Designated time: She does her downstairs during the week between activities and her upstairs on the weekend again around the kid's activities.

"On weekends I clean upstairs, kids strip beds and put clean sheets on clean towels for the week replaced in bathrooms. I use Norwex cleaning cloths on all bathroom, just spray water and wipe with clothes, excellent products and they remove 90% of bacteriaI vacuum all bedrooms and dust with the "norwex mittens." I will not go to bed Sunday night until upstairs clean."

What she doesn't do:

"I don't clean my kids rooms,  They are a total mess, they do  a total clean out three times a year, one in August before school year,Christmas and spring break."

" Plan meals on Sunday Shop on Monday morning for ingredients."

OK now these are her secrets:

Keep stuff off the coffee tables. The less junk you have the easier it is to clean.
"Throw out junk, nicnac's, anything that has not been used in over 2 years, or put in storage. Make room to move around faster."

#2  " I move like lightening to get over fast so I have more time for myself."

OK there you have it. My big take-aways from this is to do more small bits, move faster (I clean with the speed of an eight year old boy on the first day of school) and get rid of stuff.

Declutter is a big one for me. After 23 years in this house and all the kids that have grown up here, not to mention the dogs, I move around a lot of things that other people have left behind. I have just realized that my space has become as much of a collection of artifacts as a place for me to live now.

Do I really need eight large framed pictures of my niece for every year of school? ( I have those of my own kids). How about one picture of her now? Do I need everyone's old winter coats? They are not going to be wearing them any more and what kind of a real keepsake is a winter coat. It's a big list. Loving people doesn't necessarily mean keeping everything they left behind. Holding on to all those things doesn't bring those days back.

I think I am going to promise myself two garbage bags a week until it's all gone.

Now back to my dress-sewing.


Linda T said...

Sounds a bit like Flylady's philosophy. I've picked up some good tips from her. I think it's flylady.com I get her daily newsletter/digest.

Oh, and I try not to worry about it much. have you ever heard of someone on their deathbed saying, "I wish I'd spent more time cleaning house."?

NancyDaQ said...

I think that clearing out makes a big difference. Less stuff to clean, fewer things to move out of the way and put back.