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Housecleaning Hacks for the Lazy

Ok, I’m not lazy. I simply dislike housecleaning. I dream of being a clean freak and it just doesn’t happen. I pin the cool tips and hacks on Pinterest, but it stays there. I haven’t actually tried them. I guess I’m saving them for a rainy day. My housecleaning experience growing up was, “Mom will be home in thirty minutes, let’s hurry and get the dishes done and clean up.” There were soap operas to watch. Friends to call on the phone. Oprah was on in the afternoon, so naturally, you couldn’t do any housecleaning until after Oprah was over.

I wanted to share my silly, yet effective, ways to get your house clean:

Host a gathering.

My kids laugh at me. They come home to a clean house, cleaner than normal and say, “Mom must be having people over. She going a little cray, cray around here.” I believe in hosting a gathering once in a while. Your home needs a good dusting and cleaning so what better time to do it. Why would we go through all that trouble “just because”? You might be thinking, “it makes me happy” or “it makes my soul happy”. Yeah, no. Not me. I enjoy a well-lived in home. My home may not spotless but it is picked up (somewhat). I have a husband that goes crazy if there are two dishes in the sink, so at least the dishes get done often, and I’m lucky (I mean, blessed) that he doesn’t mind doing dishes or sweeping or mopping. Okay, he doesn’t mind any of it. He probably does most of it.

Teamwork makes the dream work (who’s dreaming about housework?)

Grab your hubby, your kids, the neighbor… I am more motivated to clean house when it’s a team effort. Coming together in a huddle and giving everyone a job, “You vacuum, you dust, you clean the counters…,” you could have it all done in about an hour or so. What is tough these days is that I have adult children. Two of the four still live at home but they had to go and get jobs and a life so they’re not home very often. I take advantage of these times we are all together. There’s nothing like quality family time than cleaning the house together. My girls would beg to differ. Hey, they get to listen to some ’80s, Leon Bridges, or Old Country Music…it’s not all terrible.

Beg and plead with your young adult children to help.

Pretty please… I’ll give you a lolly pop, I’ll buy you lunch, I’ll pay you $20 to clean my shower… In those rare cases I get a wild hair to do some detailed housecleaning I have to rally the troops. I have to pry one from her YouTube videos and one from her bed, watching Hope Floats for the gazillionth time. It takes a little coaxing. Plus, I’m getting old. It’s getting hard to do the bending and squatting in certain chores. I even let them pick the music, because, you know, there’s got to be some good housecleaning music, cue “Ev’rybody dance now!” C+C Music Factory is Gonna Make You Sweat. I put it here for your enjoyment.Now, get your cleaning game on!

Cleaning solo? Try not to do it all in one day.

Just sayin’. I’m getting too old (or fat, just keeping it real) for some of these chores. Missing a couple of my laborers (I mean family members, wonderful children) leaves a lot of work for the rest of us. The idea of giving up one of my two days off on the weekend to clean my house just isn’t my passion. Nope. Not doing it. I’d rather be reading, writing, having coffee with friends, or getting a root canal (not really, I strongly dislike the dentist). There is often a day. A nice day that I will have the house to myself and I get crazy. A little bit. I will do all the things. In. One. Day. Enter back pain. Sweaty boobs. And the like. I’m a bit of a dabbler. I’ll start picking something up in one room. Then enter another room and start doing something in there. I don’t get totally engaged in either task. Is this an attention deficit thing? Or maybe the distraction of entering another messy area, forgetting I was already cleaning another space? Am I making any sense? Anyone with me?

This is where the very-thought out plans on Pinterest come in handy. You know, the ones that say on Mondays do the laundry, on Tuesdays clean the bathrooms, on Wednesdays we wear pink (wait, that’s something else. Squirrel!), anyway you get the idea. I like the idea of doing something each day. I get all jazzed, get the hubby on board, and print out the different plans and then, nothin’. The couch seems to hold me hostage. This is where the lazy gets in. How could my mood change so quickly? Because…the couch, the TV, all the other stuff…Have any of you actually tried those plans or do you have some wisdom for the rest of us not-so-housecleaners?

I may finally clean my room when I can’t find a certain piece of clothing. I may finally clean my bathroom sinks when I can’t stand the toothpaste or the beard hair in the sink (thank you hubby). I may try to impress my friends in cleaning the house before they come over, being all sweaty because…the doing it all in one day thing, remember… But, I got to thinking. I heard the term, “Someone else’s mess could become one’s haven.” I would rather have a welcoming and warm home then to spend all of my time making sure everything was just perfect. I don’t want to apologize for the mess or be embarrassed anymore if there happens to be dog hair on the floor or if my toilet isn’t so clean (should be better now that the boys moved out). I want to be known for my offering them a cup of coffee, a hug, a listening ear, or some mac n cheese because a friend didn’t have time to eat dinner.

I don’t want the enemy to be filling my head with lies, telling me I’m lazy or that I’m a slob. I don’t want to give the enemy the opportunity to get me to fall into the comparison trap, comparing my home to the homes on Fixer Upper or other friends’ homes that may be immaculate. I’m just me. This is me. And friends, whatever you’re housecleaning style is, don’t beat yourself up. Let some stuff go. Some things just don’t matter when it comes to relationships, hospitality, and community. I don’t think our guests and friends are looking at our baseboards or the number of dishes in our sink. I don’t think they care.

May your home (clean or not) be filled with love, joy, and laughter. May your home (with toys everywhere) have the space for for prayer or simply just for listening (after moving the laundry to the end of the couch). May your table (though dusty), offer a simple cup of coffee and a hug. I pray these things for my home and I pray for you and your home as well.

Hugging you so tight,

Tammy