I'm convinced that many of you feel the same way. When warmer weather arrives, we are all so ecstatic to be free of the sick days and winter claustrophobia that we begin to see our Pinterest boards fill up with cleaning schedules and de-cluttering tactics promising to enhance our spring cleaning experience and make our home look like a spread in Southern Living.
However, I have yet to find such a schedule that actually seems realistic to me. Yes, ideally I'd like to do a load of laundry a day or choose one room to deep clean each day of the week, but I'm not going to kid myself – life gets in the way of schedules. Although many of these lists have some good tips, some of the suggestions are just downright ridiculous. One of them actually lists steam cleaning grout as a weekly task. Um, no. “Ain't nobody got time for that!”
This is probably a more accurate representation of what a mother – especially one with small children – does to keep the house clean:
1) Wake up determined. Clean like a mad woman all morning, only to arrive at bedtime wondering why the house looks exactly like it did when she first woke up.
2) Rewash yesterday's mildewed load of laundry that she forgot about while she was busy making sure the toddler did not eat caterpillars or hurl himself from the trampoline.
3) Decide that the piles of toys strewn across the living room actually add to the décor.
4) Spend entirely too much time in the kitchen fixing snack after blessed snack, scraping dried food off all the heavily trafficked kid zones, and wishing it was more environmentally friendly/socially acceptable to use disposable dinnerware at all meals.
And, you know, various other things that don't end up on these beautiful Pinterest lists...but don't get me wrong – I still enjoy reading them and dreaming about becoming a superhuman organizing machine. It could totally happen, I suppose. I'm just not holding my breath.
Most of the time, I have a pretty good attitude about the clutter. It frustrates me that I can't always keep up with everything, but then I just remind myself that it's all about priorities. I do what I can during the day, but just like everything else in life, I have to decide what's most important. I can't do it all – no matter how many times I read “20 Steps To Becoming The World's Most Awesome Human Being” or whatever the latest pin might be.
So that's my cleaning tip – do what you CAN. Don't be lazy, but don't be overwhelmed either.
Perhaps I'm just too much of a skeptic, but I just don't think there are any magical tips that are going to keep me from having to do the SAME BLASTED THINGS every single day. That's just a part of life. And occasionally I'm going to find better things to do with my life.
Like dust the fan blades. Uh huh, about once a year...