Friday, November 12, 2010

By the Book: It's no hassle if you don't do it

I haven't been posting about cleaning, because I haven't been cleaning! Too under the weather for about a week. So sadly, I haven't yet been able to witness the cumulative effect of cleaning 45-60 minutes a day. However, I do think the strategies in the book are useful. I prefer to approach house cleaning in short bursts rather than being overwhelmed by the whole process. My favorite parts of the book are the last section which has a checklist of tasks for each room. It's not as if I don't know I need to mop the bathroom floor, but seeing it on the list is that extra bit of nagging that will make it happen.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

No-Hassle??? Part 3

(Day 2 confirms it -- all I can do in 15 minutes is start a load of laundry and unload and load the dishwasher. These are things that have to be done every day and don't get faster the more you do them. If I live to be 70, I will spend another solid 133 days on this 15-minute task.)

Did you know I'm a gold medalist at Olympic Husband Steering? Like when you enter Target and he attempts to veer toward the wrong aisle? Subtle pressure on his arm can wordlessly steer him where you need to go. Also, hand-holding in public may seem super sweet, but it's also an effective method of Husband Steering.

I mention this because No-Hassle House Cleaning has inspired me to attempt a sort of mental husband steering! (This might be more effective if it were actually covert, but he may read this and rebel against my efforts.) Spence (<-- she has a blog!!!) writes, "A positive attitude is contagious." I think there's also something about how nagging doesn't work. So I'm going to keep cleaning and be all, "OH IT'S SO NICE HOW X AND Y ARE SO CLEAN! I THINK I WANT TO CLEAN SOME MORE BECAUSE IT'S SO FUN!!!!" Then Nick will be all, "HEY SWEETIE, CAN I HELP YOU???? IS THE TOILET AS CLEAN AS YOU LIKE IT? BECAUSE I WILL CLEAN IT AGAIN FOR YOU!!!"

Today's victory: it is easier to clean the kitchen sink/counter/floor when you just did it the previous day!

Advice I won't follow again: wash your dishcloth in the dishwasher so it's clean the next day. No, it's not. Every piece of gunk on your dishes will stick to the dish rag and you'll have to wash it again.

I am really enjoying this book, and looking forward to reading the author's blog. I see she posted about cleaning a clogged shower head which is a chronic problem in our house.
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

No-Hassle House Cleaning Part 2

Despite sleeping only four hours last night, I took the challenge and spent a total of 45 minutes cleaning today!

The first step was to add a notebook to my maid caddy -- to write down needed supplies or big tasks to remember later. Good advice from the book which also has me a little nervous about cleaning for 45 minutes everyday. This is how it breaks down for today:

  • 15 minutes quick cleaning in the morning: a load of laundry in the washer, wiping a few things in the bathroom, barely started unloading the dishwasher
  • 15 minutes quick cleaning in the evening: another load of laundry, a little folding, finishing the dishes, cleaning the kitchen sink/counters
  • 15 minutes focus on the living room: dusting, decluttering, de-cat-hairing
Yes, I am shocked at how little I got done in all that time! I know the effects will be cumulative, but after 45 minutes of vigorous cleaning, that's it??!?! Still, I'm committed to seeing if the house stays a little cleaner after doing this for a little while.

(But would anyone with a job or kids or hobbies be able to spend this kind of time and then write about it every day? My God, how does anyone keep their house clean??)

The highest impact tasks from today were scrubbing the sink and sweeping the kitchen. I will definitely keep them on the daily list. Biggest disaster of the day -- cleaning the bathroom mirror with the wrong cleaner. Nick and I will either get used to seeing ourselves as slightly foggy/streaky, or I'll try to clean it again tomorrow.
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Monday, November 1, 2010

By the Book: No-Hassle House Cleaning

(Bookstores are choking with books that claim they will change your life! And I'm a real sucker for them. Every time I'm stumped by a problem, I think "Is there a book about this?" Starting with the assumption that any instruction/self-help/advice book is only as effective as the reader's intention to make it work, I started this project. This is the first in a series of "By the Book" posts in which I read a book, follow its advice, and let you know how it works out.)

Today, out of growing anxiety that I'm not a good enough housekeeper, I picked up No-Hassle House Cleaning by Christina Spence. The first challenge, it seems, is to admit I'm "a happy slob and proud of it." I'm guessing a proud, happy slob would not worry the Borders cashier is judging her for needing a book to clean the house.

I was happy to discover in the first few pages that I'm already doing some things right! From Spence's list of ways to make cleaning fun:

  1. Music
  2. Use a timer -- 15 minutes at a time is my personal limit.
  3. Have a cleaning kit -- I love my little cleaning caddy; it makes me feel like a real merry maid.
The next step is to keep reading and clean something... tomorrow. For now, I have an assignment due for my academic library class.
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