One of the enemies of house cleaning is perfection. Many people don’t want to do any house cleaning unless they can do it perfectly. That means waiting for enough time to do it right! The problem with that is that most people are busy these days and those large blocks of time, combined with energy and motivation, don’t come along very often, if ever. So if you wait for the block of time, energy and motivation, nothing gets done and the house gets out of control really fast!
www.flylady.net says, “Housework done incorrectly still blesses your family.” So how do we do housework “incorrectly”? Here are a few things I’ve noticed I do “incorrectly”:
I have a black lab and a cat who both shed like crazy. I also have two grandchildren who spend a lot of time on the floor. So keeping the floors clean is important to me. I didn’t realize that I vacuum “incorrectly” until my daughter had foot surgery and my mom was here to help. Mom took care of my daughter and did a few chores for me (I was working full-time then). One thing I had her do was vacuum. I figured she’d do like I did and get the main areas but she vacuumed under the bed, under the nightstands, under the couch, in the corners, etc. I didn’t realize she was doing that much until she asked me how I was able to get under the nightstands. When I vacuum, I get what I can get easily and don’t worry about the rest. I figure I’ll get those other areas when I’m deep cleaning or on a day I have time to be more thorough. Sometimes I even skip rooms. For example, my cat is terrified of the sweeper. So if she’s on the pet bed in the office, I shut the door and skip that room rather than chase her out I’ll get that room when I sweep or I’ll get it the next day. The bottom line is that I get what I can and don’t worry about the rest.
Laundry Room. It’s amazing to me how dirty the laundry room can get. I’m cleaning things, for Pete’s sake! I don’t usually have a lot of time to spend cleaning the laundry room (and I don’t really want to), so I just wipe it up every now and then. I usually pull a rag from the stuff to be washed, wet it, and wipe down the machines. They’re not perfect but they’re a lot better. It’s good enough for me. If I wait until I have time to do it right, the room will fill up with lint!
Mopping. Sometimes parts of the floor need attention more than others. If I have time to mop everything, I will. But if I don’t, I pull out my trusty mop and hit the highlights and leave the rest for another time.
- Glass Every week I clean all the mirrors, screens on the electronics, and the glass doors. But once in a while I don’t have enough time, so on those days I just get the dirty parts – mainly the slime from the Labrador retriever and the handprints from the grandkids.
- Dusting. This is another area where you could spend a LOT of time! If you get out the Pledge and a rag and move everything and dust all the knick knacks, you’re going to need a LOT of time. I don’t have that kind of time and I don’t care whether everything is perfectly dust free. It seems like it’s dusty again as soon as I walk away anyway. I don’t usually move knick knacks or doilies or lamps. I dust the areas that are visible with my feather duster.
So don’t wait for the perfect opportunity to do some perfect house cleaning. Just do what you can! And in case you were wondering, the reason that “good enough” is good enough is because housecleaning is something you have to do constantly. It’s never done! That being the case, why spend a ton of time on it when you’re going to have to do it again tomorrow (or later today!). If you were cleaning a room and it would stay clean forever, maybe perfection would be appropriate. But that’s not the case. You’re going to have to do the same things over and over again. Good enough is good enough.
So instead of waiting for the perfect block of time to do something perfect, see how much you can get done in 15 minutes. Clean what you can and then walk away!
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