Throughout my adult life, I’ve tried a variety of approaches to cleaning.  I guess they were all basically successful – the house wound up clean for at least a little while – but I struggled to get into a routine that kept it in a basically clean state all the time.  Especially after we moved to our current house, I would find myself deep cleaning everything from top to bottom (over the course of about 3 days) and then getting burned out and not cleaning again for over a month … which meant another deep cleaning was needed.  So, our house was either really clean … or not.  Usually, not – which was frustrating for me because I love a clean house.

When Haley was born and I quit my job to stay home with her, this was one of the things I wanted to change, but I found cleaning with a baby isn’t as easy as I imagined it might be before she was born.  And, although I love a clean house, it’s not something I wanted to be spending all of my time working toward – who does?  So, I started thinking there must be a better way.  And that was when I found Clean Mama.  It’s a great blog with all kinds of cleaning tips and recipes for super simple (and effective) homemade cleaners, but the part that was totally revolutionary for me was her cleaning routine.  Seriously – go check it out.

The routine is ridiculously simple – she even provides a free calendar every month that lists out the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks to keep a house clean.  Plus, she posts daily reminders of the day’s tasks on Instagram (@cleanmama) to make it super easy to follow along.

 

I’m certain that Clean Mama has no idea who I am – and she definitely didn’t ask me to post about her blog.  But, seriously – it is such a wealth of information and her cleaning routine is such a welcome change of pace, I figured it was worth sharing.

It’s been about a year now since I started following along:  Bathrooms on Monday, Dusting on Tuesday, Vacuuming on Wednesday, Hard Floors on Thursday.  I spend about 30 minutes or so every day and have a basically clean house always.  It’s so simple and yet so amazing.  Her mantra is progress, not perfection.  And I love that.  Honestly I think I’d always been striving for perfection, spending a solid week cleaning the house – and, after that, who wants to turn around and repeat it the next week.  But, by breaking it down into manageable chunks and doing just a little every day, I’m able to keep a clean house and still feel like I still have a life outside of being a cleaning lady.  I also don’t get so burnt out that I’m not willing to repeat the routine again the following week … and the week after that.  The real beauty, though, is that a basically clean house gets easier and quicker to keep clean.  So, the first few weeks were hard – I couldn’t figure out how to get everything done in the small amount of time that Becky (Clean Mama) said I should be able to.  But, just like she said it would, it’s gotten quicker and easier and I can really speed through it now.  Such a game changer!

Now, I’ll be totally honest – I’ll do really good at following the routine exactly for several weeks in a row.  And then something usually happens and I wind up not sticking with it so great for a couple of weeks.  Sometimes our schedules just don’t make time for it … and other times I get bored or feel like I’m cleaning something that isn’t really dirty and take a bit of a break.  I kind of wind up doing this on-again-off-again thing with the routine.  And I think that’s ok.  Having a routine to come back to when the house starts looking a little rough around the edges again makes for a quick recovery.

The key for me has been breaking the work down into manageable chunks and doing just a little at a time.  Plus, it’s perfect with a toddler in tow.  I usually do my cleaning tasks right after breakfast when Haley is busy playing and I’m able to finish everything up before she loses interest in her toys.

I think, like anything, the hardest part for me was just getting started.  But, once I got into it and was able to look at cleaning as a bunch of small, quick tasks rather than a huge project that was going to take days to finish, it because much more do-able and much less overwhelming.

Now, if only Clean Mama could work the same miracle with all of the painting projects on my way-too-long list.  Ha!

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