Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Incidental Cleaning

If you have a look at my Housework Routine, you might ask yourself "well, how does she keep the house clean?" I actually don't mind housework but I lack the energy, motivation and endurance it takes to keep in tip top condition. For the past nearly 7 years, I've rathered a home filled with laughter, insanity, playing kids, creativeness, warmth, love and fun over a spotless house. Now that I've got 3 days to myself while my son is at Kindergarten, I'd rather spend a little bit of that time doing housework and the rest of the time doing things I like.

The way I get around the housework is to do 'incidental' cleaning. Cleaning or tidying that doesn't take all day, that you don't need tedious schedules or lists for. Just do it as and when you can. With two young children around, I like to try to keep wet areas pretty germ free so do these more often than not.


Weekend showers, when I have more time, give it a good clean with a simple gel bleach cleanser. Every other day of the week, I give the walls and taps a quick wipe down with a dry cloth when I've finished showering.

Hand basin and bath tub:
Always wipe out the bath tub after kids have finished bathing and every second or third time, add a squirt of an all purpose cleanser. Same with the hand basin; every time I brush my teeth, give the vanity top and basin a quick wipe over with a dry cloth and every second or third time with a squirt of cleanser.

Scrub the bowl on a daily basis with toilet cleaner and spray seat and cistern with an all purpose bleach cleanser every second day, once I've used the toilet.


It's always a job to get the kids to keep their rooms clean and they have their daily chores and it's something that must be done before they go to bed. Sometimes they've been banished to bed as a punishment so the room doesn't get done. Once every couple of months, I really need to get into their rooms and clear the toy boxes of broken toys. This is when I give the walls a good wipe down, get into the corners with the vacuum cleaner and dust the shelves in the wardrobe. I usually try to incorporate this into my Monday housework routine but on other days (probably once a week), I'll give the bedside tables, desks and other furniture a quick wipe over with a dry cloth and spray furniture polish.

Living Room:

As long as this room is pretty 'tidy' by the end of the day, I'm happy. The kids are used to making sure their shoes and toys are all taken back to their rooms by the end of the day but other items I have a basket or box of some description by the bottom of the internal stairs which I throw things into that don't belong in the living room. Some days you'll find the ironing board out all day and this is just another piece of furniture I use to pile things onto. (Sorry, just kidding. I wish I was some days. If my daughter's school uniform needs ironing and things get out of hand, it has been known to be out all day. Tsk tsk!!!)

As far as dusting goes, I try to incorporate that into my 'once a week' Housework Monday routine. It's never really done spotlessly. Just a bit of a wipe over the TV and other appliances, furniture, books and other knick knacks with a microfibre cloth. I'm nowhere near as fussy as I used to be.


I wash up once a day, that is when I'm preparing dinner. Any dishes used from breakfast, morning tea, lunch or afternoon tea go into a big tub and wait until this time (unless I've had a marathon baking session and I've run out of room). After I've finished washing up, I usually give all kitchen surfaces a good wipe over with a bleach cleanser, that is bench tops, splashbacks, stove, fridge etc etc. My oven is so overdue for a clean, it's not funny, so that's a job I intend adding to my Housework Monday routine, as is giving my Tasmanian Oak kitchen cupboards a good clean. There's so many cleaning jobs to do in my kitchen but I'm not stressing. I'll slowly add them to my Monday clean up. They'll wait.

I vacuum all floors in the house, that is carpeted floors in the living room and bedrooms every Monday, without fail, and wash the toilet, bathroom and kitchen floor (unless it's pouring with rain, I'm sick or there's something that absolutely, positively needs to be done instead).

Until I adopted this routine, I was stressing so much about all the housework that needed to be done. I looked at organising blogs, websites, books etc and became even more overwhelmed and still, nothing got done. By doing it this way, I am less stressed, have a reasonably tidy home but more importantly, a house that's a home filled with laughter, hugs, play, kisses, and a happy Mum, which is most important of all!

Incidentally (pardon the pun), I couldn't include any photos of the rooms in my house because it's still a mess from working nights, sick kids and a weekend away. (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!) I'll slowly get it back to the way it needs to be for me to be happy.


1 comment:

  1. It's so refreshing to hear that other blogging mums also struggle with getting the housework done. I find my enthusiasm swings according to how tired or energised I feel. Having been sick for the last week I'm happy if the dishwasher gets loaded! I must admit I am a fan of Shannon Lush's clutter bucket idea - I envoke it from time to time but I always seem to spend most of my time putting away things than cleaning!


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