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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cleaning Tips I Learned From My Mom

When my mother was newly married she would make dinner each night but never did the dinner dishes. The dishes remained in the sink until morning. Each morning she would wake up to this mess and had to think about getting it done throughout the morning and sometimes throughout the day - always having them done before my dad came home and dinner was on the table again. It made each day miserable. She hated to do dishes and hated waking up to them too.
One day she wondered if she did the dishes right after dinner, how long would it take her. She timed herself and it only took her 15 minutes. This was back in the day BEFORE the luxury of dishwashers. From that day, she never went to bed before her dishes were done and found that getting up to a "clean kitchen" was the right way to start off each day.
She started making games with herself to see how long it would take her to take care of her home. She wondered how long it would take her to make 5 beds in the morning and it only took her 10 minutes. She would try different tasks only to find out it really didn't take that long to keep the house clean. If she left one room, she always took something with her to put away. She learned ways to maximize her time to make the chore of being a mother, house keeper and wife easier which equaled to a happier life.

By keeping everything picked up each day, her house would be in order by 10 am each day and she had the rest of the day to do the things she enjoyed. Now remember that was back in the 1950-60's when she didn't have all the luxuries we enjoy each day.

From her example, I have also learned these tricks. I never go to bed unless my dishes are done and usually always run my dishwasher each night. I walk around the house and make sure everything is picked up before I head to bed. When I wake up and my children have been fed, the dishwasher gets emptied and my boys put their dishes in the dishwasher.

One of the ways I was able to get my boys to make their beds each day was to start a competition. We would all see who could make their bed the fastest. We would start next to our beds and then say - ready, set go and start making our bed. It made this chore easier and making my boys enjoy making their beds first thing in the morning. They had to make their beds correctly to get past the "mom" inspection to win :-). It takes us maybe 2 minutes when they are made each day!

My goals is when I leave for work each morning, my house would be clean and every bed is made. I usually put a load of clothes in the washer before I leave for work, so that when I get home I can put it in the dryer. (a blog about how I do laundry is here)

Who would want to come home from a busy day at work to a messy house that you had to tackle after working all day long. Not me! Or who wouldn't want to have a clean house by 10 am each day to enjoy the rest of the day doing the things you enjoy? (if you are a stay at home mom?)

My challenge to you is to try these techniques this week and see if it makes your life easier too.

Comments are always appreciated. What are some of the tricks you've learned from your mom or that you do to keep your household running smoothly?

3 comments:

Ann Marie said...

I loved this post! I am loving the pictures of your Mother in her Apron. Oh I would totally frame those in some chic vintage frames, and they would be in my kitchen! Love it!

It's funny about your post, because a few years ago, I found that my huge mess would only take 15-20 minutes to clean up, and after that I try to ALWAYS run the dishwasher at night. Notice I said TRY. It doesn't always work that way-- but most of the time!

I fold my laundry at night on my bed while I watch my DVR shows. It goes by quickly, and I can pause it to put the items away.. Love it!

I am enjoying your cleaning posts!
and all of the adorable pictures!

I have found that if things are org

Cherie said...

I hate to admit this but I have gotten lazier as I have, or as the kids have...gotten older.

I was pretty demanding with the housework when the kids were all little because there was just so much to do and if I didn't stay on top of it I would have such a mess on my hands.

Now I have to admit I do get lazy and leave the dishes sometimes and don't always worry about the beds, etc...

The bad thing is if someone stops by without warning and I am scrambling to get things picked up - ha ha.

I need to really be more disciplined again.
I am enjoying all your cleaning tips!

Sharon said...

I love this blog :) What a happy post :) These cleaning tips are just the motivation I need to get started! I'm going to refer my sisters to this site :)

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