Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Housecleaning: 5 Minute Method

Pirate band-aids, on a dining room chair.

I used to have a Thursday morning date with my house, for cleaning. Maybe an hour or so spent straightening, dusting, vacuuming, bathrooms, etc. Just maintenance, general upkeep stuff. Now, in my extra Busy Life, I have 5 minutes about every day or so. The whole house is never clean at once this way, but it's how it is right now. Maybe one room gets vacuumed. One room dusted. Random items scooped up from odd places and put rightfully away. I could spend time nagging or wondering why the 6 year-old has a trail of detritus in his wake, or why no one else seems to pick up socks, but I'd rather just do it.

This morning was a scooping and putting away day.
3 socks, none matched, in three different rooms.
(One doesn't even belong to us.)
2 ATC books to be taken to their owner.
(The bottom one is a Swap Book that
ACTUALLY circulates from the Rockport Library.
You can swap out a card and replace it with your own!
How cool is it to have a book that will never ever be the same twice?)
Sylvan's discarded pants,
about three feet from the dirty clothes hamper.

Sylvan's discarded pajamas,
in the dining room where he got dressed this morning.

Some kind of tiny vehicle with big wheels.
Monster truck, maybe? Also Sylvan's.
Cowboy boots, willy-nilly in the kitchen. Sylvan's.
Two piles of my school readings consolidated into one!

I also put two games away, and threw away a gum wrapper. Are you wondering where all of Jonas's stuff is? Well, it seems in this 5 minutes it was mostly put away (socks and games were his). Actually, he prefers only to change his clothes when hassled into doing it, so not much laundry from him. The man of the house helps on the weekends, to his credit, and I am so grateful that Jonas likes to clean the toilet (with gloves on, who could blame him). Sylvan even changes the toilet paper roll! Now these are enlightened men! I am very lucky.


  1. You had my attention with "housecleaning" and "5 minutes" in the same sentence. I used to pay my lovely friend to come and do my vaccuuming and dusting every week or two, but selfishly went and had a baby and now I have to do it myself. It's quite a good feeling once it's done, but I'd rather someone else did it.
    5 minutes at a time is really good idea though- even I could do that!

  2. Well, Iris, that has to be the most beautifully photographed piece of housekeeping, ever.

  3. Sylvan takes after his Auntie Care.

  4. Hey Iris, that white sock looks like mine! Ikee

  5. You know what got me going on this cleaning frenzy? I signed up for something called FlyLady; an email list where you get emails every day, reminding you of daily routines and giving you one task to do every day. All in 10 min's to 1 hour. You work yourself through different 'zones' every week - kitchen one week, bathroom next etc. But I had some trouble containing myself, so I ended up doing a full cleanout of the zones. I have the time, the energy (and I don't know how long any of that might last) and it's certainly needed. I actually enjoy myself, I like the feeling of deep connectedness to my house and my family.

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