Do you want to know a secret? It’s not something I’m proud of – I dislike cleaning. I love organizing and always clean as a process of organizing. There’s no better time to get everything spic and span than as you set up new systems. Sometimes clients will ask me, “Of course, your house is always clean, right?” There is a big difference between being organized and being clean, though both flourish with being part of a routine.
Do you know anyone whose house is always immaculate, yet if you get a glimpse of one of their drawers, it is overflowing with stuff? Or there is a room that is off limits, while the rest of the house is pristine? Then there’s our house – you will probably see fuzz balls in corners and décor items will not pass that white glove test! Of course, there are people who have both or neither mastered.
Dusting every week is something I just don’t want to do. As I looked at my behavior and feelings, it occurred to me that I was trying to make myself do the cleaning like my mom had me clean – each week we’d clean the house, all in one day. Here we are back to the idea of finding what works for you, we can change the ways we do things to fit with our personality.
First, I looked at where I cleaned easily. I get the dishes done regularly, though not the way my mom would do it. It works for us. Vacuuming certain areas of the house – where the cat hair dominates – is done fairly regularly. I congratulated myself for the things I do well, even in the realm of cleaning.
Then I examined my preference for cleaning as part of having things cleared out. A great time for cleaning the bathroom was when I washed the towels. The bathroom was cleared of them then and was a great time to dig in and get everything spic and span before I put the fresh towels back in.
Next, I found FlyLady and she presents the idea that we can do a little bit of cleaning each day and break the house into zones. In the way she developed this system, over the course of a month your house is actually cleaned more thoroughly than if you set aside a day for cleaning each week. I tweaked her set up to fit with our house and my style, but the idea of doing a little every day I could actually enjoy doing! For those who need it, she includes de-cluttering in her system.
Have I mastered cleaning? Nope, but it is a process and in setting up new systems, it takes time. Also, I continue to look at what is not working, with curiosity, to see if there is another piece I could tweak.
Maybe you do not struggle with cleaning, though this is an example of how to approach whatever you might struggle with and discover an approach that will work for you. Make sure you recognize where you succeed and give yourself a congratulations. When you identify how things fit for you, you can develop systems for getting a handle on those things you’ve struggled with. If you can limit the self-criticism, you can keep an open mind about finding solutions, as you need them.