Finally, A Cleaning Routine That’s Right For Me!

woman in white long sleeved top

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Good evening lovelies!

As you’ll remember, I said last week that I want to move on from thee Coronavirus Crisis. It’s everywhere, and the more consumed by it we get, the more consuming it can seem. They key is to be alert and aware, but not alarmed. Follow the rules, and you’ll be fine (says she 😉 ).

Now, normally if you come across a blogger or an influencer promoting a product, you can bet with reasonable certainty that they’re being paid for their time. Not here! Unless I’ve mentioned a sponsorship or a promotion, the thoughts, reviews and opinions herein are entirely my own thoughts, views and opinions on products or services that I’ve paid for entirely myself. It’s just the way I roll!

Recently, if I’m going to be honest with you all, I’ve been struggling a bit. I mean, we’ve all been upended a bit this past week or so, but I mean really really. I haven’t just been upended, it’s been more like upended and then forced to live in my own sh*t. Yep, that bad.

You’ll probably recall on my blog that I’ve mentioned techniques and ideas on my blog before like the cleaning drawer or my Housework Helper. They’re all great, but you can’t clean if there is clutter and my housework helper is more about stuffing things out of sight and out of mind until you get chance to clean, rather than getting housework done. Cleaning supplies and secret storage solutions aside, we need something that really works.

A Look Back In Time

About three years ago, I was on the phone to a mental health worker. I never thought I’d see the day that “suicidal” slipped passed my teeth, but here I was, I felt exhausted, incapable and overwhelmed. There was more housework to do than there was hours in the day, and no matter how hard I tried, there was no way that I was getting it all done.

“Why not just focus on one room at a time?” she advised, “that’s what I do, and make sure you make time for yourself, too.”

So I did, I gave that a go. The kitchen on a Monday after a Sunday roast, the lounge & dining area on a Tuesday, Bathroom on a Wednesday.. slowly and surely, I got it all done, or so I thought.

What really happened was that the kitchen got done, the lounge, bedroom, bathroom and dining room too, but then by Friday, the kitchen was filthy again. Realising that I wasn’t managing, I gave up my long, hot bubble baths and afternoon naps. All of the things that made my stress levels manageable were all gone. I was back to square one.

Undeterred, I tried a different approach. I’d make a list each day of all of the things that I needed to do, and I’d go through them and tick them off, one by one.

That lasted all of three weeks. My lists were a mile long and I’d only ever get six of about 20 items ticked off, all the small items, or the more fun, non-essential ones. The big important things, like cleaning the kitchen regularly and doing the laundry before the next week ahead, didn’t get done, or I’d end up with all of my rooms only ever half done. Moreover, seeing the often not-completed list was often detrimental for my mental health.

So I tried minimalism, and that helped somewhat, but I still felt overwhelmed. Minimalism gave me less to clean, but I still had to clean. Now what?

Now, I’ve seen guidance on cleaning for an hour a day before and again, being the determined little madam that I can be, I gave that a go, too. An hour, right? Easy peasy.

Wrong.

20 minutes in, and I was exhausted. I;d changed the bed sheets, loaded the dishwasher, put some laundry away and collapsed. In all, I’d lasted 32 minutes. How on earth could I even do an hour?

A New Approach

This past week I’ve tried something else. Instead of cleaning for a whole hour, I cleaned for half an hour. What I found after half an hour was that I didn’t feel like I’d achieved enough, so I kept going. After 45 minutes, I stopped. I could do a bit more later.

In the evenings, I’ve been playing with little Hugo for half an hour, and doing another 45 minutes of housework. The dishwasher and washing machine can run while I sit down and relax. As long as they get loaded and emptied, that’s the most important part. Machines aside though, that’s still an additional 30 minutes of cleaning that I no longer feel too tired to do!

At first, these 45 minute bursts don’t make that much of an impression, but then the difference definitely shows after a few days. Bins get emptied, surfaces get cleaned and things get properly put away. The bigger chores get left until the weekend, but that’s fine, I don’t blog on weekends anyway, or at least I try not to.

45 minutes is also enough that I’m not running late into the evening. I can play with the dog while dinner cooks and tidy up for 45 minutes after dinner, which still only takes me up until about 9pm, by which Hugo is tired, my home looks cleaner, and I can sit down and relax in front of the TV. We’re both relaxed, and we have plenty of time to relax together.

I’ve also been finding that I do the odd bits and pieces during my lunch break. If the dishwasher is done, I pop the next load on. If the laundry is done, I hang it out to dry. All of these little things can do whatever it is that they need to do while I’m blogging, go away when I’m cleaning, and then be done, and stay done until next time. By not having a hamper of needs-drying laundry done and out of the way within a day, my home really does stay cleaner, tidier and more organised.

Give it a go and see if this approach works for you. If you struggle with housework like I do, I hope this new technique will help you. You might find you’re pottering around in between times like I do, but that’s cool, nobody’s judging here 😉

Until next time!

Be Bold, Be Bright, Be Beautiful,

Helen xx

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