One of the times I was on leave from knee or foot surgery I started reading the blog Clean Mama, and it helped me get a bathroom cleaning routine in place and also make non-toxic cleaning mixes for the kitchen and bathroom.
I like a lot of her advice but some it is unattainable in France, since I don’t think the French have the same affinity for containers as Americans do (mason jars anyone?). Also I don’t have as much to manage what with only having a baby and a husband and not a gaggle of people whose belongings have to be wrangled.
Anyway she wrote this article the other day: 10 Things People with Clean Homes Do Every Day
Some of these I of course do: we make our bed every morning, though unfortunately I usually make it better than J does. Again, baby beds require no making, so that makes things easier. We definitely don’t let the dishes pile up, and I try to give the kitchen a wipe down after dinner though our wooden counters sneakily hide a lot of crumbs. We wipe up spills when they happen though I have to wonder, besides college students, who doesn’t? And I do sort our mail and throw it into one of three places immediately: 1) a blue stand-up sorter with things we’ll need to take care of or refer to soon, 2) the recycling, and 3) my desk, or if we’re really on top of it, the filing cabinet.
The rest of it is where it gets complicated. Clutter happens all over our house and I am the only one struggling against it. Trying to find places for things on your own is a little tricky, when someone else is spreading things around and then looking for them later. So I wish we were better at this, and relatedly, having a place for everything.
Yesterday we also had a hiccup with “planning ahead.” J thinks he told me that he was heading to work early yesterday and so I had to drop Littlest off at the nanny’s, but I have no recollection of this and freaked out yesterday at 6:45 am when I realized he was on his way out the door. I had to quick text message the nanny and ask if I could drop Littlest off fifteen minutes early, and I hate asking her things at the last minute, because I feel she should be able to, ahem, plan ahead.
So we need to figure out some sort of written system for when we aren’t really listening to each other. Hey, it happens—we talk to each other a lot and some of the stuff he tells me I am only sort of intersted in (Ligue 1 football, for example) so I tune some stuff out. I’m thinking a dry erase board on the fridge could do the trick.
And here’s the kicker: number 10 Be methodical about cleaning and organizing. This is all well and good when I’m on vacation but once I get into a work routine my brain is just fried in the evenings. Not to mention these days I really want to hang out with Littlest until his bedtime and then relax.
So, here’s my question: how does everyone else out there manage having a clean home, whatever that means to them? How do you not feel guilty about it not being cleaner? How do you handle a partner who has different (=lower) standards? What shortcuts do you have that make it all easier?
And on that note, I’m off to deal with some laundry and put more in because I just broke a bottle of olive oil on the floor. It was … not my happiest moment.