My grandma was the queen of cleaning routines and she was really old-school about it, too- Mondays were for washing, Tuesdays are for ironing, etc. You know, kind of like that old song goes.
I’m not so vigilant when it comes to my house-cleaning but you can bet she showed me a thing or two whenever I stayed at her place for the weekend.
Here are some of the things I learned from her on creating your own kick-butt cleaning routine.
She planned it out in advance. Cleaning wasn’t something that was done only when company was coming over, or when it got so bad she couldn’t stand it anymore. Instead, she formed a plan of attack and stuck to it, meaning she still had time to spend with her family and do the things she loved. Oh, and she also was holding down a job at the same time. Did I mention that?
She focused on one thing at a time. I do this version of cleaning sometimes that I like to call “puttering” where I basically float around from room to room completing a small task here or there and never really getting anything accomplished. It feels good, but it’s kind of useless. Again, having a routine keeps you focused and saves you time and trouble.
She focused on up-keep instead of deep-cleaning. Sticking to a plan that focuses on one thing at a time in rotation meant that rooms were tidied more often, and deep-cleaning could be put off until her schedule allowed it.
She kept the house organized. My parents used to job that you could eat off of the floor at my Nana’s house; it was that clean. I tend to agree, but one of the reasons it was easy to maintain such pristine floors was that they were free of clutter. Everything had a place in her house which not only made it easier to find anything you needed; it also made cleaning less of a chore and almost-pleasant?
She stuck to it. There was no deviating from the plan, and if for some reason she wasn’t able to stick to her routine (like if hell had frozen over, for example) you better believe she was back at it as soon as she was able to make up for the time she lost.
But it was never really about the cleanliness for her (ok, it was a little). I think she derived genuine pleasure from homemaking. Growing up her family didn’t have a lot but their house was always spotless because her mother used to say, “We may be poor but we still have pride.”
My Nana was proud, and deservedly so, of the home she made in her adult life. She and my grandpa worked hard to provide for their son (my dad) with all the things she couldn’t have, and surround themselves with the comforts they needed to make a cosy home. They weren’t materially rich, but they took enormous pride in what they did have, and their house was a testament to all they had achieved.
Instead of thinking of cleaning my apartment as a boring chore, I’m trying to reach within myself and see if there’s a small part of my Nana in there so that I too may clean and derive joy from my home just as she did.
And with a kick-butt cleaning routine, I hope you do as well.
There’s always something about that spring air that encourages as to make a fresh start. Click here for how to make this happen in your home, and here for some spring cleaning magic in your favorite outdoor space.