Cleaning Confessions

For those of you who have reading this blog since it’s inception 7.5 years ago, you may recall the string of green cleaning recipes I posted ages ago, back when Bud was a wee tot and I had all the time in the world to clean the house and tweak cleaning recipes. I got this email from a reader-friend:

If you’re up for it and have time, can you revisit your cleaning routines on your blog? Or I suppose you could just email me if you don’t want to write a post. Long ago when I first started reading your blog, you posted about green cleaning and your routine. But that was when you only had one child, I think. So, I’m curious how things have changed. Because I’m trying to figure it out with two children. And, I kind of wonder if the house will just be messy for the next 18 years. You seem to be a tidy person but you also don’t seem irritated that Speedy is always making messes. Have you had to dial down your expectations for the state of your home?

I spent a day at my friend’s house who used to work as a Maid Complete in Kansas City, seeing the way her house is set up and how she cleaned even when I was there, got me thinking. I have had to change my cleaning routines over the years, and I don’t hold nearly as I high of a standard as I did back when I first started blogging in both cleaning routines and using all-natural cleaners. Basically, I try to keep the kitchen, guest bathroom and living room clean enough for anyone to drop by, and everything else is falling by the wayside most of the time (and even those standards aren’t met most days). These are my cleaning confessions:

  • I think my house is always dirty. Thomas says it isn’t, but I think we have different standards.
  • Instead of re-joining the gym, I think I am going to hire a housekeeper to come once a month to help with those cleaning projects I can never find time for–dusting pictures, blinds, wiping down cabinets and doors, windowsills, etc.
  • I only make one cleaner these days (tub paste), and I buy “natural” products for most everything else.
  • Except for Clorox Wipes. I use those on toilets and kitchen counters. They work so well! I tried Seventh Generation cleaning wipes and they just don’t cut it.
  • I gave up on making my own laundry detergent after an 18-month era of dingy whites and persistent stains. I now use the cheapest Sam’s brand detergent and it works a million times better.
  • I only clean my tubs and showers every other week (or so).
  • With three kids, I have to sweep my kitchen daily.
  • I taught my oldest how to vacuum and he vacuums the living room for me about once a week, and I do it at least one other time each week.
  • With homeschooling and having a very active toddler, I have to do most of my cleaning at night after he is in bed. It is a good time for the big kids to hang out with Daddy.
  • Speedy makes tons of messes, yes, but I have three other people to help clean up those messes. Big brother and sister are great at picking up toys and they do this for me after Speedy goes down for his afternoon nap and often help out after he goes to bed, too.
  • Since they don’t always put things in the right place, we have a few Speedy-toy boxes scattered around the house. I organized all the toys earlier this summer, but haven’t done it since, so there are scattered toys with random pieces or parts in separate rooms.
  • The big kid’s room is never fully organized. I think I am raising at least one hoarder who has to keep every shred of paper, trash, and toy, and we have exhausted the space to do so. This is my next big project. Someday.
  • So there. I hope you feel a little better about the state of your home and cleaning routines. I think we see so much of the best part of someone on their blog–perfect kids, creative crafts, clean house, yummy recipes–and we miss the real deal. I hope you got a little bit of the real deal with me. Barely keeping up, cutting corners and hiring help!

    2 Responses to “Cleaning Confessions”

    1. leslie ness says:

      Thank you for sharing your “real deal”!

      “Barely keeping up, cutting corners and hiring help!”

      Maybe that’s just how life is when you have small children. I should probably also adjust my expectations. I’m sure when the kids are grown and gone, and the house is spotless, I’ll wish I had someone to pull some coffee off the counter and get it all over the kitchen floor. At least, that’s what I told myself when I was mopping up the coffee.

    2. Corrie says:

      Well, I am still using your cleaning recipes. I can’t breathe without them though…an extra incentive I guess. Plus I just like knowing my kids could eat all the things I use and still be okay. (I wouldn’t put it past a couple of them to try. S & E call the tub cleaner, butter.)

      I know what you mean though, I feel like my house is always a mess too, but I’d rather it be a mess and have little people than not have little people. It is a season, though a tiring one!