Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Semi-decadal Cleaning

Many of the mom blogs I read--the ones with pretty banners, lots of readers, and actual ad revenue--are talking about spring cleaning. It is spring, and they are the type of women who clean regularly, so it guess it makes sense.

I would like to clean regularly. I know, most people who've been to my house would probably question the honesty of that statement, but it's true. If I had time, I'd love to clean my house. If I wasn't busy driving people places and teaching people things and feeding people, I'd clean my house. And then I'd yell at everyone for making it dirty again.

Because this is our last week of formal homeschooling (we'll be reading and reviewing all summer, but this is our last week of answering to "the man"), I can start spring cleaning on June 1st. I usually try to do everything at once, get very frustrated when it doesn't work out, and give up 1/3 of the way through, but this year I'm sticking to the spring cleaning plan outlined by Simple Mom.

My house is different than Simple Mom's, and some areas of my house need more attention than others (my bathrooms are just a step above outhouses), so my plan will be a little different. Here's how it's gonna go down:

Day 1: Family Room
We just did a major toy purge, so it shouldn't be too bad, and I'll enlist the kids' help (they actually really like cleaning). Vacuum and mop floor. Vacuum couch. Tidy. Call handyman about slider (I'll have to clear this one with Nathan first).

Day 2: Kids' Rooms
Because they don't keep toys in their rooms, these rooms are already in pretty good shape. Dust mop wood floors and vacuum rugs. Clean off and dust dressers. Change sheets. Clean out girls' closet and under-bed drawers. Put kids in cages so the rooms stay clean.

Day 3: Kids' Bathroom
Whew! This one's a doozy. I won't even list what this job entails. Just imagine all that goes into a normal bathroom cleaning + a litter box + lots of kid muck + residual grime from the disgusting renters before us.

Day 4: Living Room
The usual. Move furniture, dust, vacuum. Maybe I'll also hang the floating shelves I've had for almost a year and move some of the pictures around.

Day 5: Foyer
For most people, this wouldn't even be considered a room for spring cleaning purposes, but when your daughter dumps preschool sand all over the floor, a tub of drywall mud and other miscellaneous tools take up 1/3 of the shoe bench, and everyone's shoe cubbies are overflowing, the area needs some attention. I'll move everything out, vacuum, then move most everything back (after decluttering).

Day 6: Master Bathroom
Again, really nasty (and this is our bathroom, so I can't blame the kids or the cat, but I can still blame the renters--oh, those poor, disgusting, rightfully-blamed people). General cleaning. Bleach the shower curtain (heck, it may need to be replaced).

Day 7: Kitchen
I won't clean every shelf in every cabinet, I won't inventory every food item, and I won't move appliances. I will do dishes, clean counters, clean appliances, sort through some dishes and plasticware, and mop the floor. And then the cat will promptly scatter cat food everywhere.

Day 8: Master Bedroom
Oh, the dread. Our master bedroom is where all clutter goes to die. But it never really dies, it just sits there collecting dust. I need to dust, dust mop, change sheets, and unpack. Yes, unpack. We moved in almost two years ago and we still have boxes in our master bedroom.

Day 9: Office
We don't have a dedicated office. It's more of a catchall. A hallway. A waste of 95 square feet. But it's full of stuff and needs some major work (hence the "day 9" assignment). I need to organize the armoire, organize the filing, organizing the homeschool materials, organize the kids' art stuff, and organize the bookshelves. See a theme?

Day 10: Ketchup
Yes, I need a whole day for my ketchup collection. I'll also catch up on laundry, dishes, and filing. I'll take stuff to Goodwill and buy anything I might need (a new rug for the back door, bins, some industrial-strength mystery chemicals, etc.).

And if all goes according to plan (HUGE caveat), I'll have a lovely house in about two weeks (I'll take weekends off). Fingers crossed...