My mother always seemed to have a magically clean house.
I don’t remember her ever saying to us (the phrases that I’ve used umpteen times on my kids – )
“Okay guys! Let’s get this place cleaned up!!”
“Daddy’s coming home in 5 minutes and EVERYTHING is a mess. Ready…set…Go! Go! GO!”
(This one accompanied by aa threatening – every so slightly hysterical tone – ) DON’T MOVE the couch/ chest/ dresser! We don’t have time to clean out under it before our guests come!!
Growing up our house was just always clean.
Now that I ‘get’ cleaning and housekeeping a little more, random phrases she’d say every so often make a lot more sense and hold the key to my mother’s effortlessly clean house.
I thought I’d share today some of those magical phrases.
“Leave every room a little better then when you entered it”
I’ve been trying hard to implement this. When I remember to do this, it is SO effective!
The living room can be a NIGHTMARE, but if I just straighten, toss or de-clutter two things each time I walk through – not even stopping in my steps – just straightening and grabbing as I go – it may only take a dozen walk-throughs, and it’s clean! (Well – cleanish anyway – this is my toddler-zoned house we’re talking about here!!)
“As you walk through a room, just glance around and see if you can take anything with you.”
Along those same lines, this works so well. When I remember to do this, my house is much more put together at the end of the day!
If I’m headed to the kids’ room by way of the spare room, I [should] scan for toys on the floor that belong in their room.
“Just do a little more each time you do something”
We never had sticky rings left on shelves in our frig. If Mom saw a little residue left on the refrigerator shelf, she’d grab a paper towel and wipe that spot – and around the other shelves too.
It took an extra 10 seconds tops.
It saved her from having to clean the refrigerator very often.
(I on the hand, have to do a complete overhaul ever month or so.)
”Just keep your hands moving”
Mom was just always moving – calm – very rarely stressed – but always moving.
Now that I’ve matured, I see tmy mothers’ secret. SHE was the secret.
If there was chaos, she’d grab every 3 second window to calm it.
If there was mess, she’d take a 5 second walk-through to clean it.
Every task she did ‘a little’ more instead of ‘just enough.’
Her attitude and care came out in everything – even if it was as simple as walking through a room, listening to her two VERY TALKATIVE twin girls, or helping us with a project.
She wasn’t looking to take ‘a break’ from housekeeping. Just because she cleaned yesterday, didn’t mean she would not wipe ‘a little extra’ today.
Making her home ‘a little’ nicer for us was her lifestyle and heart.