Nov 15, 2016

Big Cleaning Day

WHAT'S THE PLAN: A benefit of being "all grown up" and not having kids in the house anymore is that you can clean your house and it actually stays that way! So I do one big cleaning a week, top to bottom. When Jeff is not working (he's retired but still goes back to his job when they need him), he is in charge of cleaning the upstairs, minus the master bathroom (AKA "my bathroom". His bathroom is the second full bathroom upstairs.) It's such a huge help to not have to clean both stories on the same day.

Monday is the Big Cleaning Day. It's a good day to wake up with a "Git 'er done" attitude! And if I don't? Well, I put on my "as if" attitude instead - I act "as if" I woke up with a Git 'er Done attitude, because the cleaning has got to get done.

First thing, I put on music. A little Classic Rock on Pandora, and a bluetooth speaker lightens up the atmosphere immediately. It's hard not to have energy if you have the right music playing! This is the speaker I have and love. It's easy to connect and has a reasonably really good sound quality.

Then I pull up my Google Keep App. I love love love this app. It keeps my days (and me) organized.
Here's a screen shop of my Monday To Do List:

As you can see, Monday Cleaning Day is quite thorough. Without Jeff home, cleaning day takes me about 8 hours. With him home, it takes 4-5 hours.

The (w) next to "Clean Oven" means I do it only when the weather is cool enough. Needless to say, my oven doesn't get cleaned much in the Summer months!

I know, this is a lot of cleaning in just one day. But long ago I watched a video by Don Aslett on how to thoroughly clean the house. Here are the basics:

-- You Can't Clean Clutter.  It's that easy. When you see my Daily Chores List, you'll see I do a good general pick up every day. I literally walk around the entire house and put things away that aren't where they belong. I might have knitting out. The 9 million TV and DVD controllers have escaped their basket. Dog toys belong back in their basket. Shoes left by the door go on the stairs to be taken upstairs the next time I go. "A place for everything and everything in it's place" rings true with me.

-- Gather your supplies. I keep my supplies in this handled container, and it stays under my kitchen sink. In this basket are: Comet with scrubby sponge, Windex, paper towels, Lysol wipes (for door knobs, tv controllers, phones and other germy things that the grandchildren have sneezed on), Pledge furniture polish and dusting rag, an extra cloth, and a toothbrush style scrubbing brush and a plastic scraper, for those hard to get splotches that don't wipe away easily. I also have the vacuum, a mop, and a long handled cleaning brush.

-- Start at the door, go top to bottom, left to right. Because I have my basket with me, I can grab what I need. For example, in my family room, I grab the long handled cleaning brush and dust along the crown molding along the ceiling, any art work on the wall, down to the baseboard along the floor. Next I come to the TV stand, and I have the windex and paper towels to clean the TV, the Pledge and rag to dust the entertainment cabinet. I move on to the bookcases and fireplace, use the long handled brush to wipe crown molding and along the top of books on the highest shelf I can't reach, then a quick swipe with that brush along the bottom of the cabinets for cobwebs. I get my dust cloth for the books and shelves I can reach. Next comes a big picture window, and I'm ready with Windex and paper towel. Then comes the end tables and lamp, so I grab the Pledge and cloth and wipe those down, top to bottom. Lysol Wipe for the phone and TV Controller. On to the patio sliding doors with same. I do step outside and do the exterior of the sliding doors as well. I use Lysol wipes on the door handles.

Aslett does say to do the vac'ing and mopping at the same time, but I wait until all rooms are dusted and cleaned, then go through with the vac, and then mop all the hardwood floors at once.

-- Don't clean what isn't dirty. If I get to the picture window and see no fingerprint smudges or dog nose prints, I move on. There's just no reason to clean it if it's not dirty, simply because it's on my list.

I use this cleaning "theory" in every room, whether it's the more involved kitchen and bathrooms, or the easier dining room and den.

This is the long-handled duster I use. I do NOT like microfiber dusters, and this one is hard to find. Luckily, when I bought it several years ago, I bought an additional "head" for it, so they haven't worn out yet. I use it for SO many things! I dust along the top of doorways, light fixtures, ceiling fan, bookshelves or other shelving I can't reach. I use it to run along the baseboards, along curtain rods, between the refrigerator and cabinets and between the stove and cabinets. The end has a button you push to change the angle of the brush, which makes cleaning the tops of books and the ceiling fan really easy. The brush itself unsnaps and is machine washable. This brush is worth it's weight in gold!

WHAT'S HAPPENING: You just don't know what life is going to bring you each day when you wake up. It could be a great day, it could be a terrible day. Yesterday we received some life changing news. My baby sister, Sarah, age 47, went to the Emergency Room two days ago with what was eventually diagnosed as a hernia in her abdomen, apparently caused by terrible coughing the week before. Some of the tests revealed some very troubling spots on her lungs. She went back yesterday to a specialist and had more testing, and they have found more spots on her lungs and diagnosed her with lung cancer. Before you jump to conclusions, she has never smoked, nor, as far as I know, does anyone in her household. We are waiting for more testing and a biopsy to find out what Stage she is in and what the treatment will be. Sarah is one of the most generous, loving, calm peope I know. Life can be so unfair. I am not the religious person that Sarah is, but I have prayed often in the past 24 hours and will continue to do so on her behalf. Love you, Sarah.

WHAT'S COOKING: After a long day of cleaning and then the emotions of hearing the news about my sister's health, my husband whispered those three little words I needed to hear: "Let's Order Chinese". There was no cooking.

"Health is not valued till sickness comes."
- Thomas Fuller

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