Alright, I will admit it - I am not super mom/wife. I do my best, but my house sometimes looks as though Hurricane Life hit it (which is precisely when people drop in for a visit...funny how that goes!) Overall our house is generally clean - untidy but clean. We don't leave dirty dishes lying around, or nasty kleenexes from the last super bug we had...it's just messy. We suffer from clutter blindness sometimes. You know when you walk past something soooo many times that you fail to see it (until of course those surprise guests show up and suddenly the blinders come off and you see it through their eyes and shudder?)
Anyways, one of the games I came up with (I think my mom taught me this) is the "Ten Things" game. I started it when my kiddo was little and his room suddenly exploded one day. It was waaaay too overwhelming for him to be told to clean his room, so we played a game where he would pick up ten things and return them to their rightful place. Then he got to take a break. It took awhile, but usually he'd keep right on going after his 10 things were put away and would suddenly realize his room was clean. We do that around the house sometimes when we realize that clutter has gotten away from us. We each grab ten things and go off to put them away. It's awesome, it doesn't feel like cleaning and you suddenly see the things that have sat on an end table for weeks and you just forgot it was there.
The other cleaning game, I started today and I must say it worked so well. I noticed that when I got up today the house was a bit insane. Working outdoors for the last week really threw us for a loop indoors (which is perfectly okay - a mess never killed anyone except on Hoarders maybe).
Today, as I was trying to figure out which room to tackle first, I started a list for each room. I began to clean but soon my natural chaotic cleaning pattern emerged. You see, I start off picking up the breakfast dishes, they hit the counter and I see baby toys on the floor. As I bend to retrieve them I notice the dog bowls are empty, so I set the toys on the table and fill the dog bowls. As I do so, I notice the birds chirping outside and see how beautiful it is. I step outside and remember the new grass seed needs watering. I turn on the hose and set down the sprinkler near my flowers and suddenly realize I must plant those hostas a friend gave me. I go to the garage to get the gardening stuff and see the recycle bins need to be brought in. You see what happens? I work and work and realize hours have gone by and not one room has been totally cleaned. Then the baby wakes up and it's all a lost cause. thus, the Cleaning Lady Game.
I thought about how much I'd love to have a cleaning lady, even just to help out with baseboards and bathtubs. I then realized that cleaning ladies can get so much done in a short time. I decided to pretend I was a cleaning lady (and no, Dear Hubby, I did not find a french maid uniform!)
I then spent the next 90 minutes cleaning, one room at a time, top to bottom, no distractions. The TV was not on. I did not stop to look outside. I did not get on the computer 'just to check email'. I did not pass go. I did not collect two hundred dollars (although I think I earned it!)
I rocked it out and man did it ever work! It was nice too knowing I had a time limit, so I just kept going. I completed 2 bathrooms, the kitchen, dining room and living room. I know it sounds kind of silly to have a cleaning game, but hey, if it works...my house just might be clean now and then!
Now off to go play with my Little Princess!