Monday, April 03, 2006

Spring Cleaning

I picked up the latest issue of Country Home yesterday and just inside the cover were tips on “Spring Cleaning”. This, for those of you who don’t know, is an annual ritual, developed by our Grandmother’s and passed down to our Mother’s, of a non-stop cleaning marathon where you wash and clean every nook and cranny in your home. This was a great thing until the Women’s Movement. I call it the Women’s Movement because growing up our Mother’s didn’t work or most of them didn’t anyways. It wasn’t until the Women’s Movement that women began to work full time. Young women today, are probably scratching their heads wondering what the heck I am talking about because they are most likely the product of “working” mothers.

So enter Spring Cleaning. If a working woman doesn’t have enough to do, she has to do Spring Cleaning. Apparently, it’s not enough that a woman work, be a wife, be a mother, pick up kids from daycare, get their meals, take the kids to their extracurricular activities, keep a good house, make time for friends, exercise, take care of themselves, make time for Husband, keep up their education, keep up on technology and of course, network, in case they should ever lose their job in this topsy turvy corporate world. But they get to Spring Clean. Yes, many women have maid service today but that’s not Spring Cleaning.

I don’t Spring Clean anymore. It’s not that I don’t have a clean home because I do. Not only do I have a very clean home, I have a very organized home, with a place for everything and everything in its place. I don’t have to Spring Clean anymore because I found the Fly Lady. If you don’t know who she is, you can check her out at

I found the Fly Lady last summer when I was on the internet looking for a “cleaning system”. What I was looking for was none other than a “cleaning schedule”. It’s not that I couldn’t make my own, but the Martha Stewart in me kept crying out for a schedule. The Fly Lady has it down.

The Fly Lady’s system has you do four things: 1) Shine your sink. 2) The Home Blessing Hour 3) The Basic Weekly Cleaning and 4) Zone Cleaning. Shining your sink is her starting point. She has you start by cleaning your kitchen sink and making it shiny. You do this daily. Next is the Home Blessing Hour which consists of six tasks you do once a week, preferably on Monday. The Basic Weekly Cleaning are tasks that you do in each room weekly. I have separated these tasks by the days of the week. For example, Monday is the bedrooms-change sheets, polish mirror, dust and vacuum. Tuesday is the bathroom, etc, etc….Your Zone Cleaning are your “Spring Cleaning” tasks except that you do all of them monthly. She designates each week to a different zone which are on her web site. I have all of my lists in a spreadsheet that I print off every month and place in my Control Journal or Home Organization Notebook as I like to call it. We just finished the Living Room this week. These are your deep cleaning tasks. You supplement all of this with your morning and evening routines. Your morning routine consists of all of the things you normally do in the morning, plus the basics like the “swish and swipe” (toilet cleaning). She also has umpteen de-cluttering missions but I never had to do those since I was already organized and don’t have any clutter. You also have your “Basic Weekly Plan” which is your weekly “to do” list. What I love about this is that she groups your tasks into days. Mine looks like this: Monday is Home Blessing Day, Tuesday is Medical Day (ordering med supplies, making medical appointments, working on medical bills, emergency tasks and other appointments), Wednesday is Errand Day, Thursday is Zone Cleaning Day and Friday is PC/Paperwork (home office not work) Day. This is of course, in addition to working.

Why on earth would you do all of this? Because in doing so, you “bless” your family; you also do it because of the weekends. The large carrot in this case is Saturday and Sunday. The Fly Lady does not clean on Saturdays. EVER. Saturday is Family Fun Day where you do your morning routine and then spend time with your kids. This is totally awesome. Sunday is Renew Your Spirit Day. This is where you go to church or do any activity that nurtures your soul, as I like to call it. I can’t tell you how I wish I would have found her years ago. I used to spend Saturday’s cleaning and I have never spent another one again. It’s great because I get to spend every weekend doing fun stuff with Dear Son. Imagine all the great memories I might have missed out on. Even if we do nothing, we still are relaxing by taking a great walk on one of the walking trails or rocking on our porch.


Wrkinprogress said...

Oh man, have I been falling down on the job! I hate housecleaning -- there's just something about it that apparently goes against my very grain -- except for making sure countertops are clean. I can't stand to see a spot or anything marring a countertop. Or table. Wait, maybe I'm more cleaning-friendly than I knew!

Is that your porch? If so, can I come sit there and have some coffee or tea with you? It's GORGEOUS!

Hope you're having a lovely day!


Cathy said...

Oh my goodness..You are right! That is a great site. I have just spent a long time reading over there.I'm going to do it and get organized..My grandaughter always comes on the weekends and I have always cleaned most of the day on Saturday, but I think not anymore..

Thank you for this link! I was also wondering if that is your porch? It looks beautiful and very relaxing. Take care "Dream Mom".


Dream Mom said...

WIP-Yes, that is my porch. Perhaps you and Cathy can stop cleaning and come over for some tea:) I could whip us up a good dessert to go with that tea.

Cathy-I am glad you liked the site. The site is a bit unorganized however the content is good. Her system works!

Izabela said...

Oh, my. I think I've just been taken to a cleaning cult. I mean - I had a look at the site, and I feel a major obsession coming on. No good. Or maybe it is. If I ever get a porch looking like yours, it'll be worth it.
By the way, I haven't bought lace-up shoes for the last few years (sandals and boots for me), so I think I'll have a lot of incompatibilities. At the moment, they're going on my shopping list.
This is scary.

Dream Mom said...

Catherine, I am sure you can do it. Baby steps, as the Flylady says:)

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