- Just Get it Done - Don't stew over a dirty job that needs to be done, or it will just get dirtier.
- Simplify - Make your cleaning process simple, quick, and easy.
Keep a set of cleaning supplies in EVERY ROOM that needs to be cleaned. All you need to do is reach under the sink or on top of a cabinet, grab the supplies, spray or douse the surfaces, and wipe or brush them clean. This eliminates the excuse of putting the cleaning off because you would have to schlep supplies. My bathrooms take no more than 10 minutes to clean because we obey this commandment. Keep a tub of disinfecting wipes next to each toilet and eliminate your spouse or child's excuse for not cleaning up after themselves and leaving a mess. Simple cleaning = cleaning that gets done.
- Go Easy on Yourself
One home manager I spoke to told me that her mantra of late was, "Better Than Nothing." This has really helped me relax a little bit. See this lotion container in my bathroom sink? You can see that it's a little schmutzy.
This photo was snapped moments after I cleaned my bathroom for the week. The lotion has a little schmutz on it, but I know the sink and mirror and toilet are clean. So what if there is a little schmutz on the lotion? No one will die.
- Hakol Haveil ("Everything is Futile")
About five seconds after I took that photo, Rami pishied on the carpet. I then made the epic mistake of saying, "At least he didn't do #2 on the carpet," WITHOUT saying "kein ayin hara," shortly after which Rami did #2 on the carpet. Because I had disinfecting wipes and cleaning rags closeby, it was quickly taken care of according to the Just Get it Done commandment and we went about our day.
In another fun incident, the boys dumped every single one of their clothes drawers on their bedroom floor. I didn't freak out because the next day was laundry day and I decided to sort the clothing back into its place (with the forced help of some miserable boychiks) then.
I hope these Home Maintenance Commandments help you maintain a relatively clean house and relatively sane persona. I am constantly having to remind myself of them, especially, the "Go Easy on Yourself" principle, but when I abide by them I always have a better week. For example, here is a shot of my dining table and kitchen island RIGHT NOW:
You can see that there are misplaced cleaning supplies, sippy cups in need of washing, and pantry supplies to put away among other things. But I'm sitting here typing a blog entry because it's what keeps me sane, and also because I know that 1. my house is baseline clean and 2. it's Better Than Nothing.
What are the Home Maintenance Commandments that help you maintain a more sane household? I'd love to have some more to add to my arsenal!