Monday, November 24, 2008

Little Changes Big Results!

Cleaning, for some, is a bad word. It’s never fun. And almost everyone hates doing it. Yet cleaning is one of those chores we have to do. But wait a minute, look at the definition of the word,
Clean: free from dirt or impurities; or having clean habits; "children with clean shining faces"; "clean white shirts"; "clean dishes"; "a spotlessly clean ...
· free of restrictions or qualifications; "a clean bill of health"; "a clear winner"
· (of sound or color) free from anything that dulls or dims "clear laughter like a waterfall"; "clear reds and blues"; "a light lilting voice like a silver bell"
· free from impurities; "clean water"; "fresh air"
· ritually clean or pure

Every one of these is something I would want. And this is the short list of the definitions of the word clean. They go on and on, and each one is something I would want for my home and my family.

So why is the act of cleaning such a bad thing? If the end result is something we strive for, why should getting there be so terrible? Maybe, with some small changes, we can make the journey more fun.

1. Forget trying to be perfect. - We all have this misconception that it has to be done exactly right. And if we can’t do it right, then we don’t do it at all. Wrong! Take a rag and wipe that vanity. Getting rid of some of the dirt is better than nothing at all!
2. Clean in small “snippets” of time. - You don’t have to set aside an entire afternoon to clean. Take five minutes and run the vacuum in one room. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and it will look better.
3. Keep a set of cleaning items in every room. - One reason we don’t clean is we don’t have the right “stuff”, when we see the dirt. If you have a little box full of cleaning tools in every closet and under each sink, you can clean when the urge hits you.
4. Get everyone in the house involved- At our house, we borrowed the phrase “ten minute tidy” from a kids PBS show. I set the timer and for 10 minutes everyone takes a room and picks it up. It doesn’t matter whose stuff it is, we just pick it up. We do this every night before getting to do what they want (like watch a movie). And EVERYONE joins in- even Dad! In 10 minutes I get 50 minutes of cleaning done!

Cleaning can be fun, or at least not so much of a chore. Small changes can have big results. And most of the changes have to take place inside your head!

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