Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What works for you????

Ever since I heard about Works for me Wednesday, which Shannon hosts at Rocks in my Dryer, I've had a recurring thought. What works for me? Ummm, not much, some days. My dryer works, thank goodness. My kids - work? Not so much (I mean, really, they're kids). The dishwasher went kaput this summer and the heater died in late fall. We did not revive them, but thanks to loving parents, we replaced them with appliances that work.

I think the most disturbing appliance that doesn't work around my house is ME. So, ladies, since today is backwards day, what works for you?

How do you motivate yourself to keep a clean house when you know it will only last for mere minutes and no one will know or appreciate it anyway? I just need a little motivation to get this human machine working again.

Would you give me some hints? How do you motivate yourself? What gives you that boost each day to get your housework done?

Thanks for the help!

21 comments:

'Berta said...

I clean my house for my sanity! I feel so much more relaxed when things are clean and in order. There's a sense of calmness.

Flylady has good ideas if you don't feel overwhelmed by all the emails. Simply get yourself into workable routines morning, afternoon and evening and then you are almost on autopilot.

It works...by adding 1 extra step each day for a month, you'll see a big change. Check out her Beginners Baby Steps!

Good luck!

Betsy Bird said...

I agree about Flylady, although even that isn't a perfect solution. I got involved in the Flylady system (go to www.flylady.net to see what I mean) a few years ago and for about a year things were a lot more orderly around here. But I kind of fell off the wagon and haven't completely gotten back on it. I agree with the previous comment -- the best motivation is that it makes you feel more in control. It also sets a good example for your kids. As the mother of a 14 y/o and a 17 y/o, I've failed miserably in this department, but if I had a chance to do it over I'd like to show them what neat and orderly looks like.

Playful Professional said...

I think the most motivating thing is having a clean house afterwards. But I know that's hard to see. So split things up. Say you'll do the dishes for 15 minutes and only after the dishes are done can you blog. Then vacuum before you watch TV, etc. It really works for me.

Tami Boesiger said...

Amen, Heather. Cleaning? Arg!

My biggest motivator is having people in my house so often. I host a Bible study on Wednesday nights and it forces me to clean even when I don't feel like it!

Heather@Mommymonk said...

Tami - I agree with you. When I have company on a regular basis, it's easier for me to stay on top of the housecleaning.

Flylady makes me feel neurotic twitches.

Vanessa said...

I set the timer for 15 minutes when I just can't get going.

I'll also put on the tea kettle to heat some water while I unload the dishwasher. I can only usually get a few things done in the time that it takes to make tea.

Finally, I talk on my cordless phone to one of my friends while we're both working on junk that we would rather not be doing.

ttelroc said...

I'm a Flylady devotee as well - but I have her emails sent to an address that is only for those emails - makes it to easy to just delete all and start fresh. LOL

I care about certain things - my bathroom, my kitchen, my (&DH) bedroom. My bedroom is never ever cluttered. Ever. I don't bring anything in there that isn't a book or a glass of water. LOL It is my restful haven. The laundry is never piled in there, nothing is stashed under the bed, it isn't a stash and dash place. (I have other locations for that lol) but I make sure that my bedroom isn't a dumping ground. It makes a huge difference.

I love a clean bathroom and kitchen. I just do it. I have a dishwasher (never use it) I hand wash the dishes because I enjoy it. These are things that I do because I like them that way. I don't care what other people think and if they mess up these areas, I ask them to clean it up.

I have a coffeetable that I don't think I've ever cleaned off entirely. I have a chair in my living room that is the catch all for the whole house. I have several areas that are flaming infernos of clutter, but nothing gets put in the master bedroom :)

I guess I pick my battles and my bedroom is the biggest one --

Have a great Day!
Kristin

Jennifer said...

You MUST try FlyLady.net! She has helped me so much 1 small step at a time! I especially love the 27 Fling Routine where you throw away 27 things within 15 min! Declutter,watch out out!!

Jenna said...

I would highly recommend the book "Side-tracked Home Executives." It is similar to fly-lady (without all of the e-mails!). I wouldn't say I'm perfect about the card system but it has certainly helped our home. Also, if you have kids (or a semi-willing husband) it's a great way to get them involved. My mother used the system when I was growing up and it got us helping with chores, but having some choice in what we helped with (which was nice).

Amy Wyatt said...

I just told my husband today that laundry was the bane of my existence. I can never seem to get it all caught up or put away. When my travel schedule picks up, I get even further behind. One thing I have found that helps when I am cleaning is to put on my praise and worship music really loud and sing like no one is listening... usually no one is because everyone disappears when it's time to clean LOL. I also try the praise and prayer method over everything I have to do... "Lord thank you that we have these clothes to wear and that I have a washer to help, that my kids have these toys to play with, that we have food to dirty these dishes with, that I have this house with running water and electricity to clean and that I am physically able and healthy to do it." Sometimes I still don't want to do it because noone seems to see or appreciate it, but then I have to remind myself that God sees it and I have to do it as though I am working unto Him. This wasn't intended to be a sermon...but if it seems that way just know I am preaching to myself.

Anonymous said...

I just usually wait for my wife to do and it if I wait long enough, it happens. Kind of a cool phenomenon, place dirty clothes on the floor and they magically end up folded and put neatly away. hubby

Denise said...

I am in agreement with you.

Jessica B. said...

I stay home and I have to admit that the house thing was pretty defeating to me at first. But when I had a job, every day before I went home I cleaned my desk and re-set for the next day. I was also meticulously organized.

I finally decided that this is my JOB. I need something to feel prideful in, I need to feel a sense of accomplishment just like my husband does at work.

I would NEVER accept less from myself in a work environment and it should be even more true at home.

I just set a standard and started with baby steps, now I can pretty much keep the house clean without too much trouble.

dawn said...

Lots of the above comments seem like a tall order to me. I am right there with you. There are lots of things I would rather do than clean. I have little motivation for it as well. I do find that if I have a list of tasks that I can mark off I am more prone to do them. Laundry used to really get me down, but now I have it on a schedule so it makes it better for me.

Clothes on Monday and Friday
Sheets/towels on Wednesday.

Hope this helps or at leasts encourages you that you are not alone in your thoughts.

dawn said...

Just thought of one more thing I do...I hate to sweep, mop and dust. Really, I hate to clean period. But I do like my house to appear clean. So I try to put toys away and at least declutter the living room and kitchen before I go to bed. This at least makes me think the house is clean because it looks clean.

I also used to have a jail at our house. Anything left on the floor or out of place at bedtime went into jail. This taught my boys to put up their things. It does not always work, but it helps.

Don't be hard on yourself. MOms have lots to take care of and a clean house is low on the list.

An immacualte home is the sign of a dull woman...

Heather said...

I never know what works for me either. And today I couldn't even come up with a question to ask!

I have to break down the cleaning, make a list even. Do a few small things every day, and then I don't feel so overwhelmed by the magnitude of it! And I'm also motivated by having company over, so I try to be hostess a couple of times a month.

Hope you're getting some good ideas!

bauer zoo said...

flylady was ok, but honestly, i was not motivated enough to use it. i have 5 kids, and i babysit during the day too. what worked for me was finding marti at martieshouse.blogspot.com. she has 9 kids and keeps a clean house. she uses a 20 thing rule. basically you pick up 20 things (or whatever number works for you) in each room. you get the 20 things and you move on. that way you aren't overwhelmed, and you have a stopping point. it has really helped me keep my house up.
hope that helps!

Miss Sandy said...

Heather,

I guess what works for me is to remember that any work I do for my family is holy work.

One day I was grumbling to my grandmother about having to repeatedly clean up muddy boot prints off the floors I had just cleaned. She was quiet for a moment and she said, "Sandy, I'll tell you this, I'd give anything to be in your shoes. I'd gladly clean up any muddy boot prints that were left on my floor with a smile and a prayer because that would mean that Charlie (my uncle, her only son) would be alive and well and I would not live in this house alone." I was quiet for a while and I told her she was right. Her words made an impact on me and my attitude about repeat jobs. I asked myself what would it be like not to have my dear loved ones, to be all alone and did I really want a clean house or people to share it with. I actually found myself photographing tiny smudges of hand prints left by my grandson on a frosty window, a perfect muddy boot print left by my husband on the entry floor, and crumbs on the counter where my daughter prepared her lunch! I felt grateful for every mess and for the opportunity to wipe them away, it is after all, holy work.

This phase of messiness with young children will pass and believe it or not, you will miss it!

Robin @ Heart of Wisdom said...

Hi Heather!

Wow, what a great bunch of comments. The last one made me cry.

There is something to maturity. I am much better housekeeper now than in my 20s. I don't let dishes sit in the sink cause, yuck..I just have to do them later. Its automatic now. When I get burntout I want some organizational shows to motivate me.


Now I can even feel good about folding the 7 millionth load of laundry becasue I feel like I'm organizing by putting things in the right place.

Just keep making small changes now Make a list. ex. Purpose to always wipe the counters when you fix a snak or mael. Purpose to always wipe down the bathroom every morning after brushing your teeth. etc.

In a few yeaars you'll be doing things automatically without thinking.

Monica said...

I find that I lack motivation especially in the winter. Recently I was talking to a friend about how annoyed am I about my lack of cleaning want-to and she was in the same boat. Now we are spending 2 hours each Friday working together at eachother's homes alternating weeks. It's amazing how much focus another unannoyed person can bring!! We just tackle the most annoying chore and are working from there. Tomorrow is my house:)

Kelley said...

OH! I could have written your post!

I think a couple of other people said it too, but the most motivating thing for me to get the house clean is to invite someone over.