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03 December 2013

Ten on Tuesday: Hit the high spots

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Favorite Housekeeping Shortcuts

This may seem like a silly topic to some, but it occurred to me late last week when I was in the throes of cleaning my house, coming down to the wire with a million things to do, and feeling desperate... so I suggested it to Carole.

You see, not only did I throw a baby shower on Saturday, I had the BRILLIANT idea to invite all of the families up to our house afterwards -- most of them for the first time!

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Though I grumbled and wondered how I could do such a stupid thing, I realized that it actually was quite brilliant because now my house is clean and spiffy and ready for the holidays! We'll dirty it up a little tomorrow when we bash through a wall, but the dust will soon settle (and, plus, that's so exciting!!).

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My house is actually cleaner and more put together now than it's been in years. We've had an extended period where the kids -- and their stuff -- have been fluid and unsettled, shifting between living situations, and a whole lotta stuff landed in temporary storage at our house. With only so many places to go, a fair bit ended up invading our living space and, well, it didn't look that great.

Nor did it inspire.

My mother keeps an immaculate house -- with help; at one time "the help" was my siblings and me -- so I've been very well trained. That training has served me very well over the years, but I use it as seldom as possible. I love a clean house, and sometimes get in the groove, but I generally hate housecleaning.

Even with a house that to most of us would seem ready for a House Beautiful photo shoot at any given moment, there were (and are) times that my mom's house was less than perfect, so every once in a while, when company was on the way and time was limited, she'd give us each a room and say...

1.  Hit the high spots! We'd do a quick pick up & dusting of the things most visible -- only the tops of the tables, not the bases or legs.

2.  Clean off & wipe countertops. I've been using Meyer's or Watkins spray cleaner -- wonderful scents!

3.  Load the dishwasher.

4.  Sweep/vac the floor and shake the rugs. We have mostly hardwood and four cats. Regular furball battles are a given.

5.  Gather up everything in a room that doesn't belong. Part of my battle was/is finding a place for everything. We've removed some storage in readiness for wall-bashing and, while I'm a firm believer in "a place for everything and everything in its place," getting there can be torture.

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6.  Related to the above, if I pick something up and have to think too hard about it, I get rid of it!! My constant companion has been a bag/box/basket designated for giving away, and we've made a ridiculous number of trips to various donation sites. I also took a load of books to Half-Price Books and walked away with some cash!

7.  Multi-task. After a morning flush, I squirt in the toilet cleaner. I wash up & brush my teeth, apply powder/blush/mascara. Before leaving the room, I swish the toilet bowl and flush again -- hardly any extra effort.

8.  I've also been wiping the bathroom sink & mirror with more regularity. It seems to help.

9.  Oh, I'm exhausted!

10.  I think my next shortcut is going to be hiring some regular help!! I've had it in the past, but it's been ages. Now is the time!

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Comments

I so agree with #9. And that finding a spot for everything is torture. It is a lifetime project in and of itself.

Life was easier when I had help. I find keeping clutter to a minimum is extremely helpful and for several years I have put into effect your #6. It's #7 I need to incorporate into my daily life. This is a great topic and from the sounds of some posts, one we could all use!

Our lists are pretty similar. And I didn't mention it but I do have help on an every-other-week basis. It's a lifesaver!

I like numbers 5 & 6, and will need to make much more of a conscious effort with them. I start out with William Morris' “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” but fall down when too many things are neither useful nor beautiful, but are full of loving family memories. Wishing you the best with bashing!

Great list! (I'm so behind on your blog!) And the putting away thing makes such a difference and the sweeping of the floor. So much comes in and out of our house! I've been watching you on Instagram and FB though!

I'm a huge fan of #7 (that happens regularly in the two bathrooms that get the most use in my house) ... and of course #1. I have help once a month, but in between, keep it together with a few good vacuumings and at least weekly wipe downs in the bathroom. Also, I make sure the kitchen is clean every time we cook (but as I type this I wonder if that's part of the reason I don't cook too much anymore?!) I have to say, too, that I've mellowed a LOT about housecleaning. Maybe because I don't see as well anymore? :-)

Loved it when I had a housekeeper, I would leave and come home to perfection. My favorite part - the microwave spotless. :)

I hate housecleaning too and am really bad with shortcuts. When I start I usually can't finish, I find something to clean in places other people don't even notice they exist!

Great topic - and great tips! I need to read everyone's post because I didn't have any tips of my own. :-)

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