Monday, February 22, 2016

AT Cleaning Report, Week 3. Days 15-21

So, I'm still at it. I'm following this cleaning schedule from AT and blogging about how it is and isn't working for me.  It promises I can complete each task in 20 minutes a day.

Sometimes that's true--but mostly it isn't.

Here's what happened last week.

15. Surface clean living room and kitchen (pick up stray items, dust, sweep, vacuum)
In my house, it will be impossible to do both these rooms in just 20 minutes. I went back to the original list and started reading through the comments. I discovered the creator of this list also spends 20 minutes a day cleaning her kitchen. So, in that context, this makes more sense. 
I vacuumed the living room rug--and then I got on my hands and knees and started scrubbing it. Not what was intended, I'm sure! But I am still deep cleaning the living room from last week.

In order to clean the surfaces in the kitchen, I did the dishes three? four? times. I also wiped down the counters and stove and swept the floor.

16. Deep clean bathrooms (clean inside drawers, inside of trash cans, tops of mirrors, tile, mop)
True Confession time: I didn't do a thing. Cleaning the tile is going to take hours and I just couldn't face it today.

17. Clean all door knobs, phones, entertainment equipment (remote controls), switch plates, banisters and other things that are repeatedly touched.

I have NEVER done this. Why aren't we all sick all the time?

Speaking of sick, I took the day and went to see a doctor about the pain in my hips. He diagnosed arthritis in my lower back and both hips. Then he sent me for x-rays and prescribed an non-steroid anti-inflammatory. I am also doing my best to stay away from sugar.

18. Clean out the refrigerator, take stock of food, organize pantry
Well, I cleaned the fridge on the 15th.  I was scheduled to work a really long day today.

19. Clean entryway, sweep porch (if you have one), clean out car (because they're often our home away from home)

I cleaned the back steps (because why not? They were dirty) and vacuumed the front hall carpet.

20. Surface clean living room and kitchen (pick up stray items, dust, sweep, vacuum)

Good heavens, again?

Oddly enough, both rooms needed far more than just a surface clean. Since my husband was thoroughly ensconced in the living room, I decided to tackle the kitchen.

It was a disaster.


I worked on it until I figured it was at the point where a ten minute "surface clean" would be appropriate.

And yes, ten minutes is plenty when all you have to do is wipe down the stove, table, and counters and sweep the floor. I even had a minute to put out a clean table runner.

I carried on and mopped the floor, wiped down the cabinets, and washed every last dish I could find--including the coffee maker!

It was wonderful!

21. Surface clean bathrooms
Interesting. The downstairs bath really needed the floor mopped.

Right on schedule.

Next week will be the last week. Will I carry on after that? We'll see.

In case you want to read more in this series, you can.

AT Cleaning Report, Week 1. A Very (partial) Success.
At Cleaning Report, Week 2. Days 8-14

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Janina Laird said...

As I sit here in my chair reading your post this morning, all I can think is, "this is a lot of cleaning!" I'm fortunate to not be involved in cleaning at all thsee days (surgery last Nov) and after seeing my surgeon last week, have been told I cannot return to work but instead, return to full use of crutches/non-weightbearing (oh dear, problems, I hope surgery doesn't have to be redone.)

Consequently, my husband is back to doing all the cleaning. Before we downsized to this house, my kids helped me clean, along with my husband. Both my family and my husband's family brought us up to do our fair share of the cleaning, since we all benefitted from living in our cozy homes. We carried that thinking on with our kids after they werr born, especially necessary because our homes became increasingly larger.

The 'kids' are all now single adults and have bought their own homes so they continue their cleaning habits in their own places. Alana, I admire your efforts to do all this cleaning but get worried about you trying to do it on your own, especially since your husband is 'down' with vertigo. I know you help your mom out a fair bit too, you have a job, and now you've been diagnosed with arthritis in a variety of places. Could some of these scheduled tasks not be shared by your children?

As someone who has worked with children (forever!), I, along with my colleagues have noticed a growing trend over the years to NOT delegate tasks such as these to our kids (we make excuses for them, they're too busy with sports, lessons, part-time jobs). Now, in the classroom, the students look at us as if we have two heads when we ask them to tidy up. Why? Because they've never learned how or had to do that task at home. Apparently, according to the responses we hear, cleaning up their rooms and play areas is mum's job. It's true, because during parent-teacher interviews I ask families what responsibilities their chikdren have at home. The majority of parents can't name one 'chore' their child is responsible for. If you don't learn to be responsible at home, it's doubtful you'll shine in that area anywhere else.

I hope you're not offended but I'm worried about you always being on the go with these tasks (you've said some jobs were skipped because they was too big, not enough time left, or you were too tired).

I think if I heard you say you took time to sit and relax by reading a book, go for a walk (good exercise for someone who needs to keep muscle strength up in legs and hip area), chat with the hubby, or you watched TV, I would be less worried.

You and my husband are in the same place right now and that's doing all the work with no one else helping by doing their FAIR share.

Please take time for yourself today. You really do deserve it! And I do hope your husband's vertigo goes away quickly. He sounds like a great man from what you've said about him in previous posts! I know he does help out. Hurray for great husbands!

Alana in Canada said...

You've been down with that foot for quite a while, Now, Jan. I hope everything is healing as it should!

Back when they were younger and I tried to have the children help, their father decided to critique them very closely--and unfortunately, by yelling. So, I decided to try and get them to help clean when he wasn't around. But then I did the same thing. So, the kids will do chores--they will do the odd thing now and again when I ask--but a full on family clean doesn't happen--nor will it ever.

My mother has not been well. I reduced my hours at work so I could go over to her place and help her with various decluttering and organizing projects--but she has not wanted me to visit. I have not seen her since the first week of January. I have time on my hands.

Then, there's the fact my husband is home--and can't really do anything with his vertigo. We have one living room--and he spends most of his time feeling sick and dizzy. When he feels well, he is watching TV, or reading. I need something to do--so I am cleaning.

I won't be cleaning in July and August and I will remember these days of a tidy house and cleared counter tops with fondness!

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