If you could peek in my windows and watch me clean, you would laugh...hard! I clean like a butterfly. I flit from one room to another, one project to another, stopping to read magazines or check Facebook statuses on my way from this task to that. What would take an average person 10 minutes (like unloading the dishwasher, for example) typically takes me about 4 times as long. Just ask my mother or my husband. I am S...L...O...W...
I envy those moms who get up an hour before their kids and can shower, get dressed, make the bed, drink coffee, unload the dishwasher, throw in some laundry, do a quick workout and start breakfast in UNDER 60 MINUTES. Seriously? Seriously! I am lucky to be dressed an hour after I'm up (sometimes it's more like noon) and then there are other people who look like a tornado--a cleaning tornado. They move like an angry wind, hurrying from one task to the next, never stopping until the entire to-do list is done. My husband is like that. Some Saturdays I just scratch my head at all the things he has accomplished before I've even made coffee or gotten dressed.
I'm not sure if I dislike cleaning so much that I do it incredibly slow, or if it is because I am so ridiculously slow at it that I tend to hate doing it. Do I poke around and get distracted, struggling to anything done, because I just don't like doing it? Or am I overwhelmed that it has taken me 45 minutes to fold one load of clothes and I have 5 more to wash, dry, fold & put away? Either way, I need to learn how to be a tornado instead of a butterfly. Sarah Mae shared some tips today HERE on her blog about how to clean like a tornado. Here they are!
How to Be a Cleaning TornadoToday's Challenges from Sarah Mae
Give Yourself a Challenge and Do It in a Set Amount of Time
There is something about a challenge and a time limit that makes you focus and move. It is incredibly effective to go into cleaning mode and just do the work as fast as you can. One of the inspirations I have is from this 31 Days to Clean Mamas of Little Ones Facebook group. They give each other challenges and you have to do them within a set time frame. They hustle and do whatever they can in that 10 or 15 minutes span of time, and then they encourage one another and do proverbial high-fives before moving on with their day. Which brings me to this…
Don’t Clean Alone
The women in the group above live all over the U.S. and yet they clean together and encourage each other daily. They’ve been doing this for about a year now. These women have not only come up with a system (Task #1,2,3,4), but they jump on when they have the time and just ask, “anyone up for a challenge?” Within a few minutes someone else jumps on and they pick a task and go for it, together even though they are miles a part. I love it. Here are some of the quotes I’ve seen in the group:
“ I am SO THANKFUL to have ladies to work with today! I need to encouragement and motivation!”
“Ok lovely ladies! onto #1!!! WE can do this!!!”
“BREAK!! What did you get done so far?” “I got started on the kitchen and took a phone call from my doctor…. Second half will be stronger!” “I got all the dirty laundry moved to the laundry room, sorted, and a load started, and I exercised for 10 min!”
This reminds me, live cleaning on Wednesday! Stay tuned for details!
If I have to clean fast, I’v got to get focused. No music, no organizing, no emails, no nothing. Just hone in on the task at hand and go, go, go! I see my sister do this and it works wonders! Once I finish the task at hand, then I can listen to my music and slow clean or organize something else that doesn’t take priority.
Get the Babes Involved
It’s amazing what a child can do when there is a clear focus about attaining a goal together, quickly. I couldn’t believe all that my children got done as my sister was no-nonsense. They had no option but to clean, and so clean they did! I get too slack about making the children help me, I either move to slow myself which doesn’t motivate them, or I get upset that they are not cleaning fast enough…they get distracted so easily (hmmm…wonder where that comes from?)
Watching my sister, it helped me to realize that I just need to say, “okay loves, we’re a family, a team, and we’re going to get this done in this amount of time and then we can play.” I find that when I give my children specific, age-appropriate tasks, they do the work. It also helps if they know they have a reward when they’re done: they can play, go outside, watch a movie, get a treat, etc.