Monday, February 18, 2013

How to Deep Clean the Entire House in 40 Days (and also Downton Abbey, how could you?)


First things first, Downton Abbey has betrayed us. Even though we could see it coming a mile away I felt like I got kicked in the teeth last night.

All the while we were thinking they just can't go there. And then we thought they are going there.

And then we put our heads under a blanket and just cried, "Nooooooo!"

And then they did. It is ever so devastating. And since it leaves me feeling depressed and blue I must clean something. Because cleaning always cheers me up.

Also, messes make me crazy. And cranky.

You know how some people get cranky when they can't be creative? I get that way too. Except I usually need some sort of order and cleanliness to be creative. So if things aren't clean it's usually a roadblock for me. The physical mess becomes mental clutter.

What that means is that momma has been cranky lately. Which brings me to my annual Lent purge. There's not really any spiritual significance to cleaning my house during the 40 day period before Easter. It's just easy to pick that time because it's coming up on spring and because there's an end to it. I just work the house during the 40 days and get whatever I can done. Easter comes, and hopefully the entire will be spic and span.

At least that's the plan.

I did this two years ago, inspired by Sarah at Memories on Clover Lane. We were in a little bit of a transition at the time, expecting our house to be foreclosed on, or at least sold in a short sale. There is nothing like the thought of moving to get a person cleaning. At the time I remember purging things out with thought of packing them up. My line of reasoning was this: if I didn't foresee me wanting to pack it away for a move then I would safely donate it or sell it a garage sale. At the end of the 40 days we had a garage full of stuff. Later we went on to have the biggest yard sale we've ever had and made ourselves a happy little pile of cash. Along the way I was amazed about getting rid of the junk allowed me to feel less owned by all my things. It change my perspective, every material possession we have is just something that needs to be cleaned and maintained. And in the end, it's all just stuff anyway. Though I didn't expect it, I learned a lot about letting go during that time.

This time, in the end I really just hope to have a super clean and better organized home. But I'm also looking for unexpected life lessons along the way.

So with Lent approaching I made a list. And then I realized that I thought Lent started this week, not on February 13. I guess a week late is better than not at all. And I'm sure by now you must realize that we are not in fact Catholic, because I'm guessing any good Catholic would at least know when Lent begins.

Anyway, that leaves us with the how of this whole thing. How does one systematically clean house for 40 days and not go crazy, while still maintaing life? Because, surprisingly enough, the kids still expect me to pick them up from school and feed them dinner.
So here are my not at all scientific tips on purging your entire house, all before March 30th:

Make a List


Decide which rooms need what kind of cleaning. I made a few lists, I listed each room in the house. And then I listed out what each room needs. Some rooms are needier than others, some just need a really good deep cleaning. Everything that needed to be done was put on the list. This also includes touch up paint and any repair needed. Because sometimes little boys break doors.

Make a calendar


And fill it up. With my lists in hand I plotted everything out. I tried to be realistic about how long it would take to tackle each space. I gave myself two days for each of the kids rooms and an entire week for ours. Because I know that in between cleaning I have to live my life. I also know that my monthly cycle will get in my way part of the time, and I know myself well enough to know that any cleaning I attempt then will end up driving me and everyone else crazy; because of that monthly cranky thing I tend to experience.

Budget 


We will have to buy some cleaning supplies, and we most likely need some organizational tools. I've planed those into monthly cash allocation plan, because Dave Ramsey told me to.

Finally, get to work! Tackle each task daily, even if it's just a small one like organizing the spice rack.
Also, I've left myself wiggle room in the kitchen because we have few small renovation plans.
Hello subway tile backsplash, new sink and counters, and cabinet update! We are slightly excited about this. And by we, I mean me. Because my husband is all like, "whatevs." And I'm all like, "get it done already!!!!!" Or something like that. In the meantime I already cleaned off the open shelves in my kitchen and backed them with new breadboard wallpaper. And since it's one of my top read posts of all time I will show you a picture.


You're welcome.

And that is that. For now. I don't know how much I'll actually get rid off, but you can bet we will take a good look at everything and think about it's usefulness in our lives. If it doesn't serve a purpose then it goes. And that goes for practicality and beauty. I just love a few things in my house, even if all I ever do is look at them and smile. I'm keeping those things. Everything else is fair game.
Call it spring cleaning on overdrive.

7 comments:

  1. gina, i think you and i are cut from the same "need some sort of order and cleanliness to be creative" cloth!

    and downton abbey! how could they!??! and just moments before he kiked the bucket, what mary said to matthew, about always being seen the way he see her- love... and now no one will see her. sad. so sad. and now i am blue and i need to go clean something, because seriously i think we're cut from the same cloth. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! I thought the same thing. It's a tragic end to a beautiful love story. I don't know how I'll be able to bear waiting until season 4.

      And now I realized that in my head I said it like the Dowager Countess....I will miss them until next season.

      At least we will have clean houses as we work out our sorrow ;)

      Delete
  2. Oh you crack me up! We both know where that cloth originated! Sorry about that. I'm in the same mode over here, your poor dad just kinda shakes his head and hopes its a quick passing phase...little does he know.

    I feel like you...Downton Abbey, HOW COULD YOU????

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh you crack me up! We both know where that cloth originated! Sorry about that. I'm in the same mode over here, your poor dad just kinda shakes his head and hopes its a quick passing phase...little does he know.

    I feel like you...Downton Abbey, HOW COULD YOU????

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh you crack me up! We both know where that cloth originated! Sorry about that. I'm in the same mode over here, your poor dad just kinda shakes his head and hopes its a quick passing phase...little does he know.

    I feel like you...Downton Abbey, HOW COULD YOU????

    ReplyDelete
  5. What the heck did I just do???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Mom, I love you. And I love all the thoughtful comments you leave ;)

      Delete

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