About Common To Moms

There are many common life experiences we share as women, and sometimes life is less than glorious. That’s when we need a little inspiration to get us through the day. Welcome to Common to Moms, where we find motivation for meaningful living on our every-day journey as women, wives and mothers.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Squeaky Clean? Not so much...

If you know me or have talked to me long, you know that I am a pretty messy person. I tend to leave a trail of messiness in my wake, especially in my home! I am definitely aware that this is not okay and try desperately to change this about myself. While I was pregnant before Melody was born, I was finally getting the hang of keeping my home under control. But then cue becoming a mom and with it the chaos!

Currently my system is... well... I don't really have a system. Daily do what I can if I have the energy and try to keep the chaos from taking over?!

I did recently try to clean all the rooms in my house for company for this past week end and realized that even after I cleaned them (picked up floors, vacuumed, put things away), they still weren't cleaned! I discovered that I have CLUTTER with a capital C-L-U-T-T-E-R!

It is lurking in frustrating places: My bedroom vanity, my TV stand, my entry way dresser, my shoe box/give-to-good-will/return-it-from-being-borrowed/coat-hanging section of my entryway, to the futon in my office, to a little pile underneath the highchair, to the food on top of the fridge, to the basket of toiletry items I seldom use on the back of our toilet! It's everywhere!!!

And I want to CRUSH it! It makes my house look messy. I want to demolish those places, fling them all out of my house and be rid of them! I hate that after I cleaned up I still need to keep cleaning!!!

So I have two questions. The first: When do you clean? How do you clean? What is your system?

And this is the big question: What is the one thing you have learned in your life that is the most pivotal thing for helping your home be in order?

P.S. Today is my Birthday!!! I'm 27 and Melody turned one last Thursday. Do the birthday dance, do the birthday dance! :)


  1. Hm. :) Well. 2 kiddos exponentially increased the crazy around here, but luckily I do not like clutter. I like to throw things away. In fact, I prefer de-cluttering to cleaning. If the house is messy or dirty I like to go around with a bag and throw stuff out, or re-arrange a closet or something, and then when Brad gets home from work I can say, "I cleaned out the closet today!" and feel a sense of accomplishment without actually doing any cleaning.

    In general, my motto is "People before things." My house is not going to look like Pottery Barn because people live here lol. My favorite real cleaning trick is to clean the bathroom when I am showering. So, I hop in the shower, clean it, shower, and then when I get out I wipe everything down since it's already steamy from the shower. Then I have a clean bathroom AND I got a shower!

  2. Hi Anne! I love your thoughts! Thanks for sharing them :) It's funny because Christian actually appreciates de-cluttering more than he appreciates cleaning. If I clean he hardly notices, but if I declutter something, he is like "Wow! You worked so hard today!" Haha! Maybe I should keep focusing on that! :)

    I like your idea of cleaning in the shower! 2 birds with one stone. So next question, when do you de-clutter? During naps? Before kids wake up? After they go to bed? While they are awake? Just curious!

    Love, Rachel

  3. I guess I tend to de-clutter when the mood strikes...so sometimes I get in a frenzy while Dominic is napping and Gianna is at school and I can get tons done. But there are definitely times when the mood hits me that I just HAVE to de-clutter and organize and the kiddos are around and they just get in on the game. If G is around, I can give her little jobs to do (Let's put all these old shoes in this box!) b/c she is almost 4. Dominic is only 15 months so he either gets strapped on my back where he can look over my shoulder and see what's happening or I'll give him something to entertain him that has no real purpose...he likes to take things in and out right now, too, so I'll set him up with maybe a basket of washcloths and he'll entertain himself taking those in and out for awhile. So..I guess my bigger challenge is getting the motivation.

    I like to de-clutter Gianna's room when she is around b/c she is starting to get to an age where we can have conversations about our stuff....like, "Look, you have 2 sock monkeys! Do you think you need 2? Maybe we can put one in this box and give it to another little girl who might want one!" I also think allowing her to see me giving things away that belong to me is a good model for generosity. We'll see....the whole parenting thing is a big science experiment!

  4. That's great Anne! It's good to hear practical examples! Melody just turned one last week (big milestone!) so we are working on getting things accomplished with her awake. My grandmother also shared with me last week-end that she used to get all of her cleaning done while the kids were awake so she could nap whenever the kids did! (Very smart I think!)

    Gianna is almost 4! Wow! Does she go to preschool or anything? Will she be starting school soon? I can't believe how big your babies are!

    Love, Rachel

  5. Rachel! I love the blog girl!!
    I dont know if my cleaning routine will b interest since i dont have little ones but here goes....
    Jeff wears a dress shirt to work everyday, so to save$$ so i do them but its a two day process! So shirts get washed thursday and hung up to air dry. I do pretty much everything fri, my day off. I try to start as soon as iget up, other wise risk of getting distracted grows! Haha
    I have been working on a chore chart so Jeff can chime in with the chore. He is good about it if i ask, but i dont want to have to "nag" so the chart organizes that for me!
    Also another tip that will help your cleaning and yur social life! Have people over alot! Im the type of person , u dont step foot n my uouse if its dirty. So if i invite some friends over thats my motvation to cleaning!!!
    Also google or youtube videos on how to declutter or organize!! It will give ideas and inspire u!!!
    Love ya gurlie!!

  6. Ashley,
    That is so cool that you do your cleaning on your day off. I usually have one day off during the week also (Mondays), but I tend to struggle deciding if I should clean a lot on that day or try to spread the cleaning out throughout the week. Even with a baby I think starting right as soon as you get up is smart since it gives you a purpose for the day instead of getting distracted. (I am definitely susceptible to that!)

    I love hearing what you do! When other women I know and admire share what they do that makes me want to be like them. It is actually the most inspiring thing for me to do is learn from their examples :)

    Thanks for sharing!

    Love, Rachel

  7. PS I am the same way about cleaning when people are coming over :)

  8. Rachel, yes, Gianna goes to school 5 days a week, full day. I hate that she is gone so much, but...we have some special circumstances :) The Lord, for reasons known only to Him, blessed us with a special needs baby in Gianna. She was born profoundly Deaf. That is why we moved from Lexington to Cincinnati, there were better schools for her here. She started at 2.5 yrs attending St Rita School for the Deaf's LOFT (Lang. Opportunities For Toddlers) 3 half-days a week. She recieved bi-laterl cochlear implants, so in addition to learning American Sign Language we were working with her to listen and speak. Now she goes to a different school, Ohio Valley Voices, which is focused solely on auditory/verbal language development. Half her day is regular pre-school curriculum, and the other half is speech/lang pathology, speech therapy, aural rehab, etc. That's why it's a full day. I miss her, but she LOVES it and it doing so incredibly well. A lot of times, when we are out in public, people do not even realize that she is Deaf. It's pretty wild!

  9. I had no idea that you guys had all of that going on! So have you all also learned sign language along with G? Wow, what mixed blessings and hardships must come with all of that. Thank you for sharing your heart and your life with me. It's awesome to be reconnected with you again, Anne! I will be praying for your special situation :)

    Love, Rachel

  10. Rach, I'm about to embark on so deep cleaning this morning and I wad thinking of u:). I have a new tip for u!! Wear ur tennis shoes while u clean!! It makes you feel more productive! Also an interesting new routine came up last night. Jeff and I found ourselves watching a movie and folding all the laundry last night, so today I have that done and I can do some deep cleaning!
    Love u!!- Ashley C

  11. Rachel, I don't any advice for you, because I'm the same way. Its nice to know I'm not alone though... many of the women at my church are the type who literally CAN'T SLEEP if the house isn't clean!

  12. Haha, that is definitely not me :) I almost think I sleep better the more mess there is sometimes. But I am working on it! :)