April 8, 2010

24 Hour Mission - Clean Home

You might think my goal from the title is to have a clean home in 24 hours.  It is not.  My goal is to maintain a clean home for 24 hours.  At exactly 2pm today my house was completely clean.  I have some laundry to keep up with but otherwise everything is more or less clean.  My goal is to still have a clean home at 2pm tomorrow.  I am not confident we can make it.

To preserve this clean home we left the house just before 2pm while the house cleaners were still working on the house and returned close to 5pm.  The children have been allowed to play outside, on the wii, or in their rooms only.  I have only cooked rice for dinner and am reheating a curry I already made and had in the fridge.  Dinner is being served outside on the deck.  We have our homeschool coop in the morning which means the house should maintain a level of cleanliness while we are gone.  I figure I have about 6 hours of non sleeping time to try to keep the house clean.  Is it sad to anyone else that I have a complete lack of confidence in this staying this way for an entire 24 hours?

It is not that we are very messy people, we are just a typical family with three kids.  As soon as it is clean my three tornadoes walk through the house and leave quite a wake behind them.  We teach stewardship.  We remind them not to half step.  We help pick up after them.  It does not matter.  We live in our house and it is what it is.  The non typical part is that we homeschool so we are here all the time and we live hard in our house.  Every day our home is the location for multiple meals, snack times, school time, PE time, well over a hundred library books, craft time, many friends coming and going, etc.  We are very lived in all the time.

I love that my house is lived in.  I am not any sort of cleaning fanatic and the lived in look is really the only look we go with here.  Once a month though the whole house is clean and I want to keep it that way and enjoy the feeling if only for a few moments.  That peaceful feeling I get when I enter a vacation home or hotel room where everything is orderly and calm.  My life is not orderly and calm so why would I possibly think I would have a calm and orderly house?  I can have one later when the kids are grown up and moved out.  

So here is to hoping my house is still clean at 2pm tomorrow.  I would not hold your breath waiting for an update however :)


  1. At one level children are fairly rational creatures. When they make a mess, it is easy to walk away from it. If mom or dad asks them to clean up, then can clean up. If the parents don't ask them, then they get away with it.

    One thing I've started doing recently is when I catch them making a mess, I'll have them "clean" it up three times. (Yeah, I'll have them put stuff away and then pull it back out to clean again.) My hope is that they'll decide it is easier to clean up the first time.

  2. Thanks for the feedback. That is an interesting approach. I may try it on a day I have more time :)