So, some of you might gasp at what I’m about to do and say…oh well. I think its GREAT that some women have that innate ability to keep a beautiful home, have neatly dressed, clean, stain-free children, and be sane all at the same time. I’m NOT that woman. I’m just being real here! I’ve been wanting to mop my kitchen for about 2 weeks. It’s probably needed it a lot longer than that, but 2 weeks ago is when I really noticed how nasty it was.
My problem is, well, I just have a hard time staying focused. I have 5 kids, we homeschool, they fall down, and bicker, and we have to go get milk, and things just happen. To get back to my point – when I do get around to mopping the kitchen, I want everything above the floor clean first. It’s seems logical to me. That’s logical, right? …because if I mopped first, THEN washed dishes…I’d end up with dirty dish water splashed on the floor, or crumbs off the table dirtying it up, and well, a whole other array of horrible events would happen (no, I’m not dramatic, why do you ask?).
So, my plan of action is always to wash the dishes, clean off all the counters, clean off the table, sweep the floors, and last, I plan to mop. Well, in that list of things…I usually get hung up on step 2 or 3. Lunch time arrives and children are whiny, or someone fell down, or a diaper needs changing…you get the idea. My point is, by the time I get back to it my little step-by-step plan, I need to start over. It’s a vicious cycle for me.
Today (after my brother kindly wiped up a small spill last night and the rag came up brown), I decided I had to mop! I got all 6 kids dressed (my 5, plus the extra 4 year old that I babysit), sent them into the backyard, and decided to challenge myself to get it all done in ONE HOUR. Now, some of you might do that all the time, clean everything in an hour, but as previously explained, that doesn’t happen for me. But it did today…in fact, I had almost 6 minutes to spare!
First, this is what I was starting with in my kitchen/dining area. It was a pretty hefty mess…and I didn’t get a good shot of exactly how many bowls and plates were stacked under some of that stuff!
But if I’m going to blog and be honest, I might as well share the juicy stuff, huh? Don’t answer that!
Back to my topic… I set my timer to 1:00 and started with the dishes…Oh, and before I go on, in the interest of total disclosure, let me say I did have to stop the timer once when my baby almost 3 year old little boy came in with ants on his shoes and socks. But I started it back as soon as I had him free of ants and smiling again!
So, I got the dishes done in ‘about’ 22 minutes with the exception of one really crusty pot and some odds and ends that turned up after the countertops and table were cleaned – they’re still in the sink as I write this. Does anyone else have that problem? Dishes appearing just when you think it’s all done?
Let me also say, washing that many dishes, that fast…it’s a challenge. I broke a sweat! That’s understandable, huh? No? Oh wait, I forgot to mention that in this lovely rental house we’re in, the very old dishwasher (see underneath the stack of clean dishes)…well, it doesn’t work, so I have to do them all by hand! Again, sweat is understandable, right? Look at all these dishes I washed:
Here’s the dishwasher…in case you missed it:
Back to my story, after the dishes, I did the countertops and the table. Here’s what everything looked like with 26 minutes left on my timer.
(it was around this time that I had to pause and tend to a crying baby with ants on his shoes, socks, legs…poor thing!), but I was right back to work after soothing him! Oh, and if you scroll up and look at the original pics…that white board was blank. That’s because all of those letters and numbers were all over the floor…it’s shameful when picking up a few magnets off the floor will completely make you winded!
Anyway, back to cleaning! oh, YAY! I’m halfway done. Now it’s time to sweep and mop. First, I quickly
yelled at the kids to get back outside encouraged the kids to go out back and play some more so Mommy could finish cleaning. I then picked up all the non-sweepable items (is sweepable a word? Spellcheck says no, but I’m leaving it!). I grabbed the broom and swept the floors, getting under the chairs and edges of the cabinets as best I could in a hurry. Then I searched frantically for my mop and bucket because the timer was running. Then I grabbed my mop and bucket off the patio (which is exactly where I don’t keep it) and got busy with the floors. It didn’t take quite as long as I thought it would, and WOW, I am done! I look up at the timer and discover…I have 6 minutes left! Yippee!
Now, I must confess that I didn’t do the best sweeping and mopping job ever, but hey…no one’s feet will stick to the floor anymore. That’s something in our house! And, almost everything that I ‘cleaned up’ got actually put where it belongs, not stacked in another room or ‘hidden’ for the sake of my little illustrated blog posting. The only thing(s) that didn’t get put exactly where it went was the stack of mail, magazines, homeschooling books off the bar…I moved them to the living room for sorting later.
Now, I really felt sweaty and tired great having my kitchen AND floors clean! I mean, that always makes a girl feel good, right? In truth..when I finished, it was only minutes before lunch time. With a tinge of sadness, I pulled out more bowls and cups to mess up, poured milk (that will be spilled), and started messing up my sort of beautiful kitchen again. But it was worth it…3 whole minutes of completely clean kitchen and a mopped floor…it was total bliss. Maybe it’ll happen sometime soon.