I’ve been in a flurry of X-treme fall cleaning, as I continue moving without changing my address. (See last week’s Taming the Chaos article here to find out more.)
I thought it’d be a two week project, but we had several life-interruptions, so it’ll take three. (Isn’t that how it usually goes? Projects always seem to take a bit longer than predicted.) To further draw things out, my husband has next week off and planned several exciting outings, so we’ll put the last bit of our “move” on hold while he’s home. I still have all the bedrooms and the master bath left, but the end is in sight, and our main living and working areas are done!
As I shared on my personal blog, I’m already enjoying a fresher, tidier home, but it’s a dirty process. I’ve been striving to refresh our hearts even as we freshen our home. Just as literal grime has sifted into the cracks of our home, grungy attitudes and wrong priorities have creep in. Sooty hearts; sooty hearths.
As we work as a team, I’m encouraging the children (and myself) in the habit of doing our work well, staying on task, and delighting in completed goals–all outlooks that transfer to academics–and to almost every area of life. Deep cleaning also gives opportunity to point out the compounding of almost imperceptible filth. Our home usually seems fairly clean to us as we hit the basics each week, yet behind the furniture and in places unseen, an astounding amount of grit accumulates.
These weeks have been team-building and confidence building. I’ve been enjoying the children’s companionship in a unique way as this provides a different dynamic from our usual routine. Although I’m training and instructing, the atmosphere is one of camaraderie. Working together gives each of us an opportunity to join in and see quantifiable results toward a common goal. The astounded look on the children’s faces as they see the pile of stuff from a gutted room about to be moved, the looks of pride as they walk through the finished rooms, and their joy in doing something big has been rich indeed. As an added bonus, they are showing great zeal for keeping clean what we’ve completed. Because they work alongside me and invest themselves, they take pride in keeping it nice.
All of us help on every room, but I’ve chosen a child to be my main helper in each area of the house to enhance a sense of job ownership. (The rooms in which each child helps most to organize are connected to their present chore jurisdictions. One child’s specializing as my kitchen helper these days, so she was my main assistant in kitchen cleaning. The child who presently does some of the laundry was more involved in the utility room’s “move”. The child who keeps the study and living room tidy through the week had that area as his specialty for our deep clean. )
My carpet cleaner is calling to me. I’ll be back next week to share a list of my “must have” cleaning supplies–some conventional, some perhaps a bit quirky.
(Cross-posted from my Taming the Chaos weekly feature column on the HomeschoolBlogger Front Porch.)
~Domestic Chaos tamer and homeschool mom of 5, Dell writes about home, heart and hearth.~