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April is over, which means that the Just Clean Something Challenge: Spring Cleaning Edition is also finished. Did April feel like an extra long month to anyone else? Cleaning every day sure isn’t my cup of tea. As much as I’m glad that the challenge is over, I’m even more glad that I accomplished so much this past month.
9 Things I Learned From Cleaning Every Day For A Month
The last time I did this challenge I learned…
1. I am really busy! It is hard to make time to clean when you have thousands of other things demanding your attention. Laundry, meals, birthdays, grocery shopping, and social events all take time. Sometimes it feels just about impossible to clean on top of doing all those other things.
2. I need moments of rest in my day. I could fill my entire day with productive tasks and work the entire time my kids are napping, but I would burn out very quickly. I would be a cranky, bitter woman. I need to take time for myself throughout the day.
3. Cleaning doesn’t take as much time as I thought it did. I used to put off cleaning because huge cleaning projects took so much time, but I don’t have to do huge projects. There were so many cleaning tasks that I accomplished during this challenge that took less than 10 minutes. Dusting rooms, sweeping floors, wiping down appliances, cleaning a toilet… None of those things take much time and it is ok to do just one thing!
4. I can be productive after 7:00 PM. It is very easy for me to shut down after supper and put all tasks on hold until the next day, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it is actually much easier for me to clean in the evening when my husband is home instead of during the day with my little ones begging for attention.
This time around those same concepts were brought up again along with…
5. I’m terrible at finishing projects. I had hundreds of excuses why I shouldn’t concentrate on one room or space until that one was completely done and then move on to the next room. In my mind it made sense. In reality I didn’t finish spring cleaning any of the spaces in my house except for the stairway. For example:
- kitchen cabinets – I cleaned out 19 cabinets and drawers, but left 1 unfinished.
- upstairs hallway – If I had dusted the top of the door frames, then this space would have been 100% spring cleaned.
- Grace’s room – I did a lot of cleaning in here, but only finished half of everything I started.
- deck railing – I scrubbed the entire railing except for one small section because my arms got tired. Why didn’t I go back and finish it the next day??
- Noah’s room – The only thing left to do in his room is wash the curtain. Just one small little thing and I didn’t do it!!
6. Taking a break significantly messes up my momentum. I decided to take a break from the cleaning challenge on Easter weekend. I didn’t do any cleaning Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Monday was rough. Tuesday wasn’t much better. I’m glad I focused on the Easter holiday, but it messed up my mental game so much that I never fully recovered.
7. Spring cleaning really isn’t so bad. In fact, I could even go as far as to say that spring cleaning is more fun than regular cleaning. Maybe this is related to my personality type, but I enjoyed having different projects this month. Plus the benefit of having a spring cleaned home is always nice. Duh.
8. Accountability works. Towards the end of the month there were several times that I wanted to lay on the couch instead of clean, but knowing that so many others were doing this with me and ready to see what I posted on Facebook each night was enough to push me into doing something. I don’t want to do the Just Clean Something Challenge on my blog every month, but maybe some girlfriends could hold me accountable to keep things going.
9. It is okay to hate cleaning. Lately I’ve been learning more and more about my personality type. The fact that I struggle to maintain a structured cleaning routine isn’t because I’m lazy or a slob. It is because of the way my brain works. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Many artistically minded folks struggle with cleaning and organizing. I’m normal. Thank goodness!
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Additional Cleaning Inspiration & Resources:
- Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate – This is my favorite all-purpose cleaner. It is safe enough for my children to use it, and this one bottle will last you for years.
- Free Cleaning Checklist You Can Customize – Do you need help setting up a cleaning routine? This is one of my most popular blog posts of all time.
- Drowning In Clutter: Tried and True Decluttering Strategies – This is the best book on decluttering I’ve ever read. I highly recommend it. She gives practical tips along with dealing with the emotional aspects of getting rid things in your house.
- Free $10 Credit, Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Soap, & Shipping to Grove Collaborative – I buy the bulk of my cleaning supplies and bath products from Grove Collaborative (previously known as ePantry). My favorites to order are Method dish soap, Seventh Generation Stain Remover, Tom’s of Maine toothpaste, and Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap. Read more about how Grove Collaborative works here.
Did you participate in the Just Clean SOMETHING Challenge? What did you learn from it and what do you hope to change?
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