10 August 2009

Things I Have Learned From "Reclaiming The House"

A few weeks ago I started a campaign to Reclaim the House.

All in all the process has gone well. I have learned a lot too:

1. It Takes a Village- When all of us get in on the deal, it is way easier to keep up with all the house junk. The corollary here being: don't be afraid to ask others to maintain the house too. I don't expect the DH and I to share chores 50/50 given that he works out of the house 10 hours a day now, and soon will work out of the house for up to 6 months at a clip. However, it is fair to ask him to help with the maintenance. If we all get our dishes in the dishwasher, put the shampoo bottles back in the caddy and put our toys away, it makes less work for everyone. Even the toddler is getting the hang of it!

2. The Little Stuff Matters- Not leaving clothes in the dryer for days and actually emptying the dishwasher really does make a huge difference. The 10-15 minutes that these tasks add to my day save me hours of stressful cleaning and organizing over the course of the week.

3. The Little Changes Are Easy to Make- I was worried I would never keep it up, but somehow I have. Doing all the little stuff become routine so quickly, now I hardly notice I am doing this stuff until I look at the house and, as if by magic, it looks pretty darn good.

4. We All Have a Right to Our Crazy- In establishing the new routine, we all had a chance to air some of our pet peeves. Now I know that DH doesn't mind doing the trash, if I crush the big stuff down before I shove it in the can. I don't mind doing the dishwasher if everyone gets their dishes in it- as long as I don't have to empty an entire sinkful/counterful of dishes to do it, I am in.

5. Big Projects Are Still Tough- I confess that Ihave not done many of the big projects I had in mind. The house could still use a real-deal dusting and my windows are pretty sad. There is a danger in the house looking "pretty good" all the time, it makes it much easier to ignore stuff that probably should get done.

6. The Universe Will NOT Reward You For Your Efforts- Since the projects inception the mini-vacuum has died, the big vacuum has required a total overhaul by the BigBrain DH, I broke one of my toes cleaning the shower stall and I run my big toe over with the vacuum cleaner EVERY FREAKING TIME I VACUUM!!! I will now spend the rest of sandal season with a snaggle toe, how lovely for me. Add to this that the carpet cleaners managed to be three days late for our appointment to have the carpets done, only to have the toddler create a flood of biblical proportions with her finger paints the following day...sometimes it is an uphill battle. Uphill as in climbing K2.

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