Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mom’s Corner
This week I’ve begun my Spring Cleaning.  It’s been slow going because there are ALWAYS interruptions and, well, I’m a procrastinator.  .  Some people keep their houses extraordinarily clean throughout the year and don’t need to do spring or fall cleaning – I am not one of those people.  I HATE CLEANING.  I like to have a clean house though so I do keep up on regular day-to-day stuff and do a more substantial weekly cleaning but I only clean the inside of cupboards, pull out appliances, thoroughly wash the walls, windows and light fixtures twice per year.  My wonderful husband always tries to help me out by telling me to hire someone to do it while we go away for a few days but I feel guilty.  I don’t work outside of the home so my home is my job and although I always hear wonderful reasons why I shouldn’t feel this way and I fully agree with those reasons… I still do feel this way.  I consider myself the Chief Operating Officer of my home but I am also the Janitor.  Well, enough complaining, onto the work.
My rule of thumb when doing spring/fall cleaning has always been to start at the top and work my way down in each room.  So first thing I do is look at the ceiling, clean everything in sight and make a list of repairs to be done later.  Then I move onto the walls, cupboards, and appliances or large furniture pieces.  While the furniture or appliances are moved out I will steam clean any furniture or disinfect the entire appliance and also do the floors underneath them.  Finally I move everything back and it’s time to hand wash the floors getting into all those corners and scrubbing the places you don’t usually notice your mop not getting into.  Often this is when I’m inspired to make d├ęcor changes in my home so I often take a little extra time to change things up or write down some projects or lists of things to pick up to spruce the house up for spring/fall.
There are also some maintenance type things to keep in mind for your home.  Although we change our furnace filter monthly, in the spring we have a company come in to clean out all our heating ducts and in the fall we have our furnace, hot water tank, and gas fireplace inspected (this is a free service from our gas company).  We replace our batteries in our smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well as do a check on our fire extinguishers (expiry date, charge levels, etc).  I also found a wonderful home maintenance schedule at FamilyEducation.com which outlines some things to do to maintain your home and has a checklist for early detection or prevention of problems in your home.  Where I live there is still a significant amount of snow so the outdoor things will be waiting for a while.
Sanity Check
I don’t know about you but I HATE CLEANING.  I can’t convey this strongly enough.  I have found something that my friend suggested which makes it a little easier on me…Audio Books.  I love to read and initially I thought my friend was crazy because she always went on about her audio books.  I remember asking her, “Isn’t that just someone reading to you?”  She said yes but that it was so much more as well.  I smiled and nodded but didn’t think about it again for several years.  About a year and a half ago I needed to go on a five hour drive by myself.  When I drive for long periods, I like to listen to talk radio but I knew there would be a couple hours of dead spots where there were no radio stations available.  When discussing this with my friend, she offered me her audio book.  It was “Breaking Dawn” from the Twilight Saga.  I accepted and thought I could give it a try and had nothing to lose.  If I didn’t like it, I could easily turn it off and since I’d read the book already I could still discuss it in detail with my friend.
On that trip, I discovered my LOVE for audio books.  Now when I’m doing any mindless task (laundry, cleaning, exercising, etc.), I slide in an audio book and escape to another world.  The narrators are often amazing providing different voices for each of the characters.  Sometimes there is more than one narrator providing various male and female voices.  Thus far my favourite narrator has been Phil Gigante who provided the male voices in Karen Marie Moning’s “Shadowfever”.  I am excited for next week’s release of “City of Fallen Angels” by Cassandra Clare as I hear her narrators were amazing.  I’m sure my spring cleaning won’t be over by then so I can tune out the rest of my household while I listen to my book.
Time for Kids
Did you know that having your children help with chores not only teaches them to care for their belongings, how to take care of their own home one day, but also strengthens their fine and gross motor skills?  R’s Kindergarten teacher often suggests he help unload the cutlery (except sharp objects) using his fine motor skills and reviewing the sorting concepts.  Also folding clothes, especially socks, helps with their motor skills.  So hand over the dusting rag and watering can and have a family cleaning party! Note:  Although teaching children and showing them the proper way to do these things is necessary – be careful not to criticise or to let them catch you fixing it afterwards.  Their self-confidence is worth having a messy cutlery drawer or not quite right folded clothing.
Take Care,
D
 

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