I've been really busy today getting things cleaned up. I started out by cleaning the windows inside and out so that they will be ready for the Christmas wreaths this weekend. The mood then struck to get the carpets done. So Sean & I ran out to Mom's to borrow the steam cleaner.
The girls have had a fit with the vacuum and carpet cleaner going. They aren't all that thrilled with the sound and the accompaning activity that goes with it. They both have been hiding in various parts of the house until the coast was clear to come out and venture a look at what I have been doing.
Since then I've been busily shampooing all of the downstairs carpets, with the exception of a break for a visit with Danielle.
She was dropping off a chair that they had repaired for Walter, and a little something for Sean. We had a nice visit before she headed off to her chorus groups' recording session. The Manchester Choirs are recording a CD of their Christmas program. Hopefully they will be in prior to Christmas.
Walter came by to get his chair earlier this evening. I was going to get him & Sean to do a little spelunking in the side room for the window wreaths, but the floors in the house weren't dried out yet, so I didn't want them to get messed up. Maybe they will get them tomorrow - and that will give me the opportunity to get the upstairs windows done before hanging wreaths.
Dean is off to class tonight - I think that he only has three class left and that includes tonights class and his final exam night. I believe that Dean, Walter & Ben all have their classes end by the 15th of December. Giving them just enough time for a wee break before the next semester begins in January.
Email & Newsletter Gleanings:
I've got 3 TVs, cable & a satellite dish. I have 3 phone lines in the house, a cell phone and one in the car, plus a pager.
I use 2 computers, 3 ISPs and a fax. I subscribe to two daily papers and one weekly one. I watch both the local and the network news every evening.
And my kids have the nerve to tell me I'm out of touch.
Follow these seven steps to a cleaner home to reduce stress, save time and make the holidays a little brighter.
- Starting Now: There's a long list of tasks to tackle between now and the end of the holidays — entertaining guests, buying gifts, making cookies for the office party and composing greeting cards. How do you make time for all the cleaning that needs to get done? Actually, maintaining a clean holiday home is easier than you think, especially if you approach it the right way. The first step? Begin cleaning before the seasonal rush. This will relieve stress and give you time to tackle long-term projects, such as polishing the silverware or rearranging furniture.
- Make a List, Check It Twice: Before you begin, make a list of all the things that need to be cleaned. Divide chores by room, estimating the time it will take to complete each task. This will let you know if you can squeeze in time during commercials or if you should set aside the afternoon. You'll feel a sense of accomplishment as you tick off each item, making it more likely that you finish everything.
- A Little Here, a Little There: You don't need large chunks of time to get your house sparkling. In fact, you'll find that dedicating only about 30 minutes a day to cleaning will yield pleasant results. Set aside a fixed time (e.g., right before bed, after your morning coffee, etc.) to get things in order. You can also clean as you go. For example, squeegee the shower door after you've turned off the faucet and rub down your tub with a cleaner such as Mr. Clean Magic Eraser™ to quickly wipe away bathroom scum.
- Yes, You Can Take Shortcuts: There's nothing wrong with being ambitious, but let's face it: there isn't always enough time. If you find yourself needing a quick cleaning fix, take a couple of shortcuts to tide you over until you can give rooms a deeper scrub. Giving your house a fresh scent will lend an immediate impression of cleanliness.
- Enlist Help: You're not the only one enjoying the holidays, so you shouldn't be the only one cleaning for them either. Set aside a specific time each week for cleaning and divide up chores so your children and spouse can pitch in. Have kids make their beds, sort toys, dust or wipe off countertops. Not only will this give you some relief, it will teach them good habits as well.
- Simplify: Sometimes it seems easier to clean around unwanted items than to discard them, but this isn't a very effective method in the long run. Reduce clutter with a little organization. Get rid of any clothes that don't fit or that you haven't worn in more than two years. Dispose of any singles (i.e., one sock, one earring, etc.) that used to be part of pairs. Designate a basket or bin for all mail, newspapers and car keys. Consider purchasing shelf organizers, shoe racks, plastic bins or hanging bags to help organize clutter.
- Have Fun! Cleaning doesn't have to be all work. Think of it as time to catch up on some reading: Rent books on tape from the library to pass the time. Or put on some of your favorite tunes and get those feet moving! You also can give yourself an incentive to work a little harder or a little longer by promising yourself a long bath or sharing a favorite sweet treat with the kids. How many times during the holidays have you found yourself wondering, “Where did the time go?” One day it seems there are weeks to prepare, and then your holiday party is just days away! With that in mind, there's no time like the present to get ahead, particularly when it comes to preparing your home for party guests and unannounced visitors.