This Is How We Clean


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I think it’s pretty apparent, by the Playing Hooky post that I wrote last week that cleaning is not high on my list of things that I love to do. No shade being thrown at those of you who love it, I just happen to not. Mostly because I have four very active children who see clean areas as a empty canvas of opportunity to do whatever they can in the least amount of time. For the last couple of years, I have been attempting to clean my house on my own, while Mr. Houseful was at work, and the children were asleep and at school – in the case of the cellist. This year, I decided that wouldn’t work anymore, but I had to have an actual game plan in order for it to look the way that I wanted it to.

However, being married to Mr. Houseful requires me to at least pretend to love have a game plan when it comes to keeping our abode neat enough to have company over at any time. And let me tell ya. that ain’t easy.

We have a total of nine rooms in our house. Four bedrooms, a living room, dining room, den, bathroom and kitchen – yeah, no second bathroom for us, PLEASE feel free to feel sorry for me now. In order to keep these rooms clean, we have to follow a cleaning schedule. We still haven’t perfected it, but having it in place is at least helping out with keeping the clutter down. My erratic cleaning mixed with Mr. Houseful’s straightforward cleaning has created some very colorful conversations in my house. Complete with me usually sitting down on my duff and quitting for the day. Yep, I’m really grown up when it comes to dust and clutter.

Our cleaning regimen usually goes this way.

If we do have a LOT of cleaning to do, like the common area in our house which NEVER seems clean, we’ll move everything that is not supposed to be in the room to the middle of the floor. Goes against my military training but it works well. We then remove things from the middle of the floor until everything is in it’s place. No one is to leave out of the room without at least one thing in each one of their hands. The amount of dishes, and toys and random clothing that congregate in our living room is absurd. I’m pretty sure that you all can also imagine all of the spills, crumbs and the such that we have to deal with, and I’m not even going to lie and blame it ONLY on the twizzlers and the ladybug.

Now that she is three, the ladybug is responsible for removing her toys and clothing from any room that it is not supposed to be in. Including the bathroom and kitchen. Since being mobile, she’s grown fond of following me to whatever room that I am in with her favorite blanket and toys and parking at my feet. She doesn’t discriminate either. Bathroom, kitchen, sewing room, she’s there. Now she knows that she has to clean those items up herself.

The cellist has also been given his areas that he is always to clean and a couple of days on dishes in the house. One thing that I realize after being the oldest in my own family, is that the oldest should never have to do EVERYTHING. Three year old and even one year old children are capable of learning some housekeeping skills to at least pull their weight around the house. While the twizzlers do think that putting their toys away is a game, they know how to do it. And the ladybug doesn’t like seeing any of her toys go away on vacation for long periods of time, so she’s getting better with cleaning after herself.

As for the kitchen, it took almost five years of marriage to realize that Mr. Houseful and I have to clean it together in order to get through the task in a timely fashion. For some reason, no one in my family seems to believe in washing a dish out before using another and our dishes can pile up with the best of them. It’s unruly. What helps a lot is having someone to talk to or some music or an audio book to listen to. Cleaning out of the refrigerator happens once monthly, or we try to, and we also attempt to ditch food that has not been eaten within the week. I’ve ended up changing my shopping habits to only getting amounts of food that we can eat within two days so that our waste goes down, and we don’t have to look at science experiments in the fridge.

One of my biggest projects this year is to get functional storage for our house. We do not have enough. Period. Because our house is extremely old and wasn’t completed brought up to date during renovation, we’ve been without a lot of storage space. So, I’ve had to get a little bit crafty. Using bookshelves for storage as well as being pretty in the room that it’s in. The living room has a buffet that has several wicker baskets in it that hide most of the clutter of that area. It’s functional and it’s gorgeous. I’m happy.

I guess overall, what I’m trying to say is that we are still a work in progress. We’re learning what days work well for deep cleaning, and how NOT to have to do that every week, but once monthly. We’re learning how to keep up a certain standard so that I do not go crazy out of frustration. I’m also learning to schedule cleaning. It’s one of the things that I learned from a mom’s business retreat earlier this year (yes I still owe you a post about that) and it seems to be working fabulously.

How often do you clean? Do you rotate chores, or give everyone their own to stick with all of the time? How do you handle common areas that seem to never stay clean? And best of all, if you are an “extreme cleaner” or have even grown into one – which I seem to be going towards – remember to enter by clicking the link below. A little help never hurt anyone.

Happy Cleaning!

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  1. MAYEN says:

    Ha! I haven’t read many of your blogs, lately and found myself reading several TODAY! I totally believe in teaching the kids to do their part. I have been spoiled having 4 teens home to help a lot! Now I am down to two teen boys and two young boys, which means more work for Mom. (checking for actually CLEAN dishes, bathroom, etc.) They have their own bathroom and I have to ask them to “really” clean it when people stop by 🙂 I let the younger boys use our bathroom because I sanitize it daily.
    I really dislike cleaning :/ I’d rather do arts and crafts and leave them out until they’re finished (no sewing room) and read, until I finish a book, but alas… I have to get back to the kids (the one’s I babysit just woke up)… thank you for sharing your life with us 🙂

    • Natasha says:

      Aww Mayen, thanks for stopping by and hanging out here for a little bit. I wish that I had four of them old enough to really clean, but still young enough to snuggle with. It’s like having my cake and eating it too – btw – WHO made up that stupid saying?! I also wish that we had two bathrooms. UGH! Hope to see you around more.

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