May 02, 2012

Lesson 6: Cleaning the Casa

                My mother raised four children, three of whom were loud, wrestling, messy boys. In a house as crazy as ours, there is a lot of housework to be accomplished and a lot of laundry to do. Different mothers with lots of children handle this amount of housework differently. Some allocate responsibilities, while others simply find it easier to control the chaos by doing the work themselves. My mom fell into the second category, and to her credit, maintained a clean, orderly, happy household. We had a home-cooked meal every night for dinner and never had to worry whether or not our uniform would be clean on time. We also were never embarrassed to bring friends home, because the house was always picked up.
                While my mom set the standard for how a home should look and how clean a kitchen should be, she did not teach me all the tips and tricks for how to actually keep a home this way. Thus, for me, there has been some learning in this department. Luckily for my family, my husband is proficient in many areas including removing stains, washing dishes, cooking delicious meals and so on, but I have recently been intrigued to learn to do some of these things as well. Here are just a few cleaning tricks I’ve learned, all of which were new to me, all of which I found extremely interesting, and all of which are easy!

1.       If you have a gross dish sponge, you simply have to wet it, put it on a plate, and put it in the microwave for a minute. It kills all the bacteria!
2.       If you put baking soda on the carpet and then vacuum it up, it will make your rug smell good.
3.       If you have dusty leaves on your house plants, simply rub a dab of mayo on them and they will shine!
4.       If you have a dust or pollen problem, microfiber dish towels really do the trick, picking up the dust without sending a ton of it back into the air!

                I realize for many of you, these ideas may not be revolutionary. My neighbor (who you will probably hear a lot about, because she is the mother of four extremely polite children and is the best cleaner I’ve ever met, thus making her a huge resource for my transition from adolescence to adulthood) already knew all of these things. I, however, did not and have been amazed at how these simple, quick tips have already made a difference in my house.
                I have also found that if you do one or two things to clean your house every day, your house will generally feel cleaner all around, and you won't even be aware that you made the effort. Five extra minutes in the morning? Take a Clorox wipe and clean the baseboards in your bathroom. (The bathroom floor is telltale sign to guests if your house is clean). Five more before you go to bed? Quickly dust your picture frames. Seriously, it sounds so small, but if you do two quick tasks a day, that's fourteen by the end of the week. In two weeks, you'll be looking for jobs to do (until you have to repeat the ones you've already done).

Lesson Learned: Cleaning does not have to be difficult. Do small jobs when you have a spare minute and the load seems lighter.


  1. Thanks for spacing out the paragraphs. It makes them a lot easier to read! You have a real knack for intertwining your narrative with helpful information. It keeps me interested from beginning to end. Keep up the good work! :)

  2. Hi Katherine! I haven't seen you guys since, well, college! But I've loved seeing/reading your blog. Where's the follow button? I'm trying to add you to my reading list!! :)

    1. Hey Meredith! I don't know about the follow button. I'll have to look. I know it's possible b/c I have followers, I'm just not sure how they accomplish it. Hopefully, I can figure out how to get it up there. I actually read YOUR blog today ... I loved the post about your daughter's half birthday! She's so cute! You guys look really happy which is nice!

    2. Katherine, I learned how to set up my blog from following "BloggingWithAmy.Com" She gives step by step instructions for setting up a blog. Amy is a former pastor's wife, who now supports her family with her blogging. She's very helpful and friendly, and she can answer your questions within a day or two usually.

      Anyhow, getting to the point, I learned how to install a FeedBurner "Subscribe" button from her website. ( I hope that helps!

    3. Jessica, thanks so much for this site! It is so helpful and gives so many good ideas (though probably consumed a little too much time the other day!) It is interesting working out all these kinks!


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