Anxiously Cleaning: Week One

First of all, thank you for joining me! I really hope this will be beneficial to those of you like me with cleaning-related stress or anxiety. Hopefully it will help us in creating some new habits to help us break free from this constant cycle of cleaning only to relax and allow it to become overwhelming once more.

This week we are going to tackle the one room that is at the heart of most relationships. No. Not the kitchen. I’m talking about the Master Bedroom. This is the one place in the home that should be a sanctuary. It should be a place of retreat where you can go to after a long day to relax and unwind. Not always free of kids in the husband and my case, but at least its a place that’s supposed to be just for us.

Our goal this week is to get back there. I always like to start cleaning in the bedroom because even if I wasn’t able to get anything else accomplished that day/week/etc I can still go there and have it be peaceful…. in theory. Besides, isn’t that always the place our Mothers used to yell at for us to clean?! So let’s get back to our roots and start there.

Download your PDF for this week: Anxiously Cleaning – Week One

Day One: Monday

Supplies: Trash bag, a clean open space for sorting (it doesn’t matter if this is a table or the floor, whatever works), spray cleaner, and a cleaning rag.

Daily Tasks: do ONE load of laundry from start to finish, including putting the clothes away;  taking a single trash bag, spend 5 minutes or less cleaning up trash throughout the house (this can be in any room or a series of rooms – focus only on trash and nothing else) then deposit the trash bag in the bin outside. If your house “doesn’t have trash” (unlike me who is surrounded by messy boys) then take the trash bags out from the bathrooms and kitchen instead; pick one item and put all of it away: i.e. shoes (put away all the shoes laying around), jackets/coats (hang up all the coats and jackets lying about), toys (this is harder so be careful choosing this – toys can be non-specific which makes it harder to set a limit as to when is enough or how much is too much. Before we know it we’re overwhelmed).

Daily Goal: The “One” Nightstand…. hehe sorry I couldn’t resist. Today’s goal is the nightstand. The plan is simple: take everything off of the top – lamps too – and out of the drawers or space underneath, and place in your designated ‘sorting space’. Mine is the ground… just sayin’. Using your cleaning spray, wipe down the entire nightstand. Now comes the fun part! One item at a time, replace it. Wipe it down as you place them back on the nightstand BUT ONLY PUT BACK THE ITEMS THAT ARE USEFUL IN THIS SPACE. Your hairbrush has no place on, or in, your nightstand. Put that in the bathroom. Now! Those books you’ve been reading but haven’t finished yet, pick one to keep and put the others away. You can only see one at a time when you’re reading anyhow (Notice I didn’t say ‘read’? I have like 5 books going at once, too). Let’s finish one! Anything you no longer need, then donate it or toss it. If there is anything that doesn’t belong: PUT IT WHERE IT GOES.

Extra Tasks: These are optional tasks you can complete today that will help “finish” your spring cleaning efforts. Tackle your second nightstand (if you have one). Wipe down your headboard and footboard. Clean your ceiling fan.

Day Two: Tuesday

Supplies: Broom, Dust Pan, Mop, Spray Cleaner or Mopping Solution, Bag or Box for donations, Bag or Box for trashed items

Daily Tasks: do ONE load of laundry from start to finish, including putting the clothes away, spend 5 minutes or less sorting through your mail pile (separate bills from trash, don’t spend time pouring over specifics, you can do most of this without even opening the envelopes), spend 5 minutes or less putting away electronics and/or electronic components (chargers, computers, game controllers, cords, phones, etc).

Daily Goal: The BOTTOM of the closet. Do not get side-tracked here! Stay focused only on the bottom of your closet, specifically shoes. Maybe yours aren’t like mine and littered all over the floor. That’s fantastic! But I bet you might still be able to purge. That’s what we’re doing today. Take everything from the bottom of the closet and move it out. Using your broom and dustpan, sweep those floors clean and follow with a quick mop. Now comes the hard part. Time to part with some of those shoes. Set a goal to get rid of at least one pair, if nothing else. Once you’ve picked which are going and which are staying, it’s time to put them all back. Place the pairs together and keep them as neat as possible as you restock your closet shoe inventory.

Extra Tasks: While you have your broom/vacuum/mops out, use them to wipe down your walls. You can thank me later because if you’re like me those suckers are dirty and you probably didn’t even realize how bad they got over the last year! Clean the baseboards. Wipe down blinds/shades.

Day Three: Wednesday

Supplies: a bag or box for donations, a trash bag, a clean open space for sorting (it doesn’t matter if this is a table or the floor, whatever works), spray cleaner, and a cleaning rag.

Daily Tasks: do ONE load of laundry from start to finish, including putting the clothes away; spend ten minutes or less and wash some dishes/pick dishes up/load the dishwasher/unload the dishwasher (whatever fits with what you have or need to do).

Daily Goal: The T-Shirt Drawer. For some of you this might not be only ONE drawer. Today we’re purging our t-shirts or shirts. This is not talking about the blouses hanging in your closet, but is specific to your sleeping shirts, t-shirts, workout wear, or whatever it is you do in your t-shirts. Remove them all from your drawers and using the cleaner and a rag, wipe down the insides of the now-empty drawers. Fold your shirts and replace them one at a time. Be sure to only keep items that are still in good condition and can be useful. I know you don’t need 15 workout shirts…. Try to set a limit for a number of shirts to keep. Maybe the limit is ten, maybe its four. Make it work for you and your space but stick to it. Donate or toss the rest.

Extra Tasks: Wipe down the window panes. Clean the window sills.

Day Four: Thursday

Supplies: a bag or box for donations, a trash bag, a clean open space for sorting (it doesn’t matter if this is a table or the floor, whatever works), spray cleaner, and a cleaning rag.

Daily Tasks: do ONE load of laundry from start to finish, including putting the clothes away; spending ten minutes or less, focus on cleaning off one counter in your home.

Daily Goal: The Shorts/Pants Drawer. Using the same methods as yesterday, today we focus on the pants and shorts only in the dresser. Set a goal limit for items you want to keep and see how close you can come to sticking to it. Remove all the items from the drawer, and using the spray cleaner and rag, wipe down the insides of each. Replace only the items you intend to keep. Donate or toss the remainder.

Extra Tasks: Using the same spray cleaner, wipe down all the doors in the room – closet doors included. Wipe down all door frames, top to bottom.

Day Five: Friday

Supplies: a bag or box for donations, a trash bag, a clean open space for sorting (it doesn’t matter if this is a table or the floor, whatever works), spray cleaner, and a cleaning rag.

Daily Tasks: do ONE load of laundry from start to finish, including putting the clothes away.

Daily Goal: The Unmentionables Drawer. Rinse and repeat, that’s all we’re doing again today. Only now the focus is on the unmentionables. Finally an excuse to throw out that one ratty pair of underwear that somehow keeps getting re-washed and put back in the drawer no matter how many times you swore you would throw it away …. anyone? Just me? Take all the items out of the drawer, and using your rag wipe down the insides. Keep only the items that are useful. If the sock doesn’t have a pair, throw it out. Have a pair of uncomfortable underwear you never wear? Here’s your opportunity to get rid of them.

Extra Tasks: Wipe down the entire dresser, top to bottom. Clean off the top of the dresser (if necessary, put items away where they belong and follow by dusting off the top with your spray cleaner).

Day Six: Saturday

Supplies: a bag or box for donations, a trash bag, a clean open space for sorting (it doesn’t matter if this is a table or the floor, whatever works), spray cleaner, and a cleaning rag.

Daily Tasks: do ONE load of laundry from start to finish, including putting the clothes away; clean your toilets – all of them, inside the bowl and out. Wipe them down on the exterior as well (and don’t forget the tank on the top).

Daily Goal: The “Hanging” Clothes. It’s now time to tackle the top of the closet, by going through your hanging clothes. In my house, this includes jeans, slacks, blouses, belts, and some sweaters…. for you it may be more, or less. But today is the day to face it. Remove the items as we’ve been doing and use your rag and spray cleaner to wipe down the walls behind where your clothing hangs. If there are shelves in there be sure to get them as well. One by one, replace your items. I purposely chose this for Saturday as a lot of parents working a typical 8-5 shift will have the weekend off. Today will be a lot of work, I won’t lie. Try your clothes on if you have to, but only keep the items that fit AND that you actually wear. Get rid of the “it used to fit and maybe I’ll fit into it again soon” items. We don’t need that kind of negativity in our lives, haha. Another reason I saved this for last, is because now you should be able to reach into your closet without tripping over all those extra shoes you had lying about before!

Extra Tasks: Clean any mirrors in your bedroom. Purge your jewelry box(s).

Day Seven: Sunday

Supplies: a bag or box for donations, a trash bag, a stool, a clean open space for sorting (it doesn’t matter if this is a table or the floor, whatever works), spray cleaner, and a cleaning rag.

Daily Tasks: do THREE loads of laundry from start to finish, including putting the clothes away

Daily Goal: The Closet Shelf. Using your stool, carefully remove all the items off the top closet shelf. If your not like me and don’t have a shelf to store all your closet “extras” then just focus on wherever you store them. Wipe down the shelf and then put all them items back that are not being thrown away or donated.

Extra Tasks: Clean out under the bed. Vacuum and/or mop your bedroom floors.

 

Weekly Thoughts:

So much of this week involves purging. For a lot of people with anxiety, this can be hard all by itself. What if we give away the wrong thing? What if it’s something useful? What if I need that later? I completely understand, which is what I tried to break this task down into smaller, more tolerable chunks. Hopefully you are able to find a good balance between keeping and donating, and don’t have much to throw out.

I am all for donating whenever possible. I’ll tell you a secret though… I also love the idea of re-purposing. Here’s the reason why that was not suggested as an option though: it adds more clutter. The goal right now, with these daily tasks, is to get rid of as many items cluttering up our space and mind as possible. By keeping something to re-purpose, it adds one more item to our ever-growing to-do list. Now, not only do we have to donate or throw away, but we also need to make sure we refashion whatever saved item into whatever good intention we had for it. And I don’t know about you but I have a hard time with follow through when it comes to this kind of thing.

Much love,

BVM Signature

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s