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Monday, November 28, 2011

A Real Challenge- 30 Days of Cleaning

I've either alluded to or said straight out on this blog previously that I am really not a neat person by nature. In fact, while I am totally non lazy when it comes to things I enjoy doing, when it comes to things I don't enjoy, I am the biggest procrastinator and will find any excuse to not get things done. Cleaning and tidying are things I don't really enjoy; they seem very unrewarding to me because your efforts don't last long generally and you have to start all over from scratch an hour or day later...

Suffice it to say, cleaning is NOT my strong point. In fact, keeping even a relatively tidy house is one of my biggest challenges, and I'll give every excuse under the sun why my house isn't clean.

One thing though- my husband literally can't function in a mess and starts shutting down when the house is a disaster zone. Many times he does take care of cleaning up after the messes I make, but it doesn't make for a very happy husband when I was perfectly capable of doing that myself, but left all the work for my husband to do instead, on top of his working outside the home and helping with the kids.
On top of that, I know that I and the kids also function much better in a clean home, and its something I've wanted to improve for a while... only, motivation is hard. I decide that I'm going to be neater/cleaner/tidier, and that resolution, or at least its effects, last no more than 24 hours, if even.

Something needed to change.
Now, before I have a new baby, because changes with a new baby are much harder to make, and its much more important that the house runs smoothly when there are 5 people living in a very small place instead of only 4, I decided to make a change now, to undertake a challenge, to push myself in a way that I haven't done before, with stakes much higher than I've done before, and with a tangible reward in a way that I haven't done before.


I've decided that for the next 30 days, I'll be photographing and posting a picture of my house 2 times a day- one at approximately 3 PM when my husband arrives home from work, and one before bed.
Yes, photographing my house no matter what, no matter its state, no matter if it is a pig sty or embarrassing, and posting it for the entire world wide web to see.
But the point isn't to embarrass myself, its to actually try to keep the place clean, so that when I post a picture of my home, its a picture I'm proud to share.

2 times a day, I am attempting to get my sink and kitchen counters totally clean, the dining room table clean and free of clutter, and the floor free of toys, garbage, and clutter. The pictures will be my accountability, to see if I lived up to the challenge.

The reward? Well, if I could have a cheering squad when I manage to keep the place clean, that itself would make it easier to keep it clean, because I think most people thrive on compliments and will do what they can to get more.
But, honestly, I don't think that is enough for me. I need some further motivation, something to look forward to at the end of this challenge.

That's why I'm going to reward myself with something tangible and physical.

Over the next 30 days, there are 2 times each day I'll be taking pictures, for a total of 60 chances to get the place cleaned up. If I manage to keep the place to the standards I'm setting for myself for 40 out of those 60 times, I'll reward myself by purchasing a nice pair of earrings to wear. (All my earrings are either junk or broken right now, and I really do want some nice earrings.)

But, I do want to motivate myself even if don't manage to get the place clean 40 times. Its not an all or nothing. If I get the place cleaned 20/60 times (and even a clean place 1/3 of the time is far, far better than what I've been accomplishing until now), I'll treat myself to sushi.

Hopefully, by working on keeping the place clean and tidy for 30 days straight, I will have formed some good habits and eliminated some bad messy habits, and hopefully I'll have a much easier time keeping the place clean.

Now if you were wondering what this had to do with frugality, green living, parenting, etc...
Lots.

I don't spend money on cleaning help, no matter how tempting. One thing I try to do is to do everything myself that I can, and not to pay someone else to do something I'm entirely capable of doing myself, and cleaning help falls under that category. I am perfectly capable of cleaning; my laziness isn't enough of a reason to make it worthwhile to spend that money on cleaning help.

I also won't waste money on disposable dishes, cutlery, and pans to cut back on dirty dishes.

And I do a lot of making foods from scratch, both to save money and for health reasons, which makes much more of a mess than prepackaged foods.

So, I started a blog on which to share my bi-daily accountability post and photos.
30 Days of Cleaning Challenge- 30daysofcleaning.blogspot.com

I'd love anyone to join me on this challenge, if you also want to form new, better cleaning habits, and also want to work on your cleanliness for the next 30 days. And even if you don't want to join me in the challenge, I could do with a cheering squad. :-D

So, how are you in the cleanliness/tidiness department? Are you neat and clean by nature, or are you extremely messy, or somewhere in between? Do you feel better when your home is clean, or do you function just as well in a mess as you do when the place is clean?
Are you usually good with making and sticking to resolutions, or do they just fall by the wayside generally after you make them? Have you ever tried to make a public accountability blog for a challenge or resolution you've undertaken? Has the fact that the world knows what you're attempting, and would know if you failed, helped you to stick to your resolutions?
Would you like to join me on my challenge?

Linking up to WFMWSimple Lives Thursday

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