Ok, so today I’m going to write about the cleaning routine that changed my life as a homemaker. Seriously!
Ever since I had become a mother and had to juggle housework with motherhood, cleaning had been stressful.
The problem was that in my mind you cleaned the whole house all at once, once a week.
That’s the way my mum my mum did it. The way my friends did it. The way most people I knew did it.
When we first lived in our previous house, which was a 3 bedroom flat, I just about managed my once a week cleaning spree. But as I had more children, I had to start doing it over two days as I quickly realised how much they needed my attention.
It worked for a while until we moved to our current house.
You see, our old house was just three small bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, a small kitchen, a veranda and a marquise.
Our current house has three medium-sized bedrooms, two bathrooms, a W.C., a kitchen, a big living room, a garage, a basement, a utility room, a front patio/garden, a small back patio outside the utility room and several flights of stairs.
It didn’t take me long to realise that cleaning the whole house in two days with the kids around was going to be overwhelming.
So, I tried to make shortcuts like not cleaning the garden area often or just putting our robot hoover down when I had to clean the garage and basement.
I only deep cleaned and decluttered occasionally, and I hardly touched the windows.
And I still felt overwhelmed by housework. Well, I did on my cleaning days. On the other days, I felt guilty for not doing any cleaning.
About a year into this, I got a cleaning company in every two weeks to help with the main house. Ok, so now I still had to clean the entire house every two weeks, but it was better than before.
This went on for a year, but then there was a problem with the company. I would schedule the cleaning for one day and the company changed the day or the time around.
I got fed-up, and I cancelled it all together. Two weeks later, and almost like a confirmation from above, the cleaning company contacted me and said they were putting their prices up.
So that was definitely out of the picture!
I went back to my general cleaning, but I started doing the garage and basement on a third day, but again not too thoroughly.
One thing I struggled with was having to do the whole kitchen from top to bottom, on the same day as doing the three bathrooms. I just felt like it was too much with kids, freelance work, cooking, social life, church projects.
Around this time, I remember I heard someone mention that some people cleaned the house one room at a time and my first thought was “Eww! The dust never really gets dealt with as a whole.” I just didn’t see how it could be for me.
So I went back to outsourcing some of the cleaning and found myself a cleaner. She came for four hours a week and would clean the floors in the top two floors of the house, and clean the living-room, kitchen and bathrooms.
It was great. But then sometimes I asked her to clean the oven or the windows and then she didn’t have time to clean the other things and there still seemed to be a lot for me to do.
She was with us for about three months. And then the unexpected happened: coronavirus came to Portugal. Everyone was sent home, and I had to say goodbye to my cleaner.
The funny thing was that just a few weeks before lockdown I had heard about TOMM in a homemaker group I’m a part of on Facebook and it intrigued me.
So when lockdown started I immediately implemented the new cleaning routine and though at first I had some questions, I soon settled into it nicely.
Now I can say I have finally found a cleaning routine that works for me and is super efficient 🙂