Friday May 11, 2007

Finishing up my 2nd week of the month jobs today.  I took down the filter in the air return in the back hall and took it out to be washed.  We have three of these in our home, and they are all located in different parts of the house.  Because I use a simple spread sheet program to chart my monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual jobs, I can just as easily take down all three filters, clean them all at once and then just enter today’s date next to each area’s “Clean the filter” entry.  When I come to the mud room and hallway in the weeks ahead, I will see that the filters in those areas have already been cleaned during the month of May.

We rarely use our electric heat ($$$$) in the winter, relying on our wood stove for heat; so the filters don’t get cleaned much during the cooler months.  We definitely rely on our air conditioning in the summer months, though! Keeping the filters clean during the warm weather months is essential not only for the longevity of our air conditioning system, but also for its energy efficiency ($$$$).  Helps with the allergies, too!

Aaron is such a big help for jobs that require long arms and/or agility.  I can wrestle my dryer away from the wall, but it’s much easier for him to hop up on top of it to fish for the socks, hangers and any other things that have dropped back there than it would be for me to do!!  He’s a good sport and lets me hand him the vacuum hose and wands to vacuum back there while he’s at it.  Once he was done behind the dryer, I sprayed and wiped the fronts and tops of my machines, as well as my canisters and countertop.  Will does this for me once a week, but he’s eight, and well….you know. I pulled out the wicker laundry baskets and cleaned the shelf and floor area under those well, too! The floor under that bottom basket, which is where we deposit the bath towels to be washed, gets so gross so fast!!   I used my damp towel to wipe down the baseboards and the doors and all the deep cleaning in the laundry room is done for the month!

The same damp towel** was sufficient to wipe down the baseboards and doors in the back hallway, too.  I used the vacuum to clean both sides of our garage screen door, which is a quarterly task.  With the chicks still in the brooder box in the garage, we get a thick layer of that nasty-weird chick dust everywhere, including on the screen door.  While I was doing the garage side of the door, I noticed my vintage laundry cart.  It spends the winter in the garage, but it’s time for hanging clothes on the line again now!  I quickly vacuumed and shook the dust and webs from it and brought it on in.  I’ll wash the fabric liner tomorrow.  The deep cleaning in the back hall was now done for May!!

**I fold my favorite cleaning towels into quarters.  I use one quarter until it’s soiled and then turn to use the next quarter, until I’ve used all four quarters on the same side of the towel.  Once I’ve used all four quarters on one side, I refold the towel into quarters and use the opposite side of the towel.  This gives me eight great cleaning and scrubbing surfaces in just one towel!!  I love these towels!  Will dropped an egg on the kitchen floor yesterday after collecting them for me.  I used just one towel and quickly wiped up the whole mess.  I rinsed the egg out of the towel in the kitchen sink with cold water in just a few seconds and then put the towel back with the others to be laundered.  I would have needed at least three paper towels to have cleaned up that same egg.

After the laundry room and back hall were done, I sprayed a new cleaning towel and had Will do the baseboards in the kitchen and dining area for me.  He’s so quick on his hands and knees!  I have two more drawers that I want to clean out in my kitchen and then I’m done with the deep cleaning in the kitchen for May.

Now, not EVERY drawer and cabinet was cleaned out in these areas this month.  I checked each and every cabinet and drawer and I dealt with the ones that really needed some attention.  By checking all of them every month, nothing gets too far out of hand.  By doing all of my homemaking tasks on rotation, I never feel the need for a “spring cleaning”.  Those jobs are done routinely as they come up on my schedule.  Some have mentioned that they don’t like my method because there’s never a time that the house is “completely clean” all at the same time.  To that I can say, “Yes, but there’s never a time that it’s completely dirty, either!”

Okay, I’m off to tackle those last two drawers and then to take a quick break before fixing dinner.  I baked an entire cut-up fryer for dinner last night (Copper was at work), and I’ll cut up the left over meat for chicken tacos tonight.  Quick, easy and yummy!!

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your households!
Proverbs 31:27

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