Clean Around the Rosy

I hosted a playdate at my house yesterday afternoon. Rewind about 5 hours earlier and you will find me sitting on my couch staring into a wasteland of toys, dishes, laundry and shoes.  I helplessly thought to myself, as I have many times before, “how am I going to tackle this mess?!”  Everyday my house is inevitably overrun with hoodlums and chaos and everyday I wander around aimlessly trying to clean it up.  First, I start unloading the dishes.  Then I spot a toy on the counter, so I go to put it away. On the way to the toybox, I notice that the TV is smudged and dusty, so I clean that.  Then I see that the hamper is overflowing, so I throw in a load of clothes.  At the washer machine, I find a puzzle piece that my son has been looking for.  Better put that away.  Darn, where did I put that toy from the kitchen?  After retrieving the toy, I head to my son’s bedroom with toy and puzzle piece in hand.  I drop the toy in the toybox and begin to rummage around for the puzzle box.  After going through the closet and the bookcase, I find it lodged between the wall and his bed (what?).  Then the phone rings and and I gab for a while… Does this sound familiar?  You have been doing stuff all day, but have barely made a dent in the wreckage.  Well, yesterday I discovered an alternative to this silly runaround.  Brace yourself for genius…

I decided to try something new and divide to conquer.  First, I threw in a load of laundry.  Then, I started in the kitchen.  I put away everything that needed to be put away and I made a pile of stuff that belonged in other rooms.  I saved the cleaning (ie: wiping down and sweeping) for later.  Then I took my pile and moved to the family room.  I put away everything from my pile that belong in there.  Then I organized everything else, adding new misfits to my pile as I went along.  I continued to move through each room like that.  By the time I was done, my pile was gone!  I made a quick stop in the laundry room to change loads.  Then I moved on to the cleaning.  Again, I focused on one room at a time and cleaned from top to bottom.  I then grabbed my little cleaning caddy and moved on to the next target.  When I was finished with the cleaning, I threw my second load of clothes into the dryer and started folding the first.  When all was said and done, my entire house was sparkly clean in the amount of time it took to do two loads of laundry, and in plenty of time for our 3:00pm playdate.

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