I had planned to get this to you before Thanksgiving because I know that your very existence would be enhanced immensely by knowing how I clean my house for Thanksgiving. But, after two days of documenting my every cleaning move, I needed to stop chatting and get to work. Since I love to include a drawing or two, there was no way I’d be all edited and artistically souped up to get this to you before Thanksgiving. Soooo, I figured you would enjoy this in your small breather moments before you have to switch into end-of-year-holiday mode and started Cyber shopping.
With everything on the to-do list, finding time to fit in cleaning for Thanksgiving was not easy. I speak for myself anyway. But having company is the best incentive to get started. And holiday cleaning is special. It goes beyond making sure that you have a clean toilet and a place to sit. The Sunday before Thanksgiving started my cleaning strategy and here’s how it went down…
(I wasn’t sure if I wanted to tell my story from the present tense, which is when I wrote it, or from the past tense, which is when you would read it. I’m still not sure so I included both. It’s better for your brain to be confused today than mine.)
Sunday: My first task is unplanned, but gets me in the zone to up my cleaning game a bit. Tip: if you clap and yell “WOO” a few times, it gets the blood pumping and soon you’re energized. It’s a motivational thing I learned a long time ago. It’s silly but it actually works, and since it’s silly, that helps too. Especially if the other people in your house are looking. I like to do things for effect.
I got this!
I was getting ready to draw a bath for one of the kids, and decided to scrub the tub first as long as I was in there. I’m not expecting any of my Thanksgiving guests to find their way to a bubbly bath but I thought my family deserved some special treatment too.
Next up, while I’m making dinner I may as well clean the counter tops as long as I’m there. This kind of cleaning requires me to move appliances, jars, and odds and ends to clean under and around them. I don’t think my guests would enjoy their special dinner foods if they saw what accumulates on a kitchen counter in the course of its existence. A clean counter is a beautiful counter. It’s special.
And as long as I’m in the kitchen, I may as well grab my dish towel and use it to dust off appliances, lamps, and shelves before I send it to the dirty laundry hamper. But I can’t forget to check on dinner! Multi-tasking can be dangerous. It’s coming along nicely but needs more time so I may as well head off into other rooms and dust the obvious things. No moving of trinkets and dusting under in those rooms. Not this time.
Did you see the “Friends” episode where Rachel was dusting and just picked the wad of clutter up off of the table, dusted under it quickly and then put all the junk back down on the table? That’s the driving force here. It’s all about appearances.
After dinner, I head to the rest of the rooms and finish up some quick dusting with my trusty dish towel. Then, it’s back to the kitchen for me as I wash the dishes (and use a new clean dish towel…of course…) so I can throw in a load of laundry because we are renting an older home and the washer drains into the kitchen sink. Then, while there is still a free moment because no one is requesting anything of me, I go get after those dust bunnies under my bed and in the hallway. As I come down the stairs, they get dusted off too and I dust-bust the remains.
Just before I head off to bed, I realize that the washing machine is done so I may as well throw the clothes into the dryer. I’ll be a step ahead in the morning – no ironing worries for us so the clothes are all right if they sit overnight. Another positive for sweatpants.
Oh, snickerdoodles…there are still clothes in the dryer from a few days ago that I never emptied. (Do you see why I need more Heat Holders? Read the previous post if you have no clue.)
Ponder, “Do I or don’t I?”
Close the dryer door and walk away. We’ll deal with it in the morning.
Phew! I take a moment to exclaim and then call it a night. Washing floors and tackling bathrooms needs more stamina and I am fresh out of it tonight. See you back here on Monday.
In the wee hours of the morning when it was quiet, I revised my to-do list and grocery list for today. Now that the dust bunnies are out from under my bed, I can put all of the bins from my craft fair back under there. I’ll drag those back up to my bedroom today. That will clear up some clutter that I just left around from my show. But first, the morning routine. I managed to fit in half a sheet change on my bed (I hope the cat doesn’t get on it before I finish it) and finally got the clothes out of the dryer to put the wet clothes in. New clothes can go in the washer – don’t forget to add the Heat Holder socks! All while getting the kids ready for school.
Out the door I went to wait for the bus with the kids and luckily, I had recycling boxes to add to the recycling bin because, “Egads!..It’s Garbage Collection Day!” I roll the bins out to the curb and start my Thanksgiving blessings! This is not the week to miss a visit from the garbage truck.
Two kids are on the bus, they enjoy it because it is social. My third prefers to have his momma take him and pick him up from school. Yes! I’ll go with it as long as it lasts. When I get back from school drop-off the big question on my mind is, “Is the cat on my half-made bed now?”
Phew! She is not, so I race up to finish that. Now, on to wash the morning dishes so I can wash more laundry (remember my old house has a washer that has to drain into the sink). Breakfast for me has to come next because I need to get out the door to pick up my last bits of Thanksgiving groceries before I need to be back to deliver my crock-pot of mashed potatoes for 40 people. Check my previous post if you have no clue. I also should shower, but that’s flexible. No one will ever know. I need to go to the grocery store with my belly kinda full and kinda hungry. All of the “life tip warnings” advise, if I’m hungry I’ll buy too much and things I do not normally buy. But…if I’m too full, nothing looks good, because I am full, and I end up not buying much. Then, when I’m back home and hungry, we don’t have any groceries. “What’s for dinner?” It’s awkward, I know.
In betwixt all this, the mind is swirling and I am adding things to my various notes.
Ooo…I can’t forget to make a cold lunch for my kiddo that has Thanksgiving lunch at school today. He’s not sure about it and since I’m headed in with mounds of mashed potatoes, I can drop off his lunch then. Who had time to make that before the school day started? Not me.
I sliced my thumb on my Titan Peeler while I was working on peeling mounds of potatoes. Ouch. It hurts. Then I cut jalapenos (not for the mashed potatoes). Double triple ouch.
While I was grocery shopping this morning for my last minute Thanksgiving foods, I remembered that I still have to feed people for the next few days before the holiday. I always forget that. So, the grocery cart and bill was bigger than I had planned on. I always forget about that too.
In and out of the house this morning and then finally back home. I’m pooped and there is a beautiful sunbeam beckoning me in our sun room. I need a moment and this is the perfect one, so I grab a pillow and loaf out on the rug for a minute in this glorious sunbeam. It’s warm and cozy. Life’s busy. Make moments that matter!
Fabulous! Although, my computer is in the room with me and it is a heavy breather so I had that as white noise while I was in my moment.
My mashed potato moment for school worked out and I even have an extra container, so I’ll stick those in the freezer for Thanksgiving and see how that works out. (In hindsight, that did not work out. I had to make more mashed potatoes for our Thanksgiving dinner.) It’s lunchtime now, I’m hungry and a grilled peanut butter and fluff sandwich is sending visions to my brain.
Mashed potatoes sound good too.
I’ll rummage for lunch, then I should mop the floors. Not a favorite domestic task of mine but it needs to be done and this is the best free moment to take care of them. My feet are always so happy when I have clean floors, it’s like they know. Sigh. It takes longer to dread it than it does to actually do it, but I’ll still dread it while I eat my lunch. And laundry needs to keep looping along. There are piles in my room of clean laundry that I never put away from a few days ago. Mounds of mashed potatoes in my life will now be replaced with mounds of clean laundry. Better than dirty laundry I guess. Another moment to be thankful.
There is also another school Thanksgiving eating moment to prep for today so I can bring it in tomorrow. And if you’re keeping track, I have not bathed. Add that to the to-do list. Hygiene always gets in the way.
Time for lunch…
Ahhhhh…a moment in a sunbeam and time spent with a peanut butter and fluff sandwich does wonders for the soul. Enter another thankful moment…and full moment. My belly is happy!
Back to work. This is how I have worked out my next tasks to be efficient:
In the time I have left before I go to the school to pick up the last kid who wants his momma to pick him up, I will wash the dishes so I can use the washer. “Oh sweet salted butter”, I just remembered that I cannot start a new load of laundry yet because there won’t be enough hot water for my shower. Fine, skip the clothes washing, but take a load out of the dryer and put one in to dry. Then wash the floor and while it is drying, I can take my shower and then take charge of all of the laundry piled up in my room.
I can start the next load of laundry as I race out to pick up my kiddo, then come home and take more laundry out of the dryer to start the cycle of piling it up in my room again. It’s the time of year for traditions, after all!
I swept the floor yesterday.
(I hope you aren’t trying to eat right now…)
So, you know that it will be dirty again in no time, but at least it will be a cleaner dirty for a while because they will be mopped.
As I get started on my floors, I realize that my mop bucket is up at our new old farmhouse. Drat. Okay, what else? I know…I can use our affectionately named “barf bowl”. Nope, that is holding the corn that I used to fill my corn bags for my craft fair (it’s clean). Hmmm…I will not use the bathtub that I just cleaned last night. I’m not cleaning it again. Well, I guess I’ll fill the kitchen sink up and use it for my mop water. My washer with dirty clothes water will drain into it shortly so my dirty floor water fits right in.
The end of the day, bedtime, and one more sheet change is squeezed in right before a wee one climbs into bed and I call it a day.
Tuesday: No cleaning happened. None. I was out of the house during school hours and when I re-entered the abode with my wee ones in the afternoon, I realized that I was spent, pooped, tuckered out and that the best course of action was to get through the rest of the day and start again Wednesday morning.
Wednesday: Why is there a turkey in my fridge? Ahhhhhhhhhh! Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Panic attack!
Big breath, breathe out.
Let’s make this happen people!
Right. It’s just me home today. And my kids. That starts another panic attack. The mess a gaggle of wee ones can create in mere seconds is record breaking. They know that they are not done yet with the 6 piles of toys and stuff that they have around the house so they cannot put it away yet. Cranky mom mode will set in later but for now, I have plenty of diversions.
But first, they’re hungry again. Time for second breakfast. I do quite a bit of pre-cooking for Thanksgiving, so today those tasks will need to be fit in alongside the rest of my cleaning. As long as I am in the kitchen, I may as well wield the Titan peeler and get my overly ready rutabaga (AKA turnip) prepped. Our homegrown squash is next. With Band-Aid on thumb from my potato peeling moments I get to work.
And from there, somehow, my house became clean enough and my food was ready enough for celebrating a Thanksgiving. There are still lots of leftovers that make a tasty breakfast since I like meal food at that time of the day. Strange, I know, and I’m okay with that.
I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving moments, however you like them best.
Maybe a bubble bath with a leftover turkey leg is a good idea…