Now that I’m in my last month of pregnancy, people keep telling me about this thing called the “nesting instinct” that should be kicking in soon. Personally, I think it’s folklore. Last time I had a baby, I was completely unprepared. The baby’s room had barely been touched, the house was a messy, cluttered, filthy shambles, and I hadn’t even packed my hospital bag!
While I occasionally have felt inspired to clean, the urge doesn’t seem to be growing as my due date approaches. Quite the opposite, in fact. All I really want to do this week is read what so-and-so is going to post on Facebook, and try to figure out why people don’t seem to be responding the hilarious LOL cats I keep forwarding in the email!
However, as much as I really just want to sit on my couch and has cheezeberger, I also know how consuming life with a newborn is, and how leaving a relatively tidy home will give me so much more peace as I’m resting in my hospital bed. Housework seems boring as heck compared to the ongoing saga between basement cat and ceiling cat, so I have to break out my list of housework games and trick myself into having fun!
This week, you get a list of my housework boredom busters, in no particular order:
- Race against the clock. This is simple. Set a timer for a short duration (like 10 or 15 minutes) and keep a goal in mind of how much you want to accomplish. Clean like the dickens.
- Erin is for folding socks. Every time I fold socks, I call my buddy Erin. She lives far away, and I actually match and fold socks like twice a year, so it’s a nice way to keep in touch. It seems like I always find myself cleaning my stove when I’m on the phone with Becky. Pair a chatty phone friend with an unsavory task. It will go much faster while you’re catching up. I also tend to have certain podcasts for certain weekly tasks.
- Play Pong. Pretend you are the ball in pong. Great for when the kids toys are spread out all over the place. Everytime you put something away, pick up another thing that is out of place in that location. I find myself bouncing all over my house this way.
- Play Yahtzee. Well sort of anyway. Make a list 1-6 of quick 5 minute tasks that need to be done. Set a timer for 5 minutes, roll the dice, and you never know what task will be next! You’ll be done in one hour. Just don’t spend more than 5 minutes on any one item! You may have to play a bonus round! FlyLady fans: Look up FlyLady Bingo on Facebook for a more interactive version of this concept.
- Drop a bomb on the mess. Here’s what I do: Take a digital picture of a really gross room. Decide exactly what part of the mess you intend to drop a “bomb” on. Set a timer for 5, 10, or 15 minutes. Staying very focused, work outwards from the point where you’ve chosen to drop your bomb. When the timer goes off, take your second photo. Flip back and forth between the before and after pictures, making a bombing noise with your mouth as you look at dirty and much cleaner versions of the same room. (This is really fun to do with a 360 view. Try out the free Photosynth ap for iPhone!)
- Get all dressed up. I have a cleaning “hazmat suit”. It’s actually wonderful. I’m not sure if my husband thinks it’s cute and sexy, or just weird and laughable when he comes in and I’m cleaning house all decked out in a frilly apron, rubber gloves, matching hair scarf, and listening to old timey radio from the 40’s.
- Buy FANCY cleaning stuff. I wanted to wash every dish in the house when I brought home my Ms. Meyer’s Clean Day Dish Soap in Basil scent! Target has some really interesting (and cutely packaged) organic cleaners and detergents available. Yes, they’re quite pricey, but if we splurge on bath and body, why not splurge on a little something that will motivate you to have a cleaner home?! Pick up a nice scented candle or a pretty bouquet of fresh flowers as a reward while you’re at it!
So, there you have it. I go to some pretty great lengths to make my housework fun! If you don’t mind your husband occasionally tilting his head and wondering why you’re making quite “Booooooooooooofffff” noises at your iPod while flipping between the same two pictures over and over again, you should definitely give some of these a try! When it’s fun, it gets done!
My kiddos are too young to really help with cleaning, but I’m sure a lot of these games could be adapted for the whole family to enjoy. Do you folks with older children have any ideas to make cleaning house feel more like a day at Disney World?