When I first started writing the "Manic Monday Cleaning" posts, my dear husband said to me, "Boy, it sure would be nice if you actually starting cleaning manically" - or something like that. ;-) I've talked a lot about trying to be better in my cleaning habits and just trying to take the next step towards keeping a cleaner/neater home, but this last week something happened that made me actually take that next step.
I got a cleaning accountability partner.
A dear friend suggested that we start a loose accountability program where we would give each other our plans for the week and then at the end of the week, report. [GULP] It has done wonders for my cleaning motivation. Even on the days that I really did not want to clean, I did it anyway because I didn't want to have to tell her that I had failed to clean because I was spending all my time, um, writing blogs about cleaning. ;-)
The highlight of the week occured on Thursday. I got the day started with my quiet time (an area I struggle with and she's encouraging me in) and a cup of coffee, then got Mr. LaForge started on cleaning the floors in the laundry/entry area while I got dinner in the Crockpot and unloaded/reloaded the dishwasher and cleaned up the sink. Who? Mr. LaForge? That's my iRobot Roomba of course! :-)
Around 10:30, my mom called to see if I wanted to run a few errands, and since we only have one car (which hubby takes to work each day), I took her up on her offer. Guilt Free. Why? Because before she arrived around 11:30, I had a vacuumed and Swiffered floor in the "Room of the Day", dinner ready for that night, and a clean kitchen. I could play all afternoon and not feel guilty when Peter came home from work.
But it wasn't the lack of guilt that made Thursday the highlight, it was something Peter said as I was dishing up dinner for us. Again, I'm not known for giving the most accurate quotes, but the gist of what he said was that he saw tangible results and changes in me this week. The house was clean(er), the laundry was done, meals were ready, and I really proved that I was trying to change. He might as well have given me a dozen roses. :-)
So here's my Manic Monday Cleaning Recommendation to you if you struggle with keeping a house or getting up early or staying on track with your quiet time or losing your patience with your husband or kids or a million and one other things: Partner up with a friend. Pick someone who you trust and who you know isn't going to judge you when you fail. Be honest with them and encourage them in return. I see my friend maybe once or twice a year, but we keep up on Facebook and use the message system to contact each other during the week - just to see how things are going.
Accountability doesn't have to be anything fancy (i.e. arranging to meet for lunch or coffee or adding one more thing to your schedule), because it can be as simple as a message on Facebook or an email or a text message or a quick phone call. Give it a try because it might be just the thing you need to motivate you to take action.