I’ve been cleaning, decluttering, and polishing my house for the last 4 days.
I’ve washed more loads of laundry and run the dishwasher more times than I care to count.
My floors, stove, table, light fixtures and windows all shine.
The sparkling grape juice is chilling, and there is room in the (clean) refrigerator for tomorrow’s desserts and leftovers.
The bathrooms are clean and it’s safe to walk through the mudroom.
The dining room is decorated for Thanksgiving, the dishes are clean, and I know where the tablecloth and napkins are.
Most important of all, The Husband and the kids aren’t hiding from Crabby Mom. In fact, The Taterbug just volunteered to clean the downstairs bathroom (it’s pretty clean already, but I’d have to be crazy to tell her no).
So what’s different this year?
Well, for one thing, I’ve been training the kids to help with cleaning chores that they can handle. As long as I’m willing to work beside them (rather than try to work on something else), they’re happy to help out. This is much pleasanter than building up resentment toward a house full of people who think that mom=maid.
We have 3 bathrooms in this house, and when the kids are helping, the cleaning goes quickly and is almost fun. When the bathrooms are clean, it makes the rest of the house seem like not such a daunting task. Plus, there’s something magical about stepping out of the shower into a clean bathroom.
For another thing, we’ve decrappified a lot since the first of the year. Getting rid of stuff means there is actually room to put away the stuff that is worth keeping. When things are put away (putting things away has never been my strong suit), it’s a lot easier to find things like the cupcake decals I bought for my stove six months ago.
Possibly the biggest change of all is that my sister and I have kept up a private housekeeping accountability blog all year. While we’ve both fallen off the wagon a few times, there’s something really motivating about being able to type out a list of what all I accomplished each day and know that somebody I trust is keeping tabs on it. I can be totally honest there: the “You would not believe what I just scrubbed off the bottom of the refrigerator” kind of honest.
I need to brine the turkey and bake some pies before bedtime, and then fold however much laundry I get washed this afternoon, but over all, I think I’m ready for tomorrow. And I’m not ready to strangle anybody. That is a lot to be thankful for.
How are your Thanksgiving preparations shaping up?