web analytics
October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



How To Clean Your House In Seven Days Or Less


Baim-111811

When I was first married, a good friend invited us over for Shabbos. Nechuma works multiple jobs, has six children, and always produces the most lavish Shabbos and Yom Tov meals. When I asked her what her trick was, she told me: “A house always looks nice as long as it is clean.”  I took her words to heart, and now, with my own growing family, a full time job and numerous social obligations, I manage to keep my house clean and presentable without the help of a cleaning lady.

How is this possible you ask? It’s simple. I have a cleaning schedule and I stick with it.

On Motzei Shabbos I clean up from Shabbos – polish the silver if necessary, load the dishwasher, and change my linen. On Sunday, I clean all the bedrooms, the upstairs bathroom, vacuum and empty the dishwasher. Wednesday is for cleaning the living room, dining, mudroom and shopping for groceries for Shabbos. If time allows, I also put up the soup. On Thursday I cook for Shabbos. On Friday, I set the table, clean the kitchen and bathroom and change the kids’ linen.

This schedule works for me – based on my work schedule and other responsibilities. Some days I don’t get to a specific task, so I give myself two days to do each chore. This schedule only works if I maintain my daily general clean up: do at least one load of laundry, fold clothes and iron as necessary, clean up after breakfast and dinner, and prepare for the morrow. One of my pet peeves is a dirty bathroom, so I keep cleaning supplies near each bathroom and clean them every other day or so.

To figure out a schedule that works for you, take into account your own household needs and preferences. Write down what needs to be done minimally once a day, once a week, and once a month. Then, if you have time or extra help, keep a list of things (sort baby clothes, go through toys etc.) that are waiting to be done and tackle them. Look for shortcuts wherever possible: keep multiple sets of cleaning supplies near easily dirtied areas and if you don’t have a dishwasher, consider using paper, even on Shabbos. Have three or four hampers (whites, darks, towels and dry cleaning) set up in one room – spray stains before the clothes go into the hampers and teach your kids to separate and spray their own clothes.

Don’t forget, there are other people who live in the house with you – so delegate as much as possible. Although it may seem easier to do a job yourself then ask your husband to do it, persistent reminders will eventually get the job done. I like to send a daily text – “passports plz” – until the deed is done. It took two months, but eventually, our passports were renewed.

Get kids in action! Use when/then incentives. For example, when all the toys are picked up, then we can go play outside. Children as young as eighteen months old can be taught to put toys away and put dishes in the sink. My nineteen-month-old son can wipe up his own messes (with help, of course). My four-year-old can set the table and put away clean dishes from the dishwasher.  She also makes her own bed and puts away her clothes. When giving children a task to complete, clean with them and lavish tremendous amounts of positive reinforcement such as hugs, kisses, profuse thanks and articulating how much nicer the room looks now that there is so much room to play.

My daughter has this habit of sending me out of the room to “make me a surprise.” She puts away all the items that are out, makes beds, folds pajamas and fixes whatever else needs straightening. All this from the tender age of three and half! When I asked my sister, a therapist, if this OCD-like behavior was something I should be concerned about, she asked me what my reaction is after the surprise. “Well” I said, “I swing her around in a huge hug, we do a clean-up dance, everyone claps for her, and she gets a treat.”

“In that case” my sister said, “her behavior is perfectly normal based on your reaction, because you encourage it with positive reinforcement.”

Apparently, kids will do anything for attention!

As the Marvelous Midos Machine DVD playing on repeat in my house sings, “Don’t push off for tomorrow what you can do today.” Every night, before retiring for some much needed relaxation, look around and see if there is one more task you can do in five minutes or less, such as cleaning the stove or washing the dishes. Five minutes here, and another five minutes there, and before you know it, your house is clean.

About the Author: Pnina Baim’s newest novel, “A Life Worth Living”, about finding happiness and meaning in the land of Israel, is now available at all online retailers. Contact Pnina at pninabaim@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “How To Clean Your House In Seven Days Or Less”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Will MK Hanin Zoabi risk her head and agree to fly to Syria to prove her point?
Arab MK Zoabi Says IDF ‘Worse than’ ISIS
Latest Sections Stories

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

Social disabilities occur at many levels, but experts identify three different areas of learning and behavior that are most common for children who struggle to create lasting social connections.

Sukkot is an eternal time of joy, and if we are worthy, of plenty.

Two of our brothers, Jonathan Pollard and Alan Gross, sit in the pit of captivity. We have a mandate to see that they are freed.

Chabad of South Broward has 15 Chabad Houses in ten cities.

Victor Center works in partnership with healthcare professionals, clergy, and the community to sponsor education programs and college campus out reach.

So just in case you’re stuck in the house this Chol HaMoed – because there’s a new baby or because someone has a cold – not because of anything worse, here are six ideas for family fun at home.

We are told that someone who says that God’s mercy extends to a bird’s nest should be silenced.

Our harps have 22 strings. This gives musicians a wide musical range and yet stays within Biblical parameters.

More Articles from Pnina Baim
Baim-092614-Plate

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

Baim-081514

The world sees the hand of God through us, and does not like it.

Maybe we don’t have to lose that growth and unity that we have achieved, especially with the situation in Eretz Yisrael right now.

This summer, why don’t we try to do better and cool off without blowing our retirement fund?

Do we really have that much extra money to throw away on substandard products and shoddy service? I think not.

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

So, my dear sisters in the trenches, remember. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And who is tougher than the Jewish women of today?

People like to say that dirt isn’t chometz, but as Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky says, if dirt isn’t chometz, how can you tell? Besides, are you really going to take apart the whole closet and then not wipe it down before you put everything back? If you’re not going to clean the mess now, when will you?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/for-the-home/how-to-clean-your-house-in-seven-days-or-less/2011/11/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: