Challenge #3: Cleaning

This topic is obviously not as "heavy" as last week's discussion of expectations, but it's certainly a "real" topic!  I like to be clean, I like to be organized, and I miss my Dymo Label Maker.  Keeping a house clean is ALWAYS a challenge, no matter what country you live in, how many children you have or do not have, and whether you have access to a washing machine or not.  (Gratefully, I do.)

Where I live, these are the conditions to deal with in taking care of my house:

  • I live in a desert.  The largest "cool costal" desert in the world.  Next to the Sahara, we deal with more dirt and sand than anywhere else on the planet.  Most of that dirt and sand makes it's way into my house through the walls (I can often see daylight), the screens in the summertime, the cracks between the walls and roof.  
  • I do not have carpeting (thankfully!), nor do I own a vacuum cleaner.  There is only 1 person in my neighborhood that I know of who owns one and she rarely uses it.  
  • I don't have hot water in the tap.  I do not wash my dishes, clothes, or anything else (except myself and my family) in warm water.  
  • The culture here is VERY clean.  Albeit EASY to get dirty, things get washed with incredible frequency.  And I mean everything.  Shoes, clothes, bags, large wool blankets... everything.  Althought I often feel like giving up, clean is the way to BE here!  
So, in this type of dirt and sand filled environment, with such a need for speed clean, how DO I keep up with it all?  The typical cleaning "agenda" for a day goes like this: 
  • Sweep the entire house at least 2, if not 3 times.
  • Shake the dirt and sand out of the bedding before making it.
  • Mop the entire house (floors are made of concrete usually)
  • Do a load of laundry or 2, including hand washing socks (which just WON'T come clean without a good scrub brush)
  • Dust a room or 2 to keep from being inundated.  I can see and write in the dust after a few days if I don't run a cloth around.
I am blessed in that I have a helper of one of our Bible Institute students in the afternoons.  She helps me keep up with these tasks in the midst of the other responsibilities that I have to do.  Not all the women here have helpers and I'm HONESTLY not sure how they do it!!!  I guess when you've lived it all your life, it's just 2nd nature.  I'm not there yet.  
In true FlyLady style, I've taken to a "take it a bit at a time" mentality.  I took her Zone list and broke it down by days of the month.  If I would stick to this schedule, I'd get the whole house deep cleaned each month!  I took out the things that didn't pertain to my house or lifestyle and replaced it with things that I needed to add in due to our location.  I've included it here for you... but it's in Spanish for the benefit of my afternoon helper. You can at least get an idea.  

We also have a chore routine for Firefly and Ladybug in the mornings so they can learn to do some work as well.
   Amidst all the other craziness of meetings and projects and homeschooling, coupled with the fact that I live in a dusty, dirty area of the world, this routine has been extremely helpful to me!
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