Hi all. Sorry for the absence of posts but I’ve been on vacation. And even though I thought I was going to get a ton written during vacation, including blog posts, I just didn’t. Turns out I needed the vacation to truly be a vacation and not be productive. As a working mom who’s also trying to publish a book, this was a hard conclusion to come to. All that time felt lost. But now that I’m back, I realize it wasn’t lost. It was needed. I have a renewed resource of creativity and perspective.
So while you wait for me to write gripping and dramatic blog posts about the lost art of reading, here’s a quick analysis of how I clean my living room.
- Sit down on one side. Pick up everything around you and “sort” it by tossing it in various directions. Books get tossed towards the book stack. Toys towards the toy bins. And non-toy toys towards the kitchen. (You know, those things you let your toddler play with to buy you time but aren’t actually toys? Like spoons and wrappers and cardboard boxes.) You are sorting, but your toddler thinks you are playing with him. It’s a win-win. (Don’t wait to do this during nap time. Nap time is too valuable to waste on things that can be done while toddler is awake.)
- When you are certain you have gotten everything you can reach, (remember the goal is to move as little as possible, especially if you’re pregnant like me), move to the other side of the living room. Repeat the process for each section. Except when you get to the toy bins, put the toys in the bins, etc.
- Dig around the couch cushions and unearth all the books you hid after reading them for the 17th time. Unless you’re still tired of reading them. Then just leave them there.
- By the time you get to the last section, you should have a pile of laundry, trash, and kitchen utensils each. This part is tricky. Quick distract your toddler with something, then scoop up one pile and take care of it. He still sees these things as toys, so make sure he doesn’t see you throwing away those wrappers or putting that spatula in the dishwasher.
- When you return from taking care of the last pile, the toddler will have scattered a few more toys around the living room. You can either do one last quick sweep and put these away, especially if it’s nap time, or just accept that there will always be a few toys lying around. If you have extra energy, get out the vacuum and take care of all the cheerios. My toddler thinks the vacuum is a signal to start a dance party, and he happily runs circles around me while I do it. If I still have energy after that, I’ll turn on his favorite music and we’ll continue dancing. This helps keep him from dragging out more toys, too.
Above all, remember to never leave the living room with empty hands. If you are going somewhere else in the house, chances are high there’s an item in the living room that needs to be put away there, too. So just take it with you.
That’s how I do it, folks. Now that you know how, you can come over any time to practice if you want. 😉