I have tried many a different cleaning method since moving away from home for the first time.
First it was the "Ignore It Until It Can No Longer Be Ignored" method with my roommates in college. (I still have nightmares about that kitchen sink...)
When Cameron and I got married it was the "Choose One Room a Day" method which lasted for quite awhile but had two drawbacks. 1) To spend so much time cleaning a room only to turn around and witness all of the other messy rooms in the house... was kind of depressing. And 2) If we had family plans or a super busy day or plain just didn't feel like cleaning... it threw off the whole week.
Tried "Fly Lady" - great for initial organizing, but too rigid to stick to for any length of time.
And several others that just fizzled out after awhile. And really, truly (I'm ashamed to admit this) after Caleb was born and then the Primary came knocking I reverted back to the "Ignore It" method and then cleaned like a mad woman when A) we ran out of laundry/dishes or B) my visiting teachers/parents/friends were coming over.
This year I have discovered that I really, truly love and can live with (mostly) the "Saturday Marathon." On weekdays it's the bare minimum - load the dishwasher, make the beds, start (and *fingers crossed* finish) a load of laundry, sweep the kitchen when needed and have the kids keep their clutter out of the way. But on Saturdays (dahn dahn dahn...) Olivia and Caleb each have a list they must complete and a list of extras they can do for quarters while I (and Cameron when he's home) sweep/mop/scrub/vacuum/dust and organize. It takes a chunk out of our day and is a major workout (I rarely exercise on Saturdays because I'm beat by the time we're done), but we can usually be done by lunch time and then plan something fun for the afternoon.
Please don't be under the impression that this is a perfect system (many of you have seen my house on any given weekday and know that it's not!) But the Saturday Marathon at least gets us through Sunday (and really what better way to enjoy the Sabbath than relaxing with your family in a clean and peaceful house?) and lets me feel less guilty through the week when I ignore a smudge on the bathroom mirror or a splatter in the microwave or a dusty piano.
So the system has been rolling right along, the kids are earning quarters right and left and I have been basically satisfied with the state of our living situation. Until today when I looked at our calendar for May and realized that each and every Saturday is booked solid (and not with cleaning!)
May 7th - AM baby shower for a friend and then drive to Logan for my sister's college graduation/lunch.
May 14th - I GET TO SING IN THE SALT LAKE TABERNACLE WITH MY CHOIR (more info later for anyone who wants to come.)
May 21st - Olivia is performing in "Alice in Wonderland" with Up With Kids (again - more info later for anyone who wants to come.)
May 28th - Andrea/Olivia birthday celebrations galore.
I am so, so, soooooo excited about all of the above, but a little depressed that my Saturday routine is going to fall out the window. Will I be able to get back into the routine once we're through the craziness? Will my house (my family!!!) survive? Perhaps a professional cleaning job mid month is called for? (And honestly, would that not be the BEST Mother's Day gift ever?)
Question: Anyone know of any reliable and trustworthy cleaning companies/people out there that I can hire for a one time job, will do a good job and not clean out my savings while they're at it? And while we're on the subject - please feel free to share any time saving things you do in your own cleaning routines!