Daily Routines | For an Organized Clean
The very thought of cleaning your entire house in a single day is overwhelming. Vacuuming, dusting and mopping, only to have your family (or pets!) come along and create a new mess, is stressful. Why not adapt a new style of cleaning? Creating a cleaning schedule for the week, and tackling certain tasks each day, eliminates the need for one day of backbreaking work.
By planning and sticking to a schedule, you will clean more efficiently and will have a relatively clean house at all times, allowing you the freedom to spend time doing what you love instead of worrying about a messy house.
Cut down on clutter
Before you make your schedule to establish new cleaning routines, start by simplifying your decor and decluttering your living spaces. Too many knickknacks, small pieces of furniture, and items on the floor mean more surfaces to dust and more things to move out of the way. Bonus: Your home will look neater if it’s free of superfluous items. This is especially true of flat surfaces. Bathroom and kitchen counters can be wiped down faster if you don’t have to clear them off first.
You may also need to change your mindset when it comes to your everyday habits around the house. Cleaning while you cook saves the kitchen from built-up food and grease on your countertops and appliances. Daily tidying prevents messes from getting out of hand. Try adding a home reset to your morning or evening routine; a reset is taking a few minutes to restore your living space to your preferred level of neatness. With this, you won’t have to spend time putting things away before you begin to clean.
Here is a sample schedule to get you started thinking about your own. This schedule suggests a heavier amount of cleaning in the first week and a lighter amount the next, as maintenance. And because of that maintenance, ultimately the cleaning in week one becomes easier.
Vacuum and mop floors (excluding bathrooms)
Dust main surfaces, shelves, and wall decor and clean mirrors or other glass surfaces; throw in a load of laundry to keep it from piling up
Time to tackle the bathrooms. Scrub the toilets and tub/or showers, clean the countertops, sinks and mirrors; vacuum and mop the floors
Get the kitchen in order before the weekend. Wipe down counters, stovetop and the outside of all appliances; organize the refrigerator and clean the sink
Do a couple more loads of laundry, including the linens, and organize the mail and paperwork that may have accumulated during the week
Vacuum or mop high-traffic areas as needed; vacuum out the couch and other upholstered furniture
Dust the windowsills, blinds, baseboards and ceiling fans this week; and keep up with that laundry!
This week, just tidy up any areas in the bathroom that need attention; wash towels and rugs from the bathrooms
Wipe down counters in the kitchen, clean out the microwave and the sink
Do a couple more loads of laundry before the weekend and don’t forget to organize the mail and paperwork
Set up your schedule
After decluttering, create a schedule that works with your personality, availability and living space. A schedule for a couple living in a two-bedroom apartment will look a lot different than one for a family in a four-bedroom house. Choose what works for you. You won’t stick to the routine if it’s not at your comfort level.
Start by making a list of tasks you need to accomplish—like dusting, floors, bathrooms—organized into weekly, biweekly or monthly time slots. The idea is to spread the work out over time and lighten your load each day. Print and post a copy of the schedule to hold yourself accountable. If you are sharing responsibilities with other members of the household, a visible schedule eliminates confusion as to what each person needs to do. Time blocking—having a specific time to accomplish tasks—is a helpful tool in keeping up with a cleaning schedule. Some people like to get their cleaning done first thing in the morning, while others prefer lunchtime, their kid’s naptime, or after dinner. Don’t feel daunted by this concept; you can edit along the way until you have an easy-to-follow routine that you can handle each week.
Another approach is to divide your home into zones, and assign each zone to a certain day. Zone one could be the kitchen, zone two the bedrooms, zone three the common areas like the family room, and zone four the bathrooms. Having one zone per day eliminates a week of heavy cleaning and still spreads out the work. However you decide to plan out your schedule, make sure it’s tailored to your specific needs; the more personalized it is, the easier it will be to follow and the quicker your cleaning will become part of your daily life.
Simplify your supplies
Another thing to consider is streamlining your supplies. Having too many products may inhibit your ability to clean effectively and efficiently. There are numerous all-purpose cleaners on the market that you can use just about anywhere in the house, or you can get creative and make your own. A spray bottle of your favorite disinfectant, microfiber cloths, and a Scrub Daddy or Magic Eraser for stubborn stains may be all you need. The invention of mops with wet and dry cloths makes tidying up floors quicker than ever. Keep a small basket of supplies in each bathroom and under the kitchen sink so they are easily accessible, and put the vacuum, mop and broom together in one location so you don’t have to hunt them down each time you need them.
The main goal here is to make things as easy as possible. It may take a month or two to get your home in order, and your schedule may go through numerous revisions. But once you figure out what works, you’ll be surprised just how effective this new system of cleaning can be. ✦