Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How-Tuesday: Cleaning Routines

Hello, everyone! I'm excited about participating in this blog and was really excited when Katie asked me to help her. I get asked all the time about my cleaning routine, from people I know in real life to people I know through Internet forums. My routine is one that I developed over several years. I took my initial inspiration from Flylady, and then I adapted her basic concept into a routine that would better fit my own life. There are a few issues I take with Flylady's system, so I knew I needed to alter it a bit. Now I have a system that works fabulously for me, and I'm able to very easily keep my home clean with very minimal effort when I stick to my list.

The concept is simple: deep clean one room or area of your home each day. How you divide it up should be determined by how large your house is. When I first started my list, we were renting a tiny 2 bedroom apartment. We only had 5 rooms to clean, so I had my list set up to where I only deep cleaned one room each day. Now we own a much larger home, so I clean one area each day, which breaks down to 2-3 rooms on average. For example, on Mondays I deep clean the kitchen, dining room, laundry room, and pantry. Our floorplan is really open, so all of these spaces naturally flow together. Thursdays I clean both bathrooms (kids' and master). I do the master bathroom on a separate day from the master bedroom simply because that way I only have to get out the cleaning supplies once and get it all done in one shot. Divide it up however is easiest for you, but try and create a list that allows you to streamline your chores. Group like things together, like doing all bathrooms on the same day, mopping all floors on the same day, etc.

One more tip before I post my actual list. I found this idea on a blog several months ago and thought it was beyond brilliant. This woman took her cleaning list and put it in a picture frame that she set up on her counter. I modified it just a bit and hung it on a wall near my kitchen instead (I hate clutter on the counters). I pass by this list a trillion times per day, so it's always in my face, reminding me to clean. And the real bonus is that it easily lets me see what I've done off my list and what I have yet to do. I just use a whiteboard marker to put a check mark in the box next to each chore as I accomplish it, then I erase it when the week is over and start again the next week. It's fabulous. At the bottom of my list, I left a few blank spaces for me to fill in whatever random stuff I need to do (go to the post office, do some household project, whatever).

So, here's my list:


It looks really overwhelming, I know. And it is at first. If your house is pretty disorganized to begin with, it'll be pretty brutal getting it under control. But stick it out because if you keep at it, by probably the second week you will be spending much less time cleaning and have a cleaner home to show for it.

Now, this is just my deep cleaning list. Along with the deep cleaning for that day, I also always do general upkeep on the house, such as dishes, laundry, picking up toys, etc. But from start to finish, ALL the daily chores and deep cleaning will take me about 2 hours max when I stick to this list. It's really great!

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