Let’s discuss house cleaning today. Sounds riveting, right?
I often get comments about how tidy our home is. I think most people are under the assumption that I like to clean. While I do enjoy a tidy home, I wouldn’t say that I find cleaning enjoyable. It’s just one of those adult tasks that needs done.
Today I’m going to let you in on a few of my secrets for a tidy home:
A cleaning schedule
I don’t do it alone.
We keep our home picked up.
While I can’t necessarily help you with #2, I can help you with #1 (today) and #3 (later).
Let’s get started on creating a cleaning schedule that works for you. One that you will be able to stick with because it’s custom designed for you/your family!
First up. We’re going to need some tough love.
Your house will always get dirty. Every day. Your house will not clean itself. That’s why cleaning lends itself to so many great quotes.
I could keep this kitchen clean if people would stop eating here.
My house was clean and then the kids woke up.
If insanity is doing the same thing over and over again then I guess I’ll stop cleaning
I think most people get hung up on thinking that cleaning takes too much time or that it doesn’t matter because it’s just going to get dirty again. You shower on the regular though, right? Why? Because you keep getting dirty. Same goes for your house. (If showering is hard, you should maybe work on that first before delving into the cleaning list. Baby steps.)
A clean house doesn’t need to be about perfection. The best way I’ve found to tackle cleaning is a monthly cleaning list. (Or a maid. Another great option. Wink, wink husband.)
WHY A CLEANING LIST?
Your house will be mostly clean, most of the time. Before having children I would clean our entire house in one day. I no longer have that time available to me. I am shocked at how our house seems to be cleaner by doing tasks daily (usually under 30 minutes). It used to bother me that our whole house was never clean at the same time. With two small kids, that perfectionism had to go. The majority of our house is now clean throughout the week. I have found that I do a more thorough job when I have less tasks to complete.
I no longer feel trapped by cleaning. I’m not always looking around at all of the cleaning that needs to be done. A pot boils over on the stove on Thursday, I don’t need to stress because I know the stove will be deep-cleaned on Monday. (Yes, it will be dirty for a few days. I can clean it sooner but I know I don’t have to.)
Everyone knows what needs to be done. This one is HUGE. House cleaning should not be one person’s responsibility (unless you’re living alone). Anyone making messes should also be involved in cleaning up messes. Nate and I split the cleaning tasks on our list Monday through Wednesday because we both work outside of the home on those days. I usually tackle Thursday and Friday alone because I am home all day. If my day doesn’t allow me to complete the tasks, Nate will help that night. Our 4 year old is responsible for things like clearing his spot at the table, helping to unload part of the dishwasher and putting his laundry away at night. Cleaning should not be one person’s responsibility.
STOP TALKING AND TEACH ME HOW TO MAKE MY LIST ALREADY
HOW TO CREATE A CLEANING SCHEDULE
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE? Grab a pen and notepad. Pick a room, any room. Write down everything that you think needs to be cleaned. You can use my list to guide you but I want you to really look at your own home. My cleaning needs won’t be the same as yours. Repeat for every room in your house.
HOW OFTEN? Think about how often you want various tasks completed. Do you want to wipe down your kitchen cabinets every week? Or will the world not end if it’s only done every other?
WHAT TIME DO YOU HAVE? This is one of the biggest things to consider when making your list. Realistically Nate and I have about 30 minutes each night that we can devote to the list. I bet most people have 30 minutes as well. (You might miss out on a Netflix show or some social media scrolling. But your house will be clean.) I know if it’s more than 30 minutes, we’ll stop doing it. I usually spend about an hour on Thursday either playing catch up or doing Friday’s tasks only because it’s the most convenient day for me to do so. Our weekends are generally free from cleaning.
HOW DO YOU LIKE TO DO THINGS, WHO’S GOING TO DO IT? Nate and I are both more productive at the beginning of the week so I made Monday’s list a little longer than Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m home Thursday and Friday so I designated tasks that were easier for me to do with the kids around and/or during nap time.
Once you have your list compiled, it’s time to get to work!
TOOLS TO MAKE THE JOB EASIER
ROBOT VACUUM You will notice that “vacuum” doesn’t appear often on my list. Don’t worry, we’re not animals. Vacuuming is a robot’s work. I do not want to live in a world where there isn’t a robot vacuum. “Vacuum” is actually only on our list as a reminder to carry one of our two vacuums down to the basement. We have robots for our first and second floors that run daily. (We own a Roomba and ILIFE. We bought the Roomba originally. The ILIFE was a good deal. The Roomba works a smidge better but, for the price, we’ll probably buy another ILIFE when the time comes.
FAVORITE CLEANING PRODUCTS I know this will be controversial (like everything on the interwebs) but I like chemicals. Essential oils aren’t my game. (No judgement here, just not my thing). Here are some of my favorites: granite cleaner, glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner, laundry soap, multipurpose cleaner
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK. We take a week off once a month. We complete a checklist and then rest for a week. I think this may be one of the biggest reasons we stick with this schedule. The week off is almost like a mini-vacation. It gives us a break without our house falling apart. We still do our daily tasks of dishes, laundry, etc but skip the deep cleaning. We also don’t skip out on fun things because WE MUST GET HOME AND CLEAN. If I go to supper with a friend, Nate will complete half of that day’s tasks and I’ll finish it the next day (or vice versa). We try to keep it flexible without straying too far from the list.
Here’s our current list as a guide for you. I HIGHLY encourage you to make your own!
Happy cleaning! I’d love to hear how this list helps you out!