I’m going to be real honest with you guys today- I got married really young, at just 19 years old. Keeping my house clean, and having a daily cleaning routine, has not always been my strongest suit. I think I may have been missing this “domestic” part of my brain that made me know how to do things like clean, cook, etc… Bless my poor husband for dealing with me while I got my crap together these last NINE years, hahaha…
BUT, I feel like I’m finally starting to get a handle on things. I have somewhat of a routine when it comes to keeping my home clean, and I’m even doing annual and quarterly cleaning things that to be honest, we never thought much about before.
Anyway, let’s get started thinking about our cleaning routine.
For starters, I want you to sit down and think of each room in your house. Take out a pen and piece of paper so you can write all of these down. Think about each room and the tasks that you need to get done. I tend to look at the ceiling and start there. For example, in my living room, I need to dust my fan, then I look at the walls… picture frames need dusting, blinds need cleaning, windows could use a good swipe with Windex, etc… I just work my way down and make a list of all of those tasks.
Then, I write how often I think they need to be done- regardless of if they need to be done right now. Assuming I was cleaning everything regularly, how often do these tasks really need to be taken care of? What tasks need to be done daily cleaning routine- for example in the living room, maybe vacuuming if you have pets, etc… What tasks need to be done each week? Maybe dusting, a little decluttering to return items where they belong, then what about monthly? Dusting ceiling fans, dusting blinds? You might even put this into the “quarterly” category if your home doesn’t get dusty that fast.
Now, once you have each room in your home listed, and all of the cleaning tasks that you need to complete for that room, you can start making your plan. This part kind of depends on your schedule. Are you a stay at home mom, or do you work outside the home? What is your situation like? What time do you have that you can set aside to clean? I stay at home, so I typically try to spend a little time each day on things, but my mother has always worked outside the home, and she always cleaned on Saturday and still does as far as I know.
If you are a stay at home mom, you could block off two 30 minute segments, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. I do this sometimes. I work on my daily cleaning tasks in the morning- dishes, laundry, etc… and then in the afternoon, I’ll tackle my “big project” which is usually whatever room I’m working on that day or that week. You could assign each day a specific room to work on, or you could work on one room per week and really deep clean that room. I just recommend plugging in bits and pieces of those weekly and monthly cleaning tasks throughout your week, into your daily cleaning routine. Whether you clean a little every day, or once a week, that really just depends on your preference.
You can use weekly and monthly cleaning checklists to keep track of what you need to do, what tasks you’ve completed, and when.
One thing I always try to stress to myself is not to let perfection cause me to be overwhelmed. Keeping a home clean is a lot of work. We have a smaller home, so I can imagine if you have a larger home to care for that is even more so the case. Do what you can, and whatever you can’t get done, move it to the next week, or month. A lot of the time, our homes become out of control because we get paralyzed with overwhelm, we’re unsure of where to start, etc… If you work on what you can, schedule those bigger tasks into your week, and carry over anything that doesn’t get finished, your home will be a whole lot cleaner than if you don’t work on anything because you are overwhelmed at all that needs to be done.
Doing something is better than doing nothing when it comes to those bigger cleaning tasks.
However, let’s talk for a minute about daily tasks. I mentioned in my living room example, you might need to vacuum every day if you have pets. There are a few tasks, that if you do them every day, your home will feel manageable, and pretty clean for the most part. These are my tasks that if they’re done, I know I could have company over and not feel panicky.
- Doing the dishes, I try to make sure I go to bed each night with an empty sink.
- Sweeping my kitchen, vacuuming my living room- This keeps the main trafficked areas of my home feeling clean. Clean floors make me happy.
- Cleaning the kitchen counters, This can literally make or break my day. As a mom of two boys also taking care of my husband, for the most part, I do a lot of cooking and preparing food. If my kitchen counters are a mess I can’t do that and it can be really frustrating.
- Spot check the bathrooms- I focus more on the hallway bathroom that my boys use, one because they are a whole lot messier, and because that’s the bathroom that guests use. However, I also try and keep our master bath on the decluttered and mostly clean side throughout the week, because it is the same concept for my husband in there that it is for me in the kitchen. If he has to step over laundry and fight for counter space it can be frustrating for him when he is trying to get ready for work. For a quick bathroom cleaning, clear countertops, wipe if needed, give the toilet a swish and a swipe with a Clorox wipe (amen), and pick up any laundry.
There you have it, I hope you have appreciated my real honest chat about keeping my home clean. I’m not perfect, and I’m a work in progress when it comes to having the self-discipline to do these tasks regularly, but the most important part is to just start somewhere and keep going until you accomplish what you want to accomplish.
If you are feeling overwhelmed about your home, I have a secret cheat sheet for getting your home “reset” in just a few minutes a day. You can have a home you can be at peace within one week, then dive into these recurring tasks that you need to accomplish, and get started deep cleaning your home.
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