It occurred to me that I have commented several times in the past about household cleaning when I complained about praised my husband and gave thanks, as well as in the Messiest Mom of the Week post! I thought it would be a natural next step to give you all an idea of how I plan, or at least try to plan, my household cleaning checklist!
Yes, you may take a moment to laugh!! Don’t blame you……much!!!!
|Doh! Is it cleaning day already?! (Source: Flickr Creative Commons)|
Disclaimer! Disclaimer! This post is not meant to be a panacea for all your household headaches! hahahah…but, you all knew that!! I don’t have the magic potion, but I sure have been trying for years and years to find one, overhauling and tweaking my formula till I got something that I can work with!! It doesn’t mean I have been completely successful after that and that my house is all sparkly and neat, but, as I mentioned in my Messy Moms post, I am finally at peace at taking baby steps and not snarling at my family every time I find a spoon out of place!
A little background before I give you the outline. If you don’t want to read all my blah blah blah, please feel free to skip these paragraphs and focus on the list of bullets near the end of this post! When I was a teenager, I was a slob (no need to sugarcoat these things, right?!). I was brought up in India, where we have household help and my parents were more keen on my doing well in school, so I never did any kind of chores (shocking elitist behavior, I know!! :P).
So, anyway, from slob to householder is not really a satisfactory transition; nevertheless, I soldiered my way through to that position by way of marriage. Naturally, complete chaos ensued. Order was slowly restored with my learning how to use a mop, detergent, and the rest of the paraphernalia. This slowly transmogrified into my becoming obsessive-compulsive about cleaning….I mean, I spend hours shining the rim of the toilet, surely it should stay that way, right?!! To that end, I’m afraid I harassed my family far more than they deserved.
I’ve slowly come out of that madness, and now have a slow-but-steady approach to cleaning. I have taken initial inspiration from The Flylady but decided to modify it considerably, because it affords me a better control over my activities (I also got tired of the amount of promotional emails I got everyday from their site). Is my approach fool-proof and guaranteed to make and keep your house sparkling clean? I’m afraid not. It just works for me that at the end of the day, I have the satisfaction of doing my bit, while at the same time, not snarling at anyone and in fact, having time to interact with my boys!
So, here’s the nitty-gritty. I spend very strict, small sections of time (five minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes) cleaning and decluttering. Most of these spurts of activity take place in the morning, or they may spill over into the evening, but I give myself the lenience of choosing when to do them. I try to do the majority of this stuff in the weekdays, so that my weekends are free.
15 minute cleanup of one section of the house (every weekday)
- Mondays: Kitchen
- Tuesdays: Master bedroom (I add a laundry load to be done on this day)
- Wednesdays: Kids’ bedroom
- Thursdays: Bathrooms (I add a laundry load to be done on this day)
- Fridays: Living room and dining room (It’s a combined space)
10 minute deep cleaning and de-cluttering of one room for a whole month
- January: Garage
- February: Kitchen
- March: Kid’s bedroom
- April: Bathrooms
- May: Dining room
- June: Our bedroom
- July: Patio
- August: Living room
- September: Front entry
- October: Laundry area
- November: File and organize paper documents
- December: Closets (organizing and selecting for donations)
5 minute cleanup of specific places where clutter always accumulate (I do this every day of the week in rotation)
- Kitchen counter-tops
- Dining table
- Top of bedroom dressers
- Bathroom counter-tops
- Closet floor
That’s it! I time myself and only restrict myself to the time I have allotted for that activity.
So, now you know how non-Type-A I am! Feel free to laugh at my minimal efforts in the comments! 😉 You may be thinking that with this approach, it would be impossible for my house to ever be really clean and you are right; it is not. And, I am fine with that! However, with this method, I don’t kill myself, and I don’t kill other people; I have time for my family and for myself; I am not exhausted at the end of the day; and I get something, though not everything, done!
That’s good enough for me!
Do tell me your cleaning tips and schedules in the comments. If you have comments of how I can do better with mine, please do let me know! I would love to be even more efficient!
(By the way, I did not compensated by the FlyLady for adding her link here)