Thursday, February 4, 2010

Creating a Cleaning Routine

For those who have a spic 'n' span clean house and who seem to have no problem keeping their house looking like a photo from House Beautiful, this entry is not for you.

For everyone else, here is one way that I found to keep me on track with cleaning my house.

As part of my quest to get organized by March 15, 2010 just before returning to work full time, I devised this cleaning routine - partially with the help of the Simplify 101 (org 101) class. I am currently trying it out to make sure it works. So far so good.

A friend recently complained that he and his partner often argued about housework, and I can see how this issue comes up again and again whether both are working or not. I think that in my case, cleaning is going to come under MY umbrella of responsibility whether I like it or not - I am the queen of my own home. So, I want to pass this routine idea on to you, fellow readers, and see if it might help others like me.

Step 1: Look around your house and take note of the hot spots.
Hot spots are those areas of your house that seem to collect clutter on a daily basis. Not only do they collect clutter, but they really bother you for whatever reason. For me, it was the kitchen table, the kitchen counter, the bathroom counter & the entry way.

Another hot spot you might consider is "incoming paper", which ideally should be taken care of daily so it doesn't start to overwhelm you. You can call this "unprocessed paper."

In total, I had 5 hot spots, including the unprocessed paper box.

Step 2: Then, look at areas of your house which need to be straightened up weekly - places that don't really bother you but are well-used and could use a little tidying boost regularly.

For me, I chose 5 places - the computer & scrapbooking desks, the kids' books, the kids' toys, the bedrooms and the veranda.

Step 3: Think of 5 jobs that, if done on a weekly basis, would really help make your house seem very very clean - ready for guests at any time. Some of these jobs could be broken down so that they equal 5.

I chose the following jobs: dusting, washing of mirrors & metal surfaces, vacuuming, wiping floors. That's only four, so I added the grooming of Max and tidying of his room to the list.

Step 4: Take note of the jobs that need to get done on a daily basis in your house but are already a habit to you. For me, this was washing dishes, doing laundry, preparing Ailin's bag for daycare. (People who do not wash their dishes daily (and you know who you are) may need to put "dishes" on their hot spot list!)

Step 5: Now, put it all together into a do-able routine. Easier said than done.

You now have a hot spots list. You have 5 things that need to be done once a week & 5 more things that need to be "tidied" or "decluttered" once a week.

Decide a logical order for the 2nd and 3rd lists & pair them with days of the week.

The order I chose for cleaning & decluttering. (Note: d/c stands for "decluttering"):

1.    Max – tidy room & groom him
2.    d/c Scrapbooking & computer desks

1.    Dust all surfaces
2.    d/c toy areas

1.    Wipe mirrors, windows & metal surfaces
2.    d/c kids’ books

1.    Vacuum
2.    d/c bedrooms

1.    Wipe floors
2.    d/c veranda

Step 6: Obviously, a few things are missing from these lists. The ideal thing would be to keep your weekends free so you can have fun with your family and pursue hobbies. So, save jobs that take very little time for the weekends, and if skipped, will still allow you to enjoy a clean home.

My weekend jobs include the following:
Clean vents & filters (in bathroom and ceilings)
Do extra laundry (sheets, air out futons)

Step 7: Then there are decluttering or cleaning jobs that need to be done but on a less regular basis, say every 3 months or maybe only 1x a year. As you make your list, think about the best order for these jobs and pair them with the 12 months of the year.

Here is my list of those jobs:

Clean Stove & Filter
Clean & wash down Veranda
Declutter Meds/Shoes/Toys
Clean Stove & Filter
Clean & wash down Veranda
Declutter Books/DVDs
Clean Stove & Filter
Clean & wash down Veranda
Declutter Meds/Shoes/Toys
Clean Stove & Filter
Clean & wash down Veranda
Declutter Seasonal Decorations

Golden Week & Silver Week (May & October)
Seasonal Clothing, blankets

1. Bathe Max
2. Vacuum under couch & cushions

See my next post for Cleaning Prompts & Rewards!

1 comment:

Shannon said...

This is a great strategy. Russ and I made a cleaning checklist a few months ago to help us stay on top of things. But the checklist had so many things on it that we couldn't even complete it for 1 week! I like this way better, so I may revise mine.