Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cleaning Schedule and Tips

Hi everybody!  I received an email this week from someone asking about my cleaning schedule.  I have had other people ask me about it in the past as well so I thought I would lay it all out here for you! 

While I absolutely drool over the many adorable printable cleaning schedules you can find online, none of them ever work for me.  I feel like I need to have my own, personalized to my family, schedule. 

So this is what I came up with.  No where near as pretty as others you can find, but it does the trick.  I wanted it to fit on one page so that I could easily hang it on my magnetic board in my Butler's Pantry in my Command Center (see that post here).  I have it in a page protector so I can check everything off with a dry erase marker and then resuse it every week. 

I have 4 things that I do every day-beds, counters, tables (kitchen & dining), and bathroom vanities. 

 Saturday and Sunday I try to not do anything except these 4 things.  But these are also good days to catch up on other things that did not get done that week.  In a family of 6, there are some very busy days where not much cleaning gets done around the house! 

Mondays I do a quick wipe down of the bathrooms in addition to the vanities...I have young boys...need I say more?!  The toilets and surrounding floor need attention more than just once a week unfortunately...and speaking of my boys, they share a room and a hamper, so their laundry gets done together.  

I try to do a quick spot clean of kitchen cabinets as things come up, but this day I try to wipe down all the fronts no matter what.  

Deep cleaning the bathrooms!  Yay!  I also do a wipe down of my stove when I am cleaning the counters after dinner each night, but this is the day to clean the grates, knobs, etc.  

There's usually not much to be done in our laundry room as far as cleaning goes because our laundry room is in the basement and also serves as our storage room.  But rugs do need to be vacuumed, machines wiped down, etc. 

We have a built in dog crate area that we call their 'house'.  This gets a good scrubbing on Fridays. 

I also have a section for other jobs that need to be done through out the week but not on any specific day-windows, cleaning couches, sweeping porches/deck, etc. 

The main thing that I do it try to keep our house picked up at all times.  And yes, I do mean at all times.  I'm crazy like that.  I have this fear of someone knocking on my door at any given moment and toys might be out on the living room floor, a paper sitting on the desk, a dish in the sink, or something on the counter.  It's ridiculous I know. 

And I know what you are thinking, yes, I do allow my children to play and have fun with toys!  My 2 year old is currently in 'Tornado Mode' as we call it.  You can pick one thing up and turn around and 5 other things are already on the floor.  Drives me crazy!  But she is not old enough to go downstairs in the playroom by herself yet, so I am finding myself having to be a bit more flexible with the toys in the living room these days.  She has a basket hidden behind the couch with toys.  When things start getting a little too nutty for me I throw some back in the basket.  But, I never leave the house with the toys still out.  I never go to bed with them out.  And what makes it work is that it is so simple to do.  She knows where her toys go, and it takes less than a minute to gather everything up and throw it back in there before we leave.  (Did  I mention that I also have a fear of my house catching on fire while I am gone and firefighters coming into a messy house?!  My husband laughs at me, but it is an actually worry of mine!) 

So here are my tips for you:
1.  Come up with what works for you.  Don't take my schedule and make it yours.  Write down what needs to be done on a weekly basis in your house and fit it to your schedule.  I am home with my kids at this stage of my life, but if I were working my schedule would look very different-I would utilize my weekend more for cleaning. 
2.  Keep things picked up.  Nothing feels better than walking in the door when you come home to a picked up house.  Your floors may not be sparkling, but having things picked up will immediately make your home appear cleaner. 
3.  Make your bed.  In addition to walking into a clean house, nothing feels better at night than walking in to your room to a nicely made bed.  It will instantly make your bedroom feel cleaner as well.  And it seriously only takes a minute to do-and I have lots of pillows to put on mine!  It won't cause you to be late or take away from your morning routine. 
4.  Declutter.  Go through your house room by room.  Toss or donate anything you aren't using.  You will clear space to put away the things you are using, and make it easier to find things when you are looking for them.
5.  Do something about your paper.  Paper can pile up in a house so quickly and before you know it you can have piles of stuff all over the place.  You can see my attempt to corral our paper here, but again, find a system that works for you. 
6.  Get everyone on board.  You can't do it alone.  While I like to do cleaning myself (because again, I'm crazy like that and want it done a specific way),  my kids and husband can do their share of putting their things away.  The kids are in charge of making sure the playroom is picked up every night before they go to bed, and after dinner I give them a dust pan and tell them to sweep under the table.  They also know that they need to keep their rooms picked up. 

I hope that helps get you started on figuring out what will work for you and your family!  I would love to hear what things you do to keep your house in order as well!  Happy Cleaning!  -Emily

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