February 25, 2009

Cleaning, Made Simple

I confess, I dropped the ball. I told you several weeks ago that I'd formulated a new cleaning routine and would post it soon. Then I didn't. It certainly couldn't be because I haven't actually put the new routine into action yet. Or maybe it is. I'll never tell.

I seem to spend most Saturdays spinning my wheels and never really getting anywhere. The idea of scrubbing down the entire house is always daunting. I often get interrupted, or distracted by another chore (returning items to a room that needs dusting, dust the room, when returning the dusting items to the cleaning closet in the bathroom, notice that the bathroom needs cleaning, etc.) All of that running around has left me feeling worn out with not much to show for it. I was also at the mercy of R's sleeping schedule until his shift changed to give him weekends off. With this big life change for our family, I decided it was time to make the most of my Saturdays.


I created a list of standard Saturday chores:

~dust Living Room
~sweep & vacuum all floors
~spot clean bathrooms

(I'm generally able to stay on top of the laundry & dishes during the week, so it's not a problem)

I've also divided my home into four sections:

~Living/Laundry/Office/Guest Bath
~Master bed & bath
~CJ's "suite" (her room, playroom & bath)

I'll tackle a section each week for deep cleaning. I realize the definition of "deep cleaning" is different for everyone, but here's my list for the kitchen/dining/entry:

~mop floors
~dust trim, light fixtures & art work
~empty & dust china cabinet
~polish appliances (stainless steel)
~clean cabinet fronts & tile backsplash
~seasonal chores (i.e. cleaning windows) as needed

I'm thinking that breaking the house down into four manageable sections will help me in several ways. First, I won't feel so completely overwhelmed. Second, I won't have to spend my entire Saturday dashing around trying to get everything done, because eventually I'll get to it. I've learned that this and this help to reduce the time needed between heavy bathroom cleanings. Since I don't have small children, I think my laminate floors can handle a month between moppings (unless we spill something). If I'm out of town or need a break, I'll get the basic chores done during the week, and back the others up a week. The house won't fall down around me.

I may need to tweak the system after I've been at it for a while, but I think this is a good start. Any suggestions?


mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Do you really like those Scrubbing Bubbles products? I haven't tried them, but you might convince me!

My house is small, so I can usually knock out my heavy cleaning in one day, but I like how you've broken it down by week.

I might have to try scheduling one room each week on my unplugged days!

Jillian, Inc said...

I loved reading about your approach with breaking down by areas of the house. I am exactly like you were - spinning my wheels every single Saturday (and sometimes Sunday, too). With two little boys those bathrooms are a constant chore - *ugh*. Thanks for all the hints.

Leah in Iowa said...

Did you happen to get my Facebook messages today - Thursday??

Marja said...

Hi Melissa,
I love your blog! I stumbled upon in.... because I recently had a book published that is called: Breath of Life!