Easy Cleaning Routines
Easy routines to keeping the mess under control …
Welcome! Here you will find an easy routine schedule that will keep your home and life organized and under YOUR control.
Staying in control involves having daily tasks every day to prevent having to do heavy duty, big weekend cleans. It will also save you from living in a trashed looking environment.
You may wish to modify the following for your own needs, tweaking things according to your family and household.
Whatever day it is today, this is the day you start. Don’t worry about the chores not yet done – ignore it until you do it on its scheduled day.
- Dress/shower, do hair/makeup, this means put away your slippers and put real shoes on too!
- Quick check: does bathroom/toilet look ok if visitors drop in – clean hand towel?
- Make bed, tidy bedrooms, remove dirty clothes
- Start a load of laundry AND fold yesterday’s load
- Dress children/ teeth clean?/breakfast
- Tools down: personal, hobby or lunch time. Check emails.
- Prepare dinner in advance if possible
- Clean up – clear kitchen counters
- Clear living areas of any toys or clutter
- Make lunches / check calendar for tomorrow / gather things for tomorrow / prepare clothes
- Go to bed at a decent hour.
Now for a weekly cleaning schedule . . . . .
- MONDAY: Vac & mop hard floors
- TUESDAY: Vac CARPETS, dust all furniture
- WEDNESDAY: Clean toilets & vanity basins
Shower cleaning idea – the wall with the taps on it gets done on Mondays, turn right, this next wall on Tuesday, and so on until the floor is scrubbed on Friday! The shower should never be part of a major clean as its always done whilst you are already in there (efficient!).
- THURSDAY: Clean fridge out & Prepare weekly menu
- FRIDAY: Grocery Shop day, Home Paper Filing
- SATURDAY: Clean out your car and handbag (two quick jobs)
- SUNDAY: Free
FINDING TIME TO DECLUTTER
If an area of the house needs decluttering or re-organising, set a timer for 10 minutes, and do whatever you can in 10 minutes. Keep going in 10 minute lots, or do another 10 minutes the next day.
Now to help you stick with it . . .
STICKING WITH IT
Now all of this may seem difficult at first, but it becomes automatic and gets easier as you stick with it. Remember how hard it was when you first drove a car? Using the right pedals while changing gears while doing a head check, while checking your speed, while paying attention to traffic lights, pedestrians, speed signs whilst having a conversation with your passenger? But now its just natural. Any skill takes time to master – but with mastery comes the satisfaction of accomplishment. Now for some extra tips . . .
When someone gives you their hand-me-downs and trinkets (usually to declutter their own house), or when you come across items at a fleamarket or sale, consider the importance of not accumulating more junk you’ll eventually have to clear. Do you really need it? Let the urge pass, you’ll never remember you had it!
Dirty dishes: from now on, these go STRAIGHT into the dishwasher (or the sink, filled with soapy water every morning). They never even hit the benches. Train your family (nicely and lovingly of course) to think this way – they’ll eventually get it. Beware – just one dish on the kitchen bench, and it will attract more dishes like a magnet. Load your dishwasher/wash your dishes every night. Clear any benchtop clutter (old catalogues, etc) before you go to bed. In the morning, empty your dishwasher/put away clean dishes. Your dishwater will be in “loading” mode, or your sink will have soapy water in it ready to accept dirty dishes, thus keeping your benches clear.
If you fall off the wagon, you will be rewarded with a trashed kitchen again, and a big messy cleaning job (complete with dried up, baked on dirt) instead of lots of little (manageable) cleaning jobs so its worth it to do small daily jobs. If someone drops in for a cup of tea – you’re always ready! No more shame ! (I recommend you purchase a few packets of cookies and keep them away from the family in a high cupboard for when guests arrive.) Enjoy the wonderful satisfaction of being prepared!
Stramenda’s Law of “Now Not Later” (NNL)
If you use it, put it away, clean it up, in its place NOW – not later. This is the key to mess prevention – “but I’ll use it later” – yes you’ll find it in its place.
Stramenda’s Law of “You live here too.” (YLHT)
This one is for all family members. If you live here, you are helping to make it dirty, and its your responsibility to have tasks too, whether you’re a child or another adult. It’s actually good for children to learn how to be responsible (in an age appropriate way) from very young. It also helps them to grow into responsible adults in other areas of life i.e. you are not helping them by doing everything for them.
Use this listing to allocate daily chores. From fairly young, children can put away their own toys, then later make their own beds (it doesn’t matter if its not perfect), and take on other age appropriate chores to save you from exhaustion – including the dinner setup and cleanup. Its much nicer for children if everyone is helping and it allows them to have more quality time with you – it also makes them feel trusted and important. Have a little clapping celebration after its done!
Rewards vs Nagging
Rather than nag, use a reward system – one suggestion is to rule up a piece of butchers paper and hang it on the wall, and put a star under the child’s name for every task done. Once they reach a certain amount of stars they get a small reward – it could be extra TV time or a special treat brought home for them on grocery day. Your other half might be willing to help if you let him pick the jobs he least dislikes, after all, its worth it to have more of your time isn’t it?
If you have to do it all yourself, make sure that you get rewarded such as making time for your hobbies and friends. Make time for regular exercise (this could be as simple as just walking out of the house) and use this time to get some personal “thinking time” to yourself, while your body gets revitalised too.
Remember: the grass always seems greener on the other side (in other people’s lives usually), but the grass is greener where you water it, so bloom where you’re planted and enjoy whatever stage of your life you are in!