Navigating the Homefront

How to keep a house clean, step one: make a plan January 2, 2012

Filed under: Cleaning,Organization — Christy @ 3:40 am

The first jet-lagged night in our new home, I sat on the couch mentally reviewing every room and writing down the tasks that needed to be done in each room (and also what containers I wanted, but that’s another subject).   I labeled each task, daily, weekly or monthly, choosing the longest time interval that seemed bearable.  I would love to wash the finger prints off the windows every day, but that takes too much time, and frankly, no one would know the difference if I did.  However, we do notice if we have plates for supper.

Here’s my list for the play room:

sweep floors—daily

Put away clutter — daily

Dust shelves and tables–daily

Sweep under the sofa—weekly

Dust light fixtures—weekly

Wash windows– weekly

Wipe down the toys—monthly

This is my tweaked list. I didn’t realize that the lights needed to be dusted until I had been cleaning for a few weeks (We recently figured out that they double AC returns!), and it took me longer than I care to admit to give up on cleaning the windows every day.

 I don’t do my daily chores every day, or my monthly chores monthly.  It’s more like five days out of seven for the daily chores and the monthly chores happen about every six weeks.  I do make the weekly chores most of the time, but when I had a nursing baby, they were really more like bi-weekly chores.

The goal is to put a plan on paper that approximates reality.   Then, I know what I need to attempt, and I have limits that make me stop cleaning.  Otherwise, my perfectionism takes over, and I get cranky and ignore the kids, or shut down and don’t do anything for the house because I’m over whelmed.   I made this plan knowing I would change it.

I think it’s helpful to learn from others.  Would you share how often you do the needed tasks for one room in your home?  And, maybe more importantly, why at those time intervals?


3 Responses to “How to keep a house clean, step one: make a plan”

  1. Since I work during the week and take a day off usually on Sundays, I clean the bathroom, vaccuum and dust every other Saturday. If I cleaned every week, it would be hard to notice the impact, since there’s only one person in my house. I wash sheets every other week also (hopefully that’s not gross; I promise I never sweat in my sleep.) I do dishes more or less every day and clean off the counter. I pick up general clutter once a day. I don’t worry about clutter in the morning since I’m running off to work, but I like to fix it before bed…. more or less. Laundry usually happens every Saturday, but this week it was 3 feet deep and took over the laundry room entirely because I’ve been traveling and moving.

  2. Christy Says:

    That’s a really good point. If you can’t notice the impact of your cleaning, you don’t need to clean just because someone else’s schedule says so.

  3. Christy Says:

    Here’s a great general schedule to get you started.

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