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Category Archives: Week 2: Cleaning Schedule

Cleaning Schedule Revised

A couple weeks ago my topic was my organizing my cleaning schedule.  I put together a cleaning scheduled based on various sources for what needed cleaning weekly, monthly, every 6 months, and yearly.  I had an idea for keeping my house clean in which I would complete one or two of my weekly tasks per day.  I was very optimistic that if I did this, I would be able to maintain a sparkly clean house week after week.  Well, I’m writing to share that for me, that idea stinks!  I kept it up faithfully for about a week and a half.  Then I realized I was becoming the Cleaning Nazi.  That darn schedule on the refrigerator was ruling my life.  I was skipping runs, opportunities to play games with my kids, time with my husband, or staying up late just so I could mark off the little X by “vacuuming” or “dusting” or “bathrooms.”  It hit me one evening after dinner when my husband asked me to come join he and kids in the living room.  “I can’t,” I replied, “I haven’t done my dusting yet.”

“You know you don’t have to dust right now, right?” he asked.  “Come spend some time with us.”

I have had to do some reflecting about what I really want to be.  Do I want to be organized?  Yes.  Do I want to have a clean house? Yes.  Do I want to do all this at the expense of my family? No. I have a lot I want to/need to accomplish in my day.  I homeschool, so a significant portion of my day is dedicated to schooling the kids.  In between I have laundry, meals, dishes, playing with/entertaining/educating/keeping up with the destruction of my preschoolers, personal Bible study, preparations for my children’s church lessons, exercise, taking kids to practice, maintaining my marriage, blogging/organizing — you all know how it is — we are busy people!  There aren’t possibly enough hours in a day to fit it all in.  Something has to give.  I’ve decided that something will be my dream of the perfectly shiny-clean house.  I’m not going to give up my running time anymore; for me it’s too important and keeps me sane. I also want my family to know that my priority is them, not my house. That doesn’t mean I’m going to quit cleaning all-together.  It just means that I can’t do major cleaning items each day.  I’m going to have to go back to doing what I can to maintain during the week and doing the majority of my cleaning Friday afternoon/Saturday morning.  If some of my weekly cleaning tasks don’t get done in a week, well, that’s okay.  I’ll start there next week.

I am keeping my schedule on the refrigerator.  It serves to keep me focused on what I need to get accomplished.  But I’m not going to obsess if one or two items are left un-checked.  Using it for the past 2+ weeks now has also made me see that it needed a bit of revision, so I’m making my revised version available below. I added my daily maintaining routine, and made it available in a couple different colors just for fun.  If you don’t like my list, you can make your own with the customizable schedule.  (I got a little carried away. :-)) Off to clean my counters – yippee!

Cleaning Schedule Torquoise

Cleaning Schedule Yellow

Cleaning Schedule Red

Cleaning Schedule Customize

Why I Need to Learn to Love Dusting

Ewww, yuck, gross, gross, gross!

Dust mites!  Need I say more?  Just thought I’d add a little inspiration if you hate dusting as much as I do (I now have a dust-free house, by the way).  For more information . . . or if you just really want to gross yourself out, click here.  There’s even an interesting article about not making your bed in order to prevent dust mites.  And did you know that a recent poll concluded that Britons on average only change their sheets 3 times a year!?

To Clean or Not to Clean?

Image by Suat Eman

I’ve had two days of implementing my cleaning schedule, and I’ve been mostly successful.  My plan of doing one or two of my weekly cleaning tasks a day is still in the experimental stage.  I’m going to see it through and give it a few weeks.  I really can’t make my final judgement on the past two days.  There are some pros and cons to this plan.  Pro: my house will actually get a thorough cleaning each week.  Con: it won’t all be clean at the same time.  There’s something about having a newly cleaned house (even though it only lasts for about 5 minutes with four kids), that I just don’t think I’ll be able to replicate if I’m cleaning it little-by-little.  Pro: I might actually dust more than once a month (truthfully, it’s less often than that — have I mentioned I really hate dusting?). Con:  I’m feeling a lot of pressure from that list hanging on my refrigerator (see previous post).  I actually skipped my run today in order to vacuum — WHAT?!  Jury’s still out.  I’ll keep you posted.

While I’m spending so much time thinking about cleaning this week, I put together a list of tips I gleaned from various sources that I use (or try to use) to keep my home clean in-between cleanings.

1) Make your bed everyday – I’m sure you’ve heard this before, and not just from your mother.  It’s been said that the bed takes up 50 – 80% of the space in your bedroom.  It only takes a few minutes and your room is 50 – 80% clean!

2) Keep your sink clean – This is a big one for me.  I feel like the kitchen sink is to the kitchen, as the bed is to the bedroom (anyone remember practicing analogies for the SAT?)  When my sink isn’t cleared of dishes, it feels like the entire room is a mess. It’s only one more step to rinse it and put it in the dishwasher (trying really hard to teach this to my kids and husband — any suggestions?)

3) Practice what Marcia Ramsland calls the “Two Minute Pick-up” – Every time you leave a room or desk, take 2 minutes to quickly put things away.  I was just introduced to this suggestion, so it’s not a habit for me yet.  When I remember to do this, I notice I’m saving time by not having to go back and pick up later.

4) Keep your counters clear — I have a tendency to drop my purse/keys/mail/anything else in my hands, on the first flat surface, which happens to me my kitchen counter.  It drives my husband crazy!  I’m learning that if I just take a few extra steps and hang my jacket on the coat rack, or my keys on the hook, quickly sort through the mail, etc. . .my counters look lovely, I don’t have to spend 30 minutes cleaning it off later, and my husband is happy!

5) Just do it now — I’m retraining myself here.  It’s so tempting to set things down and think “I’ll deal with it later.”  If I just do it now — do those dishes, pick those cheerios up off the floor, clean out the coffee maker — it’s one less thing to do later.  It saves a lot of time if I don’t have to go back and clean up after myself all over the house.

It is work.  Keeping things clean does require that I don’t sit around watching soaps all day.  I try to keep in mind that in “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,” (Colossians 3:23).  Even though working in the house may seem menial, it’s where God has placed me now and I plan to give it my all.

*Suat Eman’s Portfolio

Week 2: Organizing my Cleaning Schedule

Some time ago I called my mom and greeted her in my usual way, “Hey Mom, whatcha doing?”

“Vacuuming my coils,” she replied nonchalantly.

“What?!” I exclaimed. “What is that? Why are you doing it?”

Turns out, refrigerators have something called a condenser coil which needs to be vacuumed or dusted every 6 to 12 months or energy production goes down and the thing could burst into flames.  This is a very handy thing to know as I certainly don’t want my neglected refrigerator to burn my house down.

This exchange got me thinking. What else am I unknowingly failing to maintain in my house that may cause harm to us or the aforementioned neglected item(s)? When we moved into our first home nobody handed me a manual entitled, “Maintaining Your Home and Appliances in Order to Prevent Fire and Other Certain Disasters.”  And let’s be honest, I probably wouldn’t have read it anyway.  What I needed was a list; something simple to tell me what and how often I need to take care of things. I did some research (translation: Googled it).  This definitive cleaning schedule is the best source I have found to concisely tell me what I need to do and when.

That brings me to this weeks goal:  organizing my cleaning schedule.  I took the list found in the link above and modified it suit my needs.  I created a check-list of things I need to do weekly, monthly, every 6 months, and yearly, in order to properly clean and maintain my home.  I condensed it to a single sheet of paper which I will print off, laminate (as per the suggestion by Christina in her comment on my “Ta-da” post), and hang in a place of honor on my now combustion-proof refrigerator.

I have included a printable PDF of this schedule if anyone should feel so led to use it.


Cleaning Schedule PDF

I know that a house should be cleaned weekly, but I will confess that it often doesn’t happen for me.  Carving out the 2 to 3 hour block of time it takes to thoroughly clean a house can be difficult, especially with young children.  With my new schedule leering at me from my refrigerator door, my plan is to assign myself smaller tasks throughout the week (ie: Monday – dusting {ugh – do I have to?}, Tuesday – floors, etc.).  This way I get it all done in a week, but in small, manageable chunks.  As for the rest of the list (the non-weekly tasks), I am assigning each a specific month in which it must completed. If I don’t give myself a date, it won’t get done . . . and my refrigerator will suddenly burst into flames one day.  Happy cleaning!