Monday, January 4, 2010

Daily Cleaning

If I’m going to have a hope of getting my home cleaned up in an hour or so a week, it takes some daily maintenance.

This is what I typically do in a day.

º One load of laundry. This means washed, dried folded and put away.
º Wipe down each bathroom daily. Spot clean mirrors, spray counters and toilet, swish a little soap in the toilet bowl and call it done.
º Spray down the bathtub and shower after each use. I hardly ever have to scrub it this way.
º Keep up with the dishes. If I unload the dishwasher as soon as it’s done I have a place for my dirty dishes and the counters stay clear. I just clean as I go on this one.
º Every night I do a five minute pick up of each floor. Put away toys, clear my nightstand, put away stray items, and clear off the surfaces that always seem to attract clutter in my house. If I keep up with it, it really doesn’t take long.
º Clean up messes as they happen. If my son drops his fruit on the floor I pick it up and spot mop it. It takes a lot less time to clean up most messes as they happen rather than waiting to do it all at once.

Some other things that have really helped me out.

º Declutter. This is the single most important thing. How can I put things away if they don’t have homes? Who wants to spend 5 minutes trying to close drawers that are so stuffed with clothes they won’t shut all the way? Why do I want to store, take care of and look at stuff I don’t need any more?
º Take it in small steps. If your house is a wreck, it will take longer to get in shape. But don’t just throw up your hands and collapse on the couch. Work on it for 10 minutes, 15 minutes or even 5 minutes. Even if it’s only 10 minutes a day for a week that’s over an hour. You can get a lot of cleaning done in an hour.
º My home is not a museum. I have cat hair on the couch, rumpled towels in the bathroom and dishes drying on the countertop. I do not need to vacuum under the couch every week. I want it clean enough that my family can enjoy it and basic tasks are done regularly. Good enough is good enough.
º Know when to stop. If you’ve been vacuuming for 10 minutes and that’s all the time you have, stop. It’s okay not to vacuum the whole house if you are running tight on time. Ten minutes in the high traffic areas will do a lot more good than nothing at all.
º Figure out how long it takes you to do each task. I know I can thoroughly clean my kitchen floor in 15 minutes. When I find myself with a few spare minutes I know what tasks I can get done since I know how long they take.

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