Yess, Miss Hannigan. We love you Miss Hannigan.
I wouldn't say I like to clean. I wouldn't say I dislike it either. I recognize that personally, my existence is improved by orderly spaces, so I schedule it into my week. We also pay a lot for our home, utilities, etc., so I want it to be kept nicely. I don't subscribe to the "good moms have sticky floors, dirty ovens, and happy kids" philosophy simply because I don't think it takes much more than 15 minutes a day to keep things on the level. I know everyone is busy. I also know everyone can probably spare 15 minutes a day.
Does my house get messy when I have a particularly busy week? Absolutely. Do I want to spend my weekend setting it to rights? Absolutely not. So gradually over the past few years I've migrated to what I call a daily do, and I try to keep it to 20 minutes or less. If you don't want to spend hours every weekend cleaning, consider switching over to a daily do list.
A lot of people ask me how I get so much done in a weeknight or on the weekends. I attribute it to two things: loving to cross things off of a to do list, and a regular weekly cleaning schedule. When you clean on a rotation with regularity, you don't have to spend hours on it because it's already clean so it's basic maintenance. Things don't pile up, and nothing is a time suck unless you allow it to be one.
Here's a glimpse at how I approach hausfrauing. I hope one of these tips or tricks helps you streamline your routine.
- Assemble what you'll need to clean before you begin.
- Take an empty laundry basket with you - put anything in it that does not belong in the room you're in. Put these things away later, do not set about doing it immediately. That will bust up your groove.
- Take a trash bag with you and throw out anything that needs to be discarded. Put anything recyclable in your laundry basket to drop off later.
- Quickly put away anything that belongs in the room but is out of place.
- Clean top to bottom. Cobwebs, dusting, vacuuming/mopping.
- Don't dilly dally.
- Do not get side tracked by organizational, redecorating, or deep cleaning projects. Make a note to do those things at another time.
- If you're going to move to a weekly cleaning schedule, get up 15 minutes earlier to do your daily dos in the morning before you go to work, right when you get home while dinner is in the oven, or immediately after dinner. When it's 9 p.m., the kids are finally in bed, and Modern Family is on, you're not going to want to get up and wipe down the book shelf.
On the daily
Doing things as you're moving through your home daily will keep your weekly cleaning short and sweet.
- Wipe down kitchen counters.
- Wipe down bathroom sinks and toilets as needed.
- Assess laundry situation and do it when you need to.
- Pick up around the house and put your crap away. If it doesn't have a place, find one for it, donat it, throw it out or recycle it. Don't leave it where it doesn't belong. That's how hoarding starts, y'all.
It currently looks like this, although I adapt it often.
Monday - nada. Who feels like doing things on Monday night? Even Satan takes Monday off.
Tuesday - dust and vac living**, dining, basement (this takes about 30 minutes)
Wednesday - nada
Thursday - change sheets, dust and vac top floor (20 minutes)
Friday - Open mail.
Saturday - clean bath & powder room (20 minutes combined - MFD does the shower), wash all towels
Sunday - clean kitchen (15 minutes, unless cabinets are being deep cleaned)
**MFD usually does another vacuuming on the main floor at some point since those dastardly dogs shed like beasts. He also takes care of both sets of steps.
If I have things scheduled on weeknights, it's easy to modify a schedule. For example, last Tuesday night I had to run errands and Wednesday night I had to get my hair done. So I dusted and vacuumed the whole house on Thursday night. Flexibility is key.
In the summer months, I push Saturday and Sunday inside chores to weekdays so I have weekend mornings to garden and do yard work before I head out in the afternoons to parties and pools.
I attend to baseboards, windows, ceiling fans, closets, and window treatments as needed.
Chores I really loathe
- Changing the duvet
- Anything involving trash and recyles and removing them from the house (MFD does this)
- Wiping off the stove
- Cleaning floors
- Foldng and putting laundry away
Coming soon: my chosen cleaning products. I know you're shivering with excitement.
Get your rags out and go go go!