Living in a house while simultaneously keeping it clean can, at times, seem like an oxymoron. The introduction of children in the home can make it even more of a challenge.
My goal as a homemaker is to love life with my husband and children. But also keep our home in a state that I wouldn’t be embarrassed inviting in a friend that happens to stop by.
This might seem simple, but to anyone with a family that lives in your home all day everyday, this takes planning!
I remember having a conversation with a newly married friend of mine years ago about the stresses she was facing. The biggest thing that bothered her about her new season was that she never felt in control of the cleaning of her house.
She kept it straightened, and the basic areas clean. With a full time job and a new husband, she tried to take advantage of the small moments when she was free. But she had no plan and felt like she was spinning her wheels.
We’ve all faced a dirty house that needs to be deep cleaned from top to bottom. And when you don’t know where to start, you can easily feel hopeless of ever completing it. This can be so frustrating!
It is also easy to wonder if there are places in your home that never thoroughly get cleaned (or maybe never cleaned at all) simply because you’ve never thought of them.
That is when I shared with her the strategy my mother uses. It is the same one that I knew would keep my future house in order someday. It is simply comprised of five lists.
Obviously, the daily cleaning list simply lays out what needs to be done daily.
My daily lists includes things, such as: make the bed, wash the dishes, and a basic straightening of the house.
This list will not only fluctuate depending on the house, but will also probably depend on your season of life. Sweeping and mopping the floor used to be on my weekly list. Now that I have a crawling toddler that puts EVERYTHING she finds in her mouth, I sweep every day.
When deciding what goes on your daily list, it is not an exact formula. The main goal is to maintain neatness. No deep cleaning items should be on this list.
I used to try to put my daily activities in a schedule format working around naps/meals/etc but I have come to find that naptimes/errand lengths/appointments/etc. aren’t always easy to work an exact schedule around.
What I have found to be more effective is to sit down after breakfast and write a “naptime” list and an “awake time” list. I keep mainly tasks that require my full and constant attention on the “naptime” list such as researching, writing posts, doing finances, or catching up on some reading.
My “awake time” list will be everything else that needs to be done that day. This always includes the basics such as cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, straightening the house, etc. But then I will add anything else that I want to accomplish that day, from “give kids a bath” to “run to the store” to “patch hubby’s jeans”.
Then I just do my best to get it done but make sure not to stress out if something needs to move to tomorrow’s list! If my home is maintained, my family fed, and I’ve had lots of quality time with my kids, I consider it to be a very successful day!
Again, this is pretty self-explanatory. Simply make a list of what need to be done every week, excluding any daily items.
Some of the items on this list for me are cleaning the bathrooms, vacuuming, and ironing.
I have put a checkmark box next to each item and laminated the page so that I can put it on my frig and check off the boxes as I complete them during the week.
To make sure I’m actually getting them done, I usually put one or two of them on each daily list that I write up every morning.
This is the one that usually intimidates housewives.
Try to hit whatever comes to mind when I have a free moment? Lump it all into one overwhelming chore once a year in the spring? Give up and hope no one notices the hidden filth?
The solution my mother taught me was to break up the house into rooms and tackle one room a week.
We have nine rooms in our house so our house is deep cleaned every nine weeks and it usually only takes 1-2 hours a week!
You know your house and if there are a couple rooms that don’t get very dirty or are especially easy to clean you can combine them.
Some examples of what I consider deep-cleaning are: cleaning the windows (inside and out), cleaning the light fixtures, and organize closets/drawers.
Of course, the kitchen will be your longest and I usually give myself grace by spreading it over two weeks if I need to.
Six Month/Yearly Cleaning
Have you ever felt like you had certain tasks that needed attention but you never really got to them because they seemed so out of the ordinary? I’m thinking of things like washing/ironing all the curtains, deep cleaning the carpets, touching up the paint throughout the house, etc.
Well, I have the solution!
It wasn’t actually my idea…I have written a post on the amazing book that has taken my cleaning knowledge/organization to the next level…make sure to check this post out!
But the secret is to make six month and yearly chores lists on your phone/computer (with a reminder!). I would suggest doing some research into the tasks though (or just buy this book) because there are many tasks to be done that I never would have thought of on my own.
I will be posting all of these lists under the “printables” tab in a format easy to copy/paste so that you can edit them to fit you, print them off, laminate them, and be good to go!
Now go and take over your home! With a little organization and planning, I guarantee YOU CAN DO IT!
I would love to hear feedback from you! What cleaning system has worked for you?