What type of cleaning routine do you do? Some women don't have any cleaning routines established. They simply let the house get out of hand, and then do a big, marathon cleaning. The big cleaning event takes a lot of work, effort, and time, and may leave the woman exhausted when she is finally done. Further, the house stays clean for a day, if that long, and then it's messy all over again.
People who do have cleaning routines tend to either clean a room a day, or they divide the house into zones, and focus on a zone for each cleaning session. Others like to do all of their cleaning on a specified cleaning day each week.
I personally don't use any of the above types of routines. I prefer Task Cleaning. With Task Cleaning, you are doing one or more specific cleaning task throughout the whole house, each day.
How to Set Up a Task Cleaning Routine
1. Write a list of all of your main cleaning tasks. Do not include deep cleaning, such as spring cleaning duties. We'll get to those in a few moments.
A sample list may look like the following:
Clean mirrors and TV/computer screens
Wipe down all counters, tables, and other surfaces
Clean bathtubs and showers
Sweep and mop hard floors
Vacuum rugs and carpets
2. Next, decide which days of the week you want to do your cleaning tasks. I suggest you assign Monday-Friday, and take the weekends off. Better yet, why not assign just four days a week, and use the fifth weekday for running errands and getting groceries? For example, if you decided that you like getting groceries on Fridays, and you want to take the weekends off, then you can assign your cleaning tasks on Monday-Thursday. Your Task Cleaning Routine may look similar to the following:
NOTE: With task cleaning, you are doing one or more specified cleaning task all over the whole house, not just in one room. For example, if your specified task was cleaning sinks, then you would go from sink to sink, cleaning ALL of the sinks in your house. This may only be in the kitchen and bathrooms, or you may also have a sink in your laundry room, at a bedroom vanity, etc. Clean all sinks when this is your assigned task.
Mondays - Dust; Clean mirrors, TV/computer screens; Clean all kitchen and laundry appliances
Tuesdays - Wipe all tables and counters; Clean sinks; change all trashes
Wednesdays - Clean tubs and showers; Clean toilets
Thursdays - Sweep and mop; Vacuum
Fridays - Change all trashes; Run errands and get groceries
What About Laundry?
Some people have one or two days a week for laundry day(s). Others don't have any assigned laundry time, they just wash clothes when they run out. I prefer to have a laundry schedule, and do a bit of laundry each day - Monday-Friday. Why not try this, and add it to your Task Cleaning routine? Below is a sample laundry schedule:
Mondays - All sheets/bedding and other laundry, etc.
Tuesdays - Towels, rags, washcloths
Wednesdays - Younger children's laundry
Thursdays - Your and your husband's laundry
Fridays - Older children do their own laundry - you supervise them if needed
Deep Cleaning, Organizing, Decluttering, Projects
Now that you have a cleaning and laundry routine in place, what about spring cleaning, decluttering, and organization projects? I personally never do a spring cleaning. Instead, I make a list of spring cleaning projects, and work on these projects a little bit, here and there throughout the year.
Make a Projects List. On this list, include deep cleaning, organization projects, decluttering projects if needed, etc. Then, assign yourself 15 minutes a day, on each cleaning day to work on one of those projects from your list. Just 15 minutes a day on a project is all you need.
Putting it all Together
Now that you have created cleaning task, laundry, and project lists, why not put them all together into the ultimate cleaning routine? Your complete cleaning routine may now look like the following:
Mondays - All sheets/bedding and other laundry; Dust; Clean mirrors, TV/computer screens; Clean all kitchen and laundry appliances; 15 minutes on a project
Tuesdays - Towels, rags, washcloth laundry; Wipe all tables and counters; Clean sinks; change all trashes; 15 minutes on a project
Wednesdays - Younger children's laundry; Clean tubs and showers; Clean toilets; 15 minutes on a project
Thursdays - Your and your husband's laundry; Sweep and mop; Vacuum; 15 minutes on a project
Fridays - Older children do their own laundry; Change all trashes; Run errands and get groceries
Don't Forget Room Chores, Table Chores, and House Tidy Times
In addition to your daily cleaning and laundry tasks, you also need to do your room chores when you awake each morning. A room chore routine may look like the following:
Straighten bedside tables
Air the bed
Get dressed and prettied for the day
Tidy up bedroom and bathroom
Make the bed after breakfast
Don't forget table chores. These are the chores that need to be done after each meal. Have your children do these chores with you after each meal, and table chores will be a snap. Example table chores:
Clear table and put away leftovers
Wipe table, counters, and stove
Straighten chairs and sweep the floor
A fantastic order-keeping routine is a Quick House Tidy. Do this before your husband comes home from work, before you go to bed at night, and at any other times during the day when the house seems to need it. To do a Quick House Tidy, you simply start at one of the house, throw away trash, and put things away. Quickly wipe up any little messes you see along the way, such as toothpaste splatters on the sink in the bathroom. Work from one end of the house to the other. If you've kept up with your other cleaning routines, then a Quick House Tidy should take no more than 5 minutes, but can make a big impact on your home environment in a very good way.