It’s that time of year again. The time when we decide that our houses are far too messy to be considered a home and we get the overwhelming urge to throw everything away and start fresh.
Just me? Oh, okay.
I am not a ‘neat freak’, not even close. I like my home to look lived in, but clutter overwhelms me and stresses me out. On the flip side, I don’t like cleaning in general…so the concept of having to constantly clean the entire house stresses me out. It’s a no win situation. So to improve my stress level and keep me sane, one of my goals this year to keep things clutter free and develop a cleaning strategy. (You’ll eventually pick up on the fact that by day I work in project management if I continue to refer to strategies in cleaning. Sounds about as exciting as budgets, business plans, and proposals).
Yes, I could probably hire a maid. But I would be embarrassed to have them come over to a dirty house, which defeats the point when I feel the need to clean for the maid. I also don’t want to pay someone else to do something that I’m completely capable of doing myself.
As a 2012 Goal, I’m launching…
Maybe that should read, Operation ‘Maintain’ Clean House since that is actually the hardest part. Either way this is a big one on this years goal list. As usual I have several steps to the process that should make it as painless as possible.
- Create Attack Plan
- Deep Clean each room
- Purge unwanted/unnecessary things
- Yard Sale
- Donation additional items
(You see the whole project management thing now, don’t you?)
So here we go…
Making big goals achievable is all about breaking them into smaller tasks, so in this case, I’ll break everying down by room. I have broken my house into 15 areas, so that each area can be repeated twice a month.
To make the plan even easier, I start from bottom top. I have a three level condo and by going bottom to top means I don’t have to drag the vacuum or supplies up and down the stairs as much.
|Day of the Month||Room to be cleaned|
|Day 1/Day 16||Foyer|
|Day 2/Day 17||Den/Cardio Room|
|Day 3/Day 18||1st Floor Bathroom|
|Day 4/Day 19||Backyard/Porch|
|Day 5/Day 20||Garage|
|Day 6/Day 21||Dining Room|
|Day 7/Day 22||Powder Room|
|Day 8/Day 23||Living Room|
|Day 9/Day 24||Kitchen|
|Day 10/Day 25||Office|
|Day 11/Day 26||Spare Bedroom/Hallway|
|Day 12/Day 27||Spare Bathroom|
|Day 13/Day 28||Laundry|
|Day 14/Day 29||Master Bedroom|
|Day 15/Day 30||Master Bathroom|
For the fist 15 days, each room gets deep cleaned. Meaning in about 2 weeks my house should be completely deep cleaned from top to bottom (or in my case, bottom to top).
What is involved with Deep Cleaning?
The first time around it may take a while to finish the room. My trick is to set a timer for no more than an hour and push to finish in the allotted time. It will force you to make quick decisions. Ask yourself if you really love something or really need it, otherwise trash it or donate it. Start the general sweep, and get all the things off the floor. Continue by wiping down all surfaces, vacuum, dust (don’t forget fan blades and tops of tall furniture), sort through drawers/closest/cabinets, and clean mirrors/windows. (Tip: Speed cleaning burns crazy calories which will benefit that ‘Get In Shape’ resolution nearly everyone has on their list).
What happens to the room on the assigned day?
After the first 15 days, the house should be in maintenance mode. Now each day I should have to spend only 20 minutes or less to dust, vacuum, straighten and clean the mirrors/windows. The cycle will continue each month in the maintenance phase unless I have the extra time to dedicate to a space (like when I need to purge the fridge/pantry periodically, etc).
It seems complicated when I type it out, but it really is quite easy. Aside from some light straightening in the evenings, each day focus on only one room and the whole house should stay in order. Hopefully this will help me maintain my sanity, and stop the constant stress cycle of walking into a messy house.
What tricks/tips do you have for keeping your home organized/clean on a daily basis?