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#224264 - 01/13/11 01:54 PM How structured is your housecleaning?
simplicity Offline
Platinum (100+ Posts)

Registered: 01/24/02
Posts: 3146
Loc: University Park, MD
I know we have things such as the ROTM to help us cycle through the house, but on a daily or weekly basis, how do you organize your cleaning and other chores? I have checklists that I use, but I don't think they are methodical enough to cover the house in a systematic way. There are pros and cons to that approach.

My grandmother was wedded to the idea that Monday was washday, Tuesday was vacuuming day, Wed. ironing day, etc. and groceries were bought the same day of the week. I think we can and must be more flexible than that.

Nevertheless, without a definite day to do certain things, they can be put off, either deliberately or accidentally.

True, life often intrudes. When my fridge gave out, I had to put off some things I'd planned to do and shop for a new one, clear out the old one, and so on (and eventually clean up the kitchen after the new one was delivered). And today I had to spend a couple of hours on the phone straightening out billing issues with a couple of companies.

Anyway, I find that I'm not being as productive as I'd like to be, and particularly while not working, it seems I should be getting more done.

I read about a woman who used to be a slob. Finally she made a list of all the tasks that needed doing and put each on an index card. She would take one or more cards each day and do whatever was on them. I'd need a gigantic stack for that to work for me!

I'd be interested in your descriptions of how you make sure that everything that needs to be done, gets done, and in a timely and consistent manner.

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#224312 - 01/14/11 09:15 AM Re: How structured is your housecleaning? [Re: simplicity]
STRIVING Offline
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Registered: 11/18/02
Posts: 5337
I use several different methods. However, I still have my "peak and valley" system. I'm not perfect and there are things that I would rather do than clean. In addition, our schedule changes several time throughout the year. When those changes occur, our schedule changes as well. What might work for one person may not work for another. I think the best thing, for me, is to do what is comfortable and to not over think the process. If I over think things, I may not act on them because they won't be done "perfectly".

In the evening, before bed, I spend five minutes in each room just picking up things. I start with the big things and work down to the little things. I also start with the part of the room where visitors may see and work into the corners after the main part of the room is. For example, in the living room, I'll fold up the blanket, put the newspaper away, straighten the shoes, put the remote away, etc. If there is time, I can dust some furniture, etc.

Due to the fact that I have kids and a dog who sheds, I vacuum daily. I spend at most 15 minutes to do the top floor. This one thing makes me feel successful. My DD helps with picking up her toys and the dogs toys.

Also by keeping up the dishes at every meal helps. My kitchen is really tiny, so if I don't keep up in the kitchen I can't prepare a snack or a meal.

I have weekly tasks that I do as well. I try and get these accomplished on Monday. For us DH and DS have gymnastics and Scouts, so there are less people to work arounnd. In addition, I like to have this day to pick up from the weekend.

My weekly tasks include: cleaning the bathrooms, washing the rugs, vacuuming, mopping, shining windows and glass, cleaning the kitchen, dusting, etc. Basically it's a whole house cleaning, however when you keep up it can be done quite easily in over an hour.

I also take my cues from the environment. When I'm cleaning, I notice when the oven needs to be cleaned, blinds wiped down, vents vacuumed etc.

Also on Tuesday I spend the day cleaning the fridge, as our garbage and recycling is picked up on Wednesday. The garbage goes out Tuesday night.

I spend the week, accumulating things to do and on Friday I run those errands.

My overall goal is to have my cleaning done on Thursday evening. Then I don't really clean until Monday. I may vacuum on Saturday, but that's about it.

I try and touch things only once. When I do have things in my hand I put it away, immediately. The kids do pick up their rooms and toys nightly. Not a thorough clean but to develop the pick up and put away habit.

I do have several paper project and reorganization projects that DH and I will do together over the weekend(s), but that doesn't count as cleaning.

I also lurk on the "branch" thread too and put into practice at our house.

Ideally, our laundry is done a load a day. Many times, though, I'll spend time doing load after load until it's finished.

I hope that helps. For me, I have to have flexible chunks of time. This is detailed enough that stuff gets done, but it's flexible enough that I can choose what is most important and work around the familial needs.
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#224313 - 01/14/11 10:18 AM Re: How structured is your housecleaning? [Re: STRIVING]
BonnieS Offline
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Registered: 09/05/01
Posts: 11353
Loc: Idaho
Simplicity, I think Striving hit the nail on the head with scheduling cleaning. Sometimes schedules change.

Mine is a loose structure too.

Mondays I just do basic ete and my "dailies" which consist of rinsing down the shower and spraying it with a shower spray, wiping the toilet with a disinfecting wipe, wiping the bathroom sink and counter with another disinfecting wipe, making my bed, picking up odds and ends in the living room, wiping down the kitchen counters and keeping up with dishes, and sweeping the hard floors, and also cleaning up the litter box. A few days a week I'll run the cordless sweeper across the carpets to catch some of the cat hair.

Tuesdays I clean the main level, deep cleaning in bathrooms, changing sheets and towels, laundry, steam cleaning kitchen surfaces, sweeping and steam mopping the kitchen floor, dusting and vacuuming.

Wednesdays I devote to "desk day" where I attend to filing and bills and reconciling the checkbook. I also do my dailies and general clean up.

Thursdays I try to clean the basement, deep cleaning the bathroom, dusting and vacuuming, emptying trash bins.

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays it's dailies again and general clean up with laundry thrown in on Friday.

My hardest thing is digging up the energy to do what needs to be done after I get home from work. If I make the mistake of sitting, I have a hard time making myself get up again. But, that's my basic "schedule" for cleaning. I adjust and shuffle as necessary depending on what's going on.
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God bless,
Bonnie
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13


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#224325 - 01/14/11 12:57 PM Re: How structured is your housecleaning? [Re: BonnieS]
ElizabethClark Offline
Platinum (100+ Posts)

Registered: 11/19/00
Posts: 5353
Loc: Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA
I don't have a rotating schedule; it's more a set of routines, and extra things as needed.

For us, daily routines cover bedroom tidying (making beds, etc), bathroom tidying, kitchen clean-up, laundry cycling, trash removal, and whole-house tidy-up.

We do vacuum daily, for allergy control (oh, for hard floors!)

Dishes thrice-daily (no dishwasher beyond the children. LOL)

Bathroom scrubbing happens once a week, or more often if needed (rarely happens unless we're in mud season). One benefit of a tiny bathroom: it cleans up fast. smile I do de-junk and tidy the cabinet in there about once every three months.

We also do a whole-house quick pick-up at night before bed (and a quick vacuum as needed); it's lovely to wake up to the house ready to go.

I think perhaps the biggest thing for me is to reduce clutter as far as possible, so I'm not cleaning around things. Right now, the desk is quite cluttered (DH has been working on projects)... no matter how clean everything is, grime-wise, it's still cluttery and hard to work around.

We recently rearranged our closet, and it's much easier to put things away neatly, so now it's just getting DH to put things IN the closet. smile

I prefer to spread things out over the week, rather than have a designated day for one type of chore, but some aspects of that are purely functional: our dryer won't dry fast enough to keep pace with the washer, so laundry works better a load a day, rather than one big laundry day. We only have dishes enough for two full meals, so dishes twice to thrice a day works best there.

All told, though, it would be a RARE day for me (or the family) to spend a full hour on housework. Having fewer hands to help would coincide with less to handle, so the labor scales quite efficiently. I do know, however, that my older kids are of an age to handle anything DH or I could do, with good results, and they can also supervise/mentor the little kids in the same tasks, so the work can be spread to many hands over the course of a week.

Getting long-winded again, all to say: nope, no formal rotation. As needed, with comprehensive daily patterns, and minimizing household clutter to streamline the efforts, has worked for us for years.
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Liz

www.notmolly.wordpress.com

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#224344 - 01/14/11 07:11 PM Re: How structured is your housecleaning? [Re: ElizabethClark]
Kimberly Purcell Offline
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Registered: 08/29/06
Posts: 9292
Loc: Folsom, CA
I think the only thing I do once a week is change the sheets on Sunday. It's easy and I remember to do it. Other than that, I do as needed.
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#224385 - 01/15/11 06:47 PM Re: How structured is your housecleaning? [Re: Kimberly Purcell]
hartbe Offline
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Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 1227
Loc: indiana
I think certain tasks, like bed making & dishwashing, lend themselves to being done daily. Others, like changing sheets, dusting & bathroom cleaning, seem to be weekly tasks. Like ChefSam, there are some things that get done as needed. If a rug is dirty, I toss it in the washer. If I see a dirty mirror, I clean it.

There are a few things that need to be done on a regular basis, like bleaching the shower head & changing the furnace filter. For those things, I make a note on my kitchen calendar.

I also think that it depends on the level of clean with which you are comfortable. If you are perfectionist, you will most likely be doing things on a more scheduled basis.

There are certain things with which I have decided I can live. Living in the midwest makes cleaning the windows on the outside almost impossible in the winter. I also have a love-hate relationship with my console table. It has glass inserts that seem to get dusty a few hours after I have cleaned them. I clean them weekly, & I might give them a quick pass with a microfiber cloth if I am expecting company. Otherwise, they just stay dusty until the next week.

When I was a little girl, I remember my mother spring cleaning. Every dish was removed from the cabinets & washed by hand. Every rug was tossed over the clothes line & beaten. It was an event. I'm not sure any of us has the time or inclination to do that now.

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#224388 - 01/15/11 07:49 PM Re: How structured is your housecleaning? [Re: hartbe]
ElizabethClark Offline
Platinum (100+ Posts)

Registered: 11/19/00
Posts: 5353
Loc: Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA
Harbe, I do modified Spring Cleaning on that level, just as a means to control allergans. We spread it out over the seasons, but it's a nice refreshing thing for me. It involves cleaning out, wiping down, carpet cleaning, etc. We do wash down walls about once a month, but it's a 20 minute project spread out among the whole family (little kids do the bottom half, bigs to the tops!).

We can't wash windows in the winter, either. I make a big judgement call and try to push one last window mopping as late as I can. smile
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Regards,
Liz

www.notmolly.wordpress.com

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#224389 - 01/15/11 07:52 PM Re: How structured is your housecleaning? [Re: hartbe]
beaglelady Offline
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Registered: 12/02/06
Posts: 3121
Loc: Waterford, MI
My house is clean. It is not and never will be immaculate, though several of my friends think otherwise. Since I no longer have any pets, my cleaning chores are more simple. Roomies cat comes up to visit, so minimal hair now. Also with winter and closed windows, less dusting to do too.

I do not have a formal list....keep it simple. Having either hardwoods(through 3/4 of the house) and vinyl through the rest(tile in the full bath) makes it easy to keep clean. Broom and mop when it is needed, generally once a week.

bath rugs and bedding get changed about once a week-, having a second set of everything means if I am lazy about laundry, it doesn't show!! I do laundry as needed, tossing in the washer before bed and throwing in the dryer when I get up. I also do minimal ironing. Next to cleaning the bathroom, it is the second most hated job in keeping house for me.

The only thing that gets regular attention is bill paying and I do that twice a month.

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#224435 - 01/16/11 06:55 PM Re: How structured is your housecleaning? [Re: beaglelady]
hartbe Offline
Platinum (100+ Posts)

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 1227
Loc: indiana
Liz-I always clean the windows in the fall. I love looking out at the beautiful fall colors.

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#224480 - 01/17/11 02:56 PM Re: How structured is your housecleaning? [Re: hartbe]
simplicity Offline
Platinum (100+ Posts)

Registered: 01/24/02
Posts: 3146
Loc: University Park, MD
I do a lot of things on an "as needed" basis - the majority of them, now that I think about it. Some tasks, such as laundry, I am so accustomed to doing almost daily that they are rarely a problem.

My concern is with things that don't need to be done daily, but do need to be done sometime, and tend to get put off, such as the tub-tile scrubbing mentioned previously. And mending. I was so pleased last week when I finally, after months, got around to mending a jacket (it was winter, and I needed a warmer one). I spent quite a bit of time fixing several seams and a zipper pull. The pull broke after one use - I think I'll have to use thin wire for that - and I discovered a hole in a pocket already!

I guess when one is in doubt, it's better to do more rather than less. I am not a perfectionist any more - I don't have time.

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