Last year, we moved an hour north from beautiful Bernal Heights in San Francisco. We went from a fantastic one bedroom, first floor flat with a great backyard in a perfect neighborhood. The apartment was about 600 square feet. I was able to take all of the laundry to the laundry mat (I don’t miss that), clean the house top to bottom and do the grocery shopping all in one day! Our home is about 1700 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, the front room has the dining room as well as living room, then there’s the laundry room, kitchen and breakfast area. I still work four days at the salon so how on earth was I to figure out how to keep this home under control?!
In the beginning, I would try to vacuum and mop the floors all in one go, clean the kitchen counters etc., do a couple loads of laundry… Nope! Talk about a workout. I realized very quickly that I needed to figure out a way to divvy up the tasks over the week so I wouldn’t feel like I was perpetually cleaning. I turned to one of my favorite bloggers, Clean Mama .
The free printables in Clean Mama’s shop have been excellent. I use her weekly/daily routine checklist as well as her seasonal checklists. I have created a “command center” in my hallway, right before the door to my office/guest room. It’s a pin board. I have the current month and next month calendars up, as well as my check lists. The white frames were super cheap at Target. The checklists are behind glass so that I can check things off with a dry erase marker. The checklist you see on the left is a seasonal checklist (also a Clean Mama printable). There are three other seasons in the frame behind the current one so I can easily switch them out.
Now, the routine is pretty simple to stick to, as long as you do a few things everyday. I don’t go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink (clean ones I can handle), I do a quick wipe of the counters and do a sweep of the house for dog toys or other debris that the dog may have brought in. I don’t sweep everyday, though I probably should. Usually in the last hour before I go to bed, I “tornado” around the house for a few minutes making sure surfaces are clutter free etc. Not a big deal since I do it every night. Another thing that helps is to wipe as you go. For instance, while I am brushing my teeth, I use my free hand to splash some water around the sink and give it a quick wipe. Little things like that go a long way. Either Roman or I make the bed in the morning too. This is imperative to a clutter free feeling home.
So, once a good routine is in place for daily tasks, it is easy to add in one weekly task a day. I can spend a half hour whizzing through.
Bathrooms get cleaned on Mondays, dusting on Tuesdays, vacuuming on Wednesdays, floors get cleaned on Thursdays and on Fridays I catch up on anything I may have skipped as well as spend some time in my office organizing paperwork etc. Laundry I do as it needs to be done, the sheets get washed once a week and you know what? Sometimes I put everything off until Thursday and Friday and hammer it all out. The satisfaction of putting down that check mark every night is pretty awesome though.
My least favorite chore is cleaning the floors, but I recently bought a Shark Steam Cleaner which has helped immensely.
The seasonal tasks are harder to get to, but I have a few months to get it all done, usually I can manage. Roman and I will tag team some of those tasks as well.
My best advice here is to do a little each day and don’t let things pile up too much. No matter how busy one might be, it is possible to carve out fifteen minutes here, twenty minutes there to tackle a few tasks. My mind is clearer when my countertops are, getting ready for work is more enjoyable in a clean bathroom and sleeping in clean sheets is the best.