Saturday, January 23, 2010

How to Create a Cleaning Schedule

Back in the days BC (before child), I used to clean our apartment one day a week. Since it was small and didn't really get that dirty, I could get my supplies and clean from one side to the other in about an hour or two. Once we had Luke and especially once we got our bigger house, I figured out that cleaning took a lot longer and I would burn out if I tried to clean the entire house in one day (plus I didn't like spending that big chunk of time without Luke).

After researching ideas on "How to Create a Cleaning Routine," I found a myriad of ideas of how to do it. I thought I would break down what I found since what works for one doesn't work for all and then share my routine since I know that I enjoy seeing what other people do.

Method #1 - Clean Everything One Day a Week
This works for single people, married couples without kids, and working moms as you generally aren't home during the week to do it in pieces. Basically, you clean the entire house one day (usually Saturday or Sunday) while you reboot laundry all day. You dust, vacuum, mop, scrub, and do other tasks that need to be done. This is not ideal for moms of little kids that can only have limited unsupervised time.
PROS: All your cleaning is done. If everyone chips in, it's a lot easier.
CONS: You have to spend an entire day cleaning. You can burn out. It's hard to keep kids occupied all day while you clean.

Method #2 - Clean By Task
Cleaning by task means picking a task (ie dusting, vacuuming) and going through the whole house and do it in each room.
An example:
Monday - Dusting/Glass Cleaning
Tuesday - Vacuuming/Mopping
Wednesday - Surfaces (bathroom sinks, counters, and toilets)
Thursday - Scrub (showers, tubs)
PROS: You only get out the supplies you need for that task. It's focused.
CONS: You don't have a completely clean room at any point really. You are running all over the house (which might not be good with little kids if you need them close to you).

Method #3 - Clean By Room/Area/Zone
Cleaning by room/area/zone means completely cleaning an area. You dust, glass clean, surface clean, and do the floors (vacuum, sweep, and/or mop) in an entire room or area of the house.
An example:
Monday - Kitchen and Powder Room
Tuesday - Living Room and Dining Room
Wednesday - Master Bedroom and Bathroom
Thursday - Kids' Bedroom and Bathroom
Friday - Guest Bedroom and Bathroom
PROS: You have a completely clean room/area. You can set your child(ren) up in that space so they aren't somewhere else while you are trying to clean.
CONS: You have to get out more supplies.

I personally like to clean by room/area/zone. Since we have a three-story house and Luke and I have outings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I clean one floor per day on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I set Luke up with some toys/a movie on whatever floor I am working on. Obviously this won't work for everyone, but it works well for me.

Here's my breakdown:

Monday - 1st Floor - Kitchen, Dining Room, Powder Room, and Living Room
Kitchen: I start by unloading the dishwasher and reloading it. Then I wipe the counters, cabinets, and kitchen table down with cleaner and a sponge. I clean out the fridge and wipe it out. I wipe out the microwave. I use stainless steel wipes for the fridge, microwave, oven, and dishwasher. I clean the stovetop with Ceramabrite and a paper towel. I sweep the kitchen.
Powder Room: I clean the sink and toilet with cleaner and a sponge. I scrub the toilet with toilet bowl cleaner and a brush. I clean the mirror with glass cleaner. I empty the trash.
Living Room: I dust with the Swiffer duster and clean the tv screen and glass on the entertainment stand with glass cleaner. I vacuum the floor, including the edges and baseboards. I vacuum the couch cushions out.
Dining Room: I dust with dusting spray and a cloth (every so often - not every week). I vacuum the rug under the table.
Lastly, I vacuum the hardwood floors in the kitchen, dining room, powder room, and hallway with the vacuum hose and soft brush attachment. I also vacuum the stairs up to the second floor. Then I use the Swiffer mop and mop all the hardwoods.

Wednesday - 2nd Floor - Master Bedroom, Master Bathroom, Office, Nursery, Guest Room, Guest Bathroom, and Laundry Room
Master Bedroom: I dust with the Swiffer duster and clean the tv screen and mirror with glass cleaner. I vacuum the floor, including the edges and baseboards.
Master Bathroom: I shake out the rugs. I vacuum the counters, tub, and floors with the vacuum hose and soft brush attachment (this makes it easier to clean - no lint or hair). I clean the sinks and toilet with cleaner and a sponge. I scrub the toilet with toilet bowl cleaner and a brush. I scrub the shower with soft scrub and a scrubby. I scrub the tub with soft scrub and a scrubby (if it's been used that week). I clean the mirror with glass cleaner. Then I use the Swiffer mop and mop the floor.
Office: I dust with the Swiffer duster. I vacuum the floor, including the edges and baseboards.
Nursery: I dust with the Swiffer duster. I vacuum the floor, including the edges and baseboards.
Guest Bedroom: I dust with the Swiffer duster. I vacuum the floor, including the edges and baseboards.
Guest Bathroom: I shake out the rugs. I vacuum the counters, tub, and floors with the vacuum hose and soft brush attachment (this makes it easier to clean - no lint or hair). I clean the sinks and toilet with cleaner and a sponge. I scrub the toilet with toilet bowl cleaner and a brush. I scrub the shower/tub with soft scrub and a scrubby (if it's been used that week). I clean the mirror with glass cleaner. Then I use the Swiffer mop and mop the floor.
Laundry Room: I wipe down the machines with Lysol wipes. I vacuum the floor. Then I use the Swiffer mop and mop the floor.
Hallways: I vacuum, including the edges and baseboards.
I also vacuum the stairs up to the third floor.

Fridays - 3rd Floor - Luke's Bedroom, Luke's Bathroom, Bonus Room
Luke's Bedroom - I vacuum the floor, including the edges and baseboards.
Luke's Bathroom - I shake out the rugs. I vacuum the counters, tub, and floors with the vacuum hose and soft brush attachment (this makes it easier to clean - no lint or hair). I clean the sinks and toilet with cleaner and a sponge. I scrub the toilet with toilet bowl cleaner and a brush. I scrub the shower/tub with soft scrub and a scrubby (if it's been used that week). I clean the mirror with glass cleaner. Then I use the Swiffer mop and mop the floor.
Bonus Room - I vacuum the floor, including the edges and baseboards.
Hallway: I vacuum, including the edges and baseboards.

I hope this helps :)

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