The easiest and most efficient way to do something, whether it’s shopping for groceries or packing for a trip? Sticking to a schedule – and this includes cleaning your home, too!
A competent home-cleaning schedule allows you to feel less stressed, because you know that a clean and organised space is right around the corner – well, not literally, but still. For example, if you notice dusty bookcases on a Thursday, and you know that Friday is usually cleaning day, it's a lot less worrying than having no idea when you'll get around to cleaning again.
The trick is to come up with your own schedule that works for your particular lifestyle. Here’s how…
Start your planning before you start your polishing. Draw up a physical schedule that you can keep with you, whether it’s in digital- or paper format.
Walk through your house, room by room, taking realistic inventory of the areas and tasks that will make up your cleaning schedule.
List all the areas in your home that require regular cleaning, including hallways, staircases and entryways.
Leave out areas which are not used on a regular basis, like the storage spaces or guest bedroom. These will be worked in seasonally, or as needed.
As you visit each of the rooms on your schedule, look around – list all of the cleaning tasks each room presents.
Order items from top to bottom (ceiling to floors) – the same order in which you’ll clean.
• Dust light fixtures/ceiling fan/corner cobwebs.
• Clean door handles and dust door frames.
• Dust windowsills, blinds, picture frames, lampshades and furniture.
• Dust décor pieces, keepsakes, books, etc.
• Shake out rugs.
• Sweep or vacuum/mop floors.
Add for kitchen:
• Clean and sanitise the counters and sink.
• Clean the stove, oven, and range hood.
• Clean the microwave both inside and out.
• Wipe down appliances and cabinet fronts.
Add for bathrooms:
• Clean mirrors.
• Clean and sanitise the counters and sink.
• Wipe down cabinet fronts.
• Clean and sanitise the toilet.
• Clean and sanitise the shower, shower door and tub.
Although most spaces require a weekly or bi-weekly cleaning, you need to take your lifestyle into consideration. For example, if your family is away from home most weekdays, you will need to clean less frequently than someone with small children around the house all day.
You might also discover that public spaces, like the kitchen and bathroom, require cleaning more often than private areas, like the bedrooms.
Need a professional touch in your kitchen (or bathroom or bedroom… )? Check out our range of experts here on homify.
Now that you’ve identified both cleaning tasks and frequency, it’s time to decide how to clean.
Here we present three options:
1. One (or two) and done - Clean everything in one day. Or, if one gigantic cleaning ritual feels like too much, split your list in half and complete it over two days.
2. Timed sessions - Decide which days you’ll clean and for how long, such as 30 minutes. On cleaning day, set a timer and start at the top of your list. Clean until the timer dings. On your next scheduled cleaning day, pick up where you left off. Repeat.
3. A room (or two) a day - Decide how many days you’ll clean. Then, assign specific areas to specific days. For example: Monday: kitchen, living-, and dining room; Tuesday: bathrooms and hallway; etc.
Try out your schedule by starting your first month’s cleanings. To avoid overwhelming yourself, limit time spent in each room, simply picking up where you left off next time.
Like anything, it takes practice before a new home-cleaning schedule functions smoothly.
It will get easier!
It’s important that, during your practice month, you make use of the following tips to ensure success:
Print out your task list - put it in a plastic sheet protector (or laminate it) and stick it in your cleaning bucket so you always know exactly which tasks are up next.
Schedule cleaning appointments - mark them on your calendar until they become an automatic part of your routine.
Don’t be too hard on yourself - if you find you can’t finish your cleaning tasks on a scheduled day, don’t stress. Either complete an abbreviated, prioritised cleaning session, or reschedule.
After your practice month has ended, analyse how it went. Pinpoint what worked and what didn’t. Replace the tactics that didn't work with new ones for the following month.
Continue re-evaluating that schedule each month until you complete one that provides the most success.
How can you make that cleaning schedule run smoother?
Create a carrier - load a cleaning caddy with your favourite cleaning supplies and carry it with you from room to room to streamline the cleaning process.
Clean between - extend that fresh-cleaned feeling. Stock the bathroom and kitchen with dispensers of all-purpose cleaning wipes for quick spot cleanings when necessary.
Bust clutter - if you aren't in the habit of putting things away daily, add
de-clutter to your cleaning list. It's much easier to clean a home that's free of surface clutter.
With spotless spaces in mind, have a look at these: Easy bathroom cleaning tips.