As I look around my house, I see disorganized piles, dishes in the sink, laundry to fold, and general disarray. I am determined to fix this, once and for all. Not just clean up the mess of toys, or put away the laundry, but to make a real change. To ensure that my house not only GETS clean and organized, but stays that way. So I have made a plan, and would love for you to join me! In 30 days my house will be a spotless, well organized, machine!
The Plan: make a list. Anything that needs scrubbing, sorting, donating, repairing, or just throwing away goes on the list. Just deciding to clean has never worked for me. I lack the time and motivation to tackle such a large task. Once I have my list, it goes on the schedule. Every task is assigned a time to get done. For my schedule, I chose 2 big tasks a day, and one ongoing task. For example, in the morning while the kids have a snack and quiet play time, I will surface clean the bathroom. In the afternoon while they nap, I will tackle the bookshelf-sorting through the papers, trading old magazines, etc. My ongoing task will be laundry. Mondays are kids laundry: this includes each child's clothes, bedding, blankets, stuffed animals, and diapers.
Tuesdays tasks will be: morning-surface clean the kitchen (wipe down countertops, sweep the floor, take out trash, etc). Afternoon: vacuum the floors. Ongoing task (laundry): Household laundry (towels, table cloth, dish rags, bath mat, etc). Most people probably don't do as much laundry as we do, but it takes us forever. With the babies issues, everything must be rinsed twice to ensure no detergent residue is left on their clothing. From start to finish, each load takes about 3 hours. So laundry is an ongoing task, and source of frustration for us. Perhaps your ongoing task will be dusting if you have allergies, vacuuming up pet hair, or watering the plants. Make your list and schedule to fit your needs. I will be posting my detailed list and schedule later. My goal is to have the big tasks done, so each week I only need to do maintenance, which takes far less time.
Tips for making your own list and schedule: know your routine. If your child has soccer practice on Wednesdays and you don't have much time, opt for a simple task, like vacuum the living room or take out all the trash. Don't schedule all the chores you hate in one day. Knowing when you get up that you have to do something you hate will kill your motivation. Spread them out. Schedule scrubbing the toilets with an easy chore, like putting away the folded laundry. Choose one big chore and one easy chore a day. Reduce weekend chores. Nobody likes cleaning all weekend, so pick one chore those days. Perhaps washing and changing all the bedding, or enlist the whole family in a quick dusting. If, like me, you have small children who aren't able to do much, let them help on their level. I give Chloe a basket to gather all the toys, and Will gets a small spray bottle of vinegar and a rag to clean the finger prints off the fridge. They learn to help, but don't get in the way. Giving them separate tasks, often in separate rooms, keeps them from getting distracted and playing.
So get started on your list, make a schedule, and join me in a 30 day cleaning spree! Feel free to comment with any tips or just share your accomplishments! We can encourage and motivate each other. :)