Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cleaning: Tips, Tricks and a Schedule (part 1)

Hello again everyone!  I was recently asked if I have a schedule and how I maintain it!  I think this is something that a lot of us struggle with, including myself, so I thought it would be a good post.  I do not claim to have a spotless, extremely organized home.  I have seen some homes that put mine to shame!  However, I do want to get better at this as it is one of my goals this year, so I thought I would share the things I do and have found very helpful.  Hopefully you can tell me a thing or two as well!!!  I can't wait to hear your tips, tricks and ideas!

Before I can get to my daily schedule with the kids I feel like I have to address this cleaning issue.  I personally have an inability to think straight if I am surrounded by clutter and disorganization and everything spirals out of control.  When this happens I can't seem to get any sort of schedule together at all!  That is super frustrating and happened even before I had kids.  When I was in school and working full time I had the same problem.  I just felt so overwhelmed by what to do first when everything needed to be cleaned!  I decided to develop a system.  It's nothing much really but it helped tremendously and I stick to it even now!  I have a cleaning schedule!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
This was the first step to my mental freedom!  If I had everything written out that needed to be done, then I could free up that space in my mind and have something tangible to look at...sort of like a set of rules!  Now I also don't want you to think that I do all of the things listed on my daily schedule every single day.  Sometimes there are things that have to wait.  The beautiful thing about having the schedule is that I can see what needs to be done that day and work on those things.  Then if I don't get them all done I know I have next week OR Kyle can pick up where I left off!  I am fortunate enough to have a husband who helps around the house and that is a huge blessing!  "But my house is a wreck NOW and I can't wait to the end of the week to do these scheduled things!"  I know believe me, that is where I started too!  I find that it is much easier to keep a clean house clean than it is to start from scratch every week.  So I made my schedule according to what worked best for me and then set up a huge cleaning day.  Of course I picked away at things all week but once I got to 'the day' we cleaned everything so that I could start fresh on my schedule the following week!  Making a schedule is easy and I will tell you how I did mine! 

*First start by making a list of the things that you want done every week!  Then take that list and turn it into your schedule.  For instance, I wanted to vacuum every day so that was the first thing that went on the list.  I didn't want to tie myself down to a cleaning schedule on the weekend so I left Saturday and Sunday blank.  I generally hate Monday so I have things that I enjoy doing on that day.  I really enjoy washing windows for example so that chore was assigned to Monday.  Around here, window washing is seasonal so in the winter I also use Monday to do the things that I don't need to do every week but that still require time, such as making detergent.  Since I don't necessarily do anything on the weekend I knew I would need to do laundry on Monday as well.  After I had the first baby I added sterilizing to that list.  I clean all of the toys and sterilize bottles, sippy cups and other things on Monday.

Tip:  Distilled White Vinegar is your best friend!  Fill a spray bottle half to three quarters with vinegar and leave the other half water.  You can clean anything and everything from floors, to windows, to bathrooms and toys and it's not going to hurt you or the environment and has a great price tag!

I had a pretty labor intensive thing going on Monday so Tuesday needed to have less.  I knew vacuuming would already be up there so I added bathrooms to the list.  I HATE cleaning bathrooms.  It's not a good place for a germophobe it's just not! So it helps me to know that the day I clean the bathrooms is also my 'light duty' day!  I wipe the sink and surface of the toilet daily but they are deep cleaned on Tuesdays.  We have forced air in our home so I dust twice a week.  Tuesday is one of those days and dusting doesn't take long so it still makes Tuesday easy.  Keeping it a twice a week thing also gives me some wiggle room if I just can't get to it one day.  I know I have the next dusting day to get it finished!  Keeping up with the dust is a big help because I can do it so quickly now that there is minimal dust to begin with.  It used to take much longer when the dust bunnies were taking over!  I will usually swipe the floor boards on one of those days as well.  *also with the vinegar concoction!

On to Wednesday!  Vacuum, laundry again, mop floors and microwave!  This gave me a day between laundry loads which is nice and since I vacuum everyday the floors are already primed for mopping.  Wiping out the microwave is a quick job if I can keep it clean.  The big cleaning day I had helped me start fresh with that as well. 
Tip:  (ignore unpolished toes!!) If I am in a pinch I take 2 cleaning cloths, put 'em on the floor, spray the floor with my vinegar mix and go to town!  I kid you not, I do this and it works!  I have actually seen these microfiber mop things that go on your feet, but I have not purchased them as of yet! :-)

Thursday = vacuum, dust, clean fridge and oil cabinets!  Now having a baby can throw a wrench into things for a little while as far as cleaning goes, so things like oiling kitchen cabinets take a backseat until I find I have time to do them again.  Not a big deal!  Cleaning the fridge is a huge pain.  It gets cluttered really easily and is something that I still struggle with because I also don't like to do it!  However, it is much nicer to keep up on it every week than to open your fridge one day and say, "What is that smell!?!?" 

Friday!  Since having babies I have had to add another laundry day and Friday was free for that and made sense....do the laundry before the weekend!  I like it!  I also change and wash the sheets on Friday.  Of course baby sheets don't really count because they get changed all the time! :-)  I have also recently added menu making to the list of to-do things for Friday! 

Well, I hope that was helpful!  Try not to stress about making your schedule!  It will come to you!  Just do whatever works best for you!  Maybe you know you have to work late on Monday so you want to do some things on Sunday?  Or maybe you have to get to class or get the kids to their 'stuff' on Thursday so you want that day to be light or have nothing inparticular on it!  Be sure to sort our what things you absolutely want done and how often then make a place for them!  See you tomorrow with LOTS more including when to try and get your daily chores done and getting ready for your big cleaning day!  Have a fantabulous evening!


  1. Jessi,

    I despise the smell of vinegar, but of course love the environment and want to keep my little kitty from coming to any chemical harm. Any tips on something else I could use?


  2. LOL Yes I remember when you used to stick your head out the window because your mom cleaned the coffee pot with vinegar! You could try seventh generation products. They generally have coupons in the paper or online to help you save a little money on them! If it's any consolation......when vinegar dries it doesn't smell like anything. It just smells clean. I will keep looking though and let you know if I find something else worth while! I have used 'cheer free' in the carpet cleaner instead of the usualy carpet soap and it came out great!