Saturday, March 18, 2017

52 Weeks to an Organized Home: Create a House Cleaning Schedule & Organize Cleaning Supplies (Week 11)

For the 11th week, of the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home challenge, the focus is on creating a house cleaning schedule and organizing cleaning supplies.

The site recommends developing and following a daily and weekly cleaning schedule for your home that is realistic, but gets the major stuff done.

Having cleaning supplies organized so they are accessible when you need them also is key to following a cleaning schedule.

How are having an organized home and clean home related? The site explained, “The simple answer is that your home can be quite organized, but if it's not also clean enough (not necessarily immaculate) you still won't feel comfortable in it, and find it a nice, relaxing haven to spend time in.”

Consider What Chores and Cleaning Tasks Need to be Performed Daily and Weekly In Your Home

Everything in a home runs on a cycle. For laundry, you wear clothes, they become dirty, they are washed and dried, and then put away. The cycle repeats itself.

Scooby getting comfortable on the laundry that needs to be washed.
This is one of two medium loads.
A typical laundry day (once per week) includes 1 load of whites,
2-3 loads of mediums, 2-3 loads of darks, and
1-2 loads of rugs.

In the kitchen, clean dishes are used, they are washed (either in the dishwasher or by hand), put away, and the cycle is repeated. For us, it is typically one dishwasher full of dishes and pans and one sink of dishes that either don't fit into the dishwasher, must be hand-washed, or need extra scrubbing.

The goal is for these cycle to continue uninterrupted rather than stalled.

House Cleaning Schedule

Because not everything in a home needs to be cleaned with the same frequency, there needs to be several cleaning schedules:
- Daily
- Weekly
- Seasonal (printables are here for fall cleaning and spring cleaning)

The most important thing about schedules is that they are realistic. Setting attainable goals creates success and long-term positive results.

On 52 Weeks to an Organized Home, there’s a free 40 page ebook entitled House Cleaning Lists and Schedules For Your Home that can help you decide what needs to be cleaned and how often in your home.

If you subscribe to the Household Management 101 newsletter, you’ll receive checklists for your daily, weekly, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom cleaning schedules. I did this and there's a lot of helpful lists and advice. These lists can be printed and put in a household notebook for easy reference.

Creating a Daily Cleaning Schedule

The 52 Weeks to an Organized Home site said, “Try to keep this list as simple as possible to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed since these are tasks you plan to do every day.”

Looking at various lists, I determined for our household, there are (or should be) some essential daily chores that need to get done:

- Make beds.
- Prepare meals.
- Clean up kitchen after meals, including both dishes, pots and pans, and a quick wipe of the counter and sweep up major crumbs off the floor.

- Deal with spills immediately - on counters, floors, and in the refrigerator.

- Run the dishwasher and empty when the dishes are clean.
- Sort the mail.
- Put things back in their proper place (also known as neatening or tidying).
- Empty trash and recycling bags in high traffic areas, such as the kitchen (if needed).
- Wipe down bathroom sinks and tubs after each use.
- Put dirty clothes in laundry baskets.
- Sweep floors to pick up crumbs and pet hair.

Creating Your Weekly Cleaning Schedule

There is a lot of flexibility when it comes to designing a weekly house cleaning schedule. Looking at various lists on the e-book mentioned above, I determined for our household, there are some essential weekly chores that need to get done:

 - Check supplies, such as cleaning supplies and toiletries, to restock or replace if needed.
 - Change towels.
 - Clean toilet, sink, tub, shower, toothbrush holders, and mirror.
 - Mop floors.
 - Empty trash cans.
 - Flush bathroom drains (such as sink, bathtub/shower) with boiling water (this helps to keep drains clear and free of clogs).

 - Check supplies, such as cleaning supplies to restock or replace if needed.
 - Clean out refrigerator/freezer of old food.
 - Wipe down and clean all kitchen surfaces, including countertops, stove and other appliances, sink, outside of refrigerator, and kitchen table.
 - Disinfect kitchen counters and other food work surfaces.
 - Mop floor.
 - Flush kitchen drain with boiling water.
 - Take out recycling.

- Clean floors by vacuuming, sweeping, or damp-mopping.
 - Empty trash cans.
 - Change bed linens.
 - Dust.

Laundry Area
 - Check supplies, such as laundry supplies to restock or replace if needed.
 - Wash and/or dust machine fronts.

Home Office
 - Check supplies, such as office supplies to restock or replace if needed.
 - Empty trash can.
 - Clean floor by vacuuming, sweeping, or damp-mopping.
 - Dust.
 - Pay bills.
 - File paid bills and other paperwork.

Other Rooms
 - Clean floors by vacuuming, sweeping, or damp-mopping.
 - Empty trash cans.
 - Dust.

Other Weekly Chores
 - Menu planning.

 - Create grocery list.
 - Create non-food shopping list.

 - Weekly shopping for food and non-food items.
 - Errands.

A weekly schedule can have all the major cleaning tasks done in one day each week (e.g., a two- hour cleaning session on Saturday morning). Another idea would be to break up the tasks so only one or two things is done each day.

Creating Cleaning Checklists For Your Home

After the daily and weekly schedules are done, cleaning checklists for some of the major rooms (e.g., kitchen, the bathroom(s), bedrooms) in the home should be created.

Initially, the checklists will be followed. However, after some time the cleaning routine becomes a habit and no longer needs to be referred to each time. What’s nice though, is that if someone else is cleaning, the checklist tells them what needs to be done.

The e-book that I mentioned above has a very comprehensive checklist for major rooms.

Getting Everyone Involved

Since everyone in the family messes up the house and creates dirty clothes and dishes, everyone can participate in the process of keeping things clean and running smoothly. Once Sophia and Olivia were old enough, they were involved in age-appropriate aspects of cleaning the house and putting away their laundry.

52 Weeks to an Organized Home noted that “at first your cleaning tasks will take you a bit longer if you haven't been doing them regularly, especially before you've finished decluttering your home.”

It also recommended designing a cleaning schedule that allows for flexibility. “If you get to all the things on your schedule most of the time you'll see all the benefits of it without trying to fit your life into too tight a mold.”

Organizing Cleaning Supplies

Declutter Supplies and Equipment

The first step is to get rid of empty bottles, cleaners you'll never use again, and duplicates if you won't realistically use them all before they would get old.

Consolidate Supplies Into One or a Few Strategic Locations

The goal is to keep cleaning supplies into one or just a few locations in your home so they are can easily accessible for cleaning. For us, cleaning supplies are located in two locations: in the kitchen downstairs and in the linen cabinet upstairs.

In that way, cleaning supplies are easily accessible on both floors of the home. I also can see what we are low on and need to purchase by having the supplies in only two areas of the home.

One thing that I would like to do is to hang up our brooms and mops. Right now they are in a corner, but not hanging up. It would seem much easier to access each one if they were on the wall.

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