When it comes to a clean house, no one said you had to do everything at once (hello cleaning day Saturday).
Even when time seems short, if you can manage one task a day, things should start to work themselves out. Adjust this list as your family’s needs require (those with more or less children might require doing certain activities more or less). If it’s easier, take a blank calendar and fill it in accordingly so easier tasks are on days where your day is go, go, go and reserve the more difficult ones for days when things are a little lighter.
The following is a list of what to do for 20 minutes a day for the next 30 days to keep your home neat and 5 tips to help make this 30 days a success!
OVERALL TIPS FOR KEEPING HOME UNDER CONTROL
1.Dealing With What Comes Through The Door Set up a small area by the front door to act as a “landing strip” for incoming items into your home.
2) Do Your Dishes After Every Meal This will help you stay on top of your kitchen instead of having it turn into a monster! No one really wants to do them (after all, you probably cooked dinner to boot). But waiting for another meal or until you have enough to fill the dishwasher just makes things feel overwhelming and easier to put off.
3) Laundry If you have a washer and dryer at home, do a little bit each day. Spread things out so you don’t feel bogged down by 200 towels and stinky socks. If you take things to a laundromat, sort clothes as you go so things are easier to load up into machines when you get there. Fold them before you come home so you aren’t dumping baskets out on your sofa or bed and they can go straight into drawers and closets.
4) Whistle While You Work: Those who are happiest when cleaning are few and far between. Singing, humming, whistling or turning up the stereo are all great options to keep the beat in your feet and have fun while working.
5) Set a Timer: Most items on the list below should take no more than 20 minutes total. It’s easy to rationalize 20 minutes, but it’s also easy to get distracted by phone calls, emails, children and other projects that call your name as you tackle each chore. Set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes (which ever works best for you) and that way when it sounds you know exactly how much time you have left. If you find yourself off task it’s easy to get back on track.
THE 30 DAY 20 MINUTE SCHEDULE
1. Surface clean living room and kitchen (pick up stray items, dust, sweep, vacuum)
2. Clean bathrooms (toilets, showers, floors, walls, mirrors)
3. Surface clean bedrooms (put away toys, clothes, dust)
4. Surface clean “extra” rooms (basement, office, play room)
5. Surface clean living room and kitchen
6. Clean bathrooms
7. Clean all interior windows (white vinegar and newspaper works great and is cheap!)
8. Sweep and vacuum all floors in the house (don’t forget stairs)
9. Surface clean bedrooms
10. Deep clean living room (mirrors, baseboards, dust artwork)
11. Clean bathrooms
12. Clean out closets (hang up clothes, mittens, jackets, hats)
13. Surface clean “extra” rooms
14. Deep clean bedrooms (organize drawers, check under bed, tidy closet, dust artwork, fans, lights, mop)
15. Surface clean living room and kitchen
16. Deep clean bathrooms (clean inside drawers, inside of trash cans, tops of mirrors, tile, mop)
17. Clean all door knobs, phones, entertainment equipment (remote controls), switch plates, banisters and other things that are repeatedly touched.
18. Clean out the refrigerator, take stock of food, organize pantry
19. Clean entryway, sweep porch (if you have one), clean out car (because they’re often our home away from home)
20. Surface clean living room and kitchen
21. Surface clean bathrooms
22. Surface clean bedrooms
23. Sweep and vacuum all floors in the house
24. Clean linen closet, straighten towels, sheets or regular closet if not applicable
25. Surface clean living room and kitchen
26. Deep clean kitchen (scrub appliances, wash trash cans, base boards, wipe down and straighten cabinets)
27. Surface clean bathrooms
28. Surfaces clean bedrooms
29. Clean one item you’ve been meaning to get to and haven’t (deep clean your stove, wipe down all light fixtures, tackle a particularly unruly area)
30. Sweep and vacuum all floors in the house
Habits are formed by doing and one of the best ways to change a bad habit is to replace it with another action. So if the time spent right when you come home from work is usually filled with email reading and a small nap, try switching it out with your cleaning instead. Making the 20 minute time slot routine will build good habits and help you stay on top of the game without feeling like it’s a real chore.