Friday, December 7, 2007

Taking a Break from the Challenge/My Cleaning Schedule

There's pretty much nothing left to do as far as cleaning the house today except just going through the normal morning straightening up routine. The deep cleaning is finished for the week. This week's Making Your Home a Haven Challenge was pretty much what my normal routine should look like when I don't get behind schedule. Years ago when I first became a stay-at-home mom, I was introduced to Emilie Barnes and her More Hours in My Day book. I had tried the "cleaning the whole house in one day" routine, which would literally take a whole day, and I certainly didn't have time for that. The Fly Lady zone cleaning routine didn't really work for me either. - And this is just me as I know people for whom the above-two cleaning methods do work. I know the Emilie Barnes routine wouldn't be a fit for everyone, but it's perfect for me.

In a nutshell, you basically begin with a card file (I have it all filed away in my brain at this point). You make a schedule for each day and line them up in the card file. As each day is complete, you place that particular card in the back of the file box, and the cycle continues. I deep clean one or two rooms a day Monday through Thursday. The ones that aren't being "deep cleaned" are just maintained. By Friday, the whole house is clean, and there is pretty much no real housework to do. If I consistently stay on this schedule, nothing has the opportunity to get really dirty, and it is much easier to have the home "company ready."

Here's the schedule I use:

Monday - Clean my bathroom (Clean toilet, sinks, bath tub, shower, mirrors, sweep, mop floor one or twice a month as needed, dust cabinets and baseboards as needed) and bedroom (change sheets, vacuum, dust furniture). Wash, fold, put up clothes.

Tuesday - Clean kitchen, breakfast room, and dining room. The kitchen usually gets swept every day, but this is the day I mop. Clean microwave, stove top, and front of refrigerator and dishwasher as needed. Dust furniture in breakfast room. Sweep hallway, foyer, and dining room. Dust in dining room if necessary. (The dining room is rarely used, so there is hardly ever anything to do in there.) Wash, fold, put up clothes.

Wednesday - Clean living room. Dust, wipe down furniture as needed, organize toy/book baskets, and vacuum. Wash, fold, put up clothes.

Thursday - Clean the girls' bathroom and inspect their bedrooms. Wash, fold, put up clothes.

Friday - When school is finished for the day, straighten and vacuum schoolroom, clean tables, and put away all supplies. Put up remaining clothes that have been washed and folded. No laundry on the weekends unless absolutely necessary!

Also, my two older girls have daily chore lists, and included on their lists are some of the above mentioned duties for each day. It's a group effort, and I want them to be prepared to take care of their own homes someday.

Usually during the spring and the fall, I make a schedule to get the big tasks accomplished - cleaning ceiling fans, deep cleaning inside of refrigerator/freezer, cleaning windows and blinds, cleaning the inside of the oven, organizing cabinets/drawers, etc. I usually try to do these tasks during a time when we're not doing school.

This plan works very well for me, and we have a smoother running household when I stay on track with this.

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