Monday, February 21, 2011

Clean House for a Month (without a maid)

I have a confession to make, I don't always keep my house clean.  Don't get me wrong I wish my house was clean.  I love when I can walk on the floors (yes even in the kitchen) with socks and not get stuff stuck to them.  I love when all the surfaces in the house are clean of clutter.  In short: I love a clean house, but I don't love actually cleaning it. 

I have read about unnamed people who say they clean the house a little every day and it never gets dirty.  I have visited people's homes who seem to live without dirt or clutter, and I can't figure out how they do it.  So for the last month I have turned a new leaf.  I have worked to clean the house a little each day, and follow a plan, in  hopes that nothing gets so bad that I'm embarrassed to have people over.  I'm happy to report it actually works!  Those people were right.  There is a way to keep your house in a state of general cleanness for a whole month without a maid (I had a maid in India and it was amazing, but that is another story)

But I have a secret.  I could not have done it alone (no, not the maid again).  I found a 30 day cleaning schedule.  Honestly, I don't remember where I found it, and I read so many blogs it could have come from anywhere, but a quick Google search revealed that the original article (I think) comes from Apartment Therapy.  I don't know how I got it, but I found the schedule as a word document (go figure)

As I now see, the theory is that with twenty minutes of cleaning you can keep your house clean all month, and it works.  I swear.  I used this schedule most days, and my house was pretty close to under control for the entire month.  Some days I cleaned more than twenty minutes but the schedule kept me on track and no one room, or one job, got so bad I felt overwhelmed. 

Here it is:
30 Day Cleaning 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

If you are like me you are probably looking at this list and thinking "Right, this will never work." But it does and after years of getting really upset and overwhelmed when my house was a mess, for this past month, I actually felt I had it under control.

Now here are a few of my own tips for being a happy cleaning person:
1. Listen to loud music.  I have some very upbeat rave (read club) music that I blast on my sterio when I'm cleaning.  That way I can dance my way through the job and get a little extra exercise as well.

2. Don't try to do it all.  It won't work, you will get burnt out.  Just do one step each day and the house will look better over time.

3. This list does not include laundry.  I have found that now that I have my own machines I just do the laundry two or three times a week.  It is much better that way!

4. You will end up cleaning your kitchen every day, but on the off days I just clean it less. (Do the dishes, wipe the counters, but I don't go crazy with the clutter control)

So there you have it, one little woman's new way to control her household.  I have to admit the house is not spotless every day, but it is better than before, and that is what matters to me.

What works for you?  Do any of you  have a system that works? If you try this system shoot me an email or make a comment so I can see how it worked (or didn't) for you. 

Happy cleaning!


  1. Paper whites look so pretty!

    I love fresh flowers! I even have pink tulips right now too!


  2. I'm done going backwards. I like your advice better than the list. The list is great, but there's a variable it doesn't account for - toddlers...and the friends of toddlers...and the lazy parents of friends of toddlers. I surface clean the living room about eight times a day. The rest sounds good.

    PS You know what I hate - cat litter being traipsed onto my living room carpet. That adds a daily chore to my list, too.

  3. I used to have a schedule and need to get back on one. The dust is piling up around here. lol I'm going to try your schedule out and see how it goes for me. It looks totally doable. Thanks for sharing! BTW, I accidentally posted this in a different post. Sorry about that. :-)


Make me smile and leave a comment!

Blog Design by A Mommy's Blog Design (© Copyright 2011)