An Article I Always Come Back to

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Keeping a house clean is never an easy task, especially when you throw in significant others, pets and for some of you, children. I've always been a pretty clean person but I've never been all that tidy. Now that we are in Spring Cleaning mode, I wanted to share an article I always come back to. 

I stumbled across this article from Apartment Therapy years ago when I was trying to find an attainable plan to keep my small apartment clean and tidy (the article originally came out in 2013). I gave it a whirl, and it totally worked, and wasn't too overwhelming! The gist of it is this: set a timer for 20 mins a day, and take on one small task that is clearly outlined in the month long calendar. No Guesswork about what needs to be done, with a clear amount of time dedicated to it. 

Now that we live in a (slightly) larger house, I still find myself constantly returning to its guidelines. It's just such a great way to keep any house in order. 

I'd love to hear if any of you have implemented similar cleaning rules, and how they work for you, and your family!

Check out the calendar below With a few of the tips they recommend. 

The original Article was written by Sarah Rae Smith for Apartment Therapy in November of 2013 and can be seen here.

 

The 30 Day 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

Additional Tips:

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 to your home. If you're a longtime reader this is nothing new to you. If this is the first time you've heard this phrase outside of reference to personal grooming habits, then make sure to check out Maxwell's Home Cure video on the topic.

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. The same goes for taking out trash as well. If you need to take the trash out, place it by the front door to go out in the morning or dispose of it that night so it's over and done with. Still having trouble? Try the one-cup method.

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 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. Not feeling inspired? Treat yourself... to a new laundry basket. It's the little things.

4) Whistle While You Work
No one really enjoys cleaning, but singing, humming, whistling or turning up the stereo are all great options to keep the beat in your feet and have fun while working. Here are a few past posts on killer cleaning soundtracks.

5) Set a Timer (this one is KEY for me. It helps keep me on track and not get distracted) 
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 (whic 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.

Cody Elderkin