The Cleaning Plan That Changed My House Rule
Cleaning Plan? What does a cleaning plan have to do with being a busy cook? Hear me out.
At one time my husband would have to give me at the very least an hour notice when he wanted to invite someone to our house. This WAS a real rule in my house. My house stayed a mess! I was so embarrassed for anyone to just drop by. That has changed now.
Now when someone comes to my house I am relaxed and can actually enjoy their company. The best feeling is when you have a friend with kids come over and you hear them say to their kid, “Don’t dirty the house up!” Of course, I tell them it’s fine but inside I’m giddy with excitement.
So now that you know my dirty secrets show of hands…
Am I the only one in this room that loses all concentration of what I need to get done in the kitchen when the house is a mess.
READY TO LIVE WITH LESS CHAOS?
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How many times have you started to cook dinner but first need to wash the dishes from the last time you cooked? Am I the only one who does that? Don’t lie.
Or what about you walk through the door with intentions of starting dinner just to find that it takes you 30 minutes just to get there because you start picking up stuff from the living room floor or wiping down the cabinets?
Let’s be real here, it’s not just the cooking. It’s the fact that the dang house is a mess and too much laundry needs to be done.
You have a hundred and one things going on and trying to figure out how you are going to fit one more thing into your life.
Well, no matter how bad we want cleaning and laundry to disappear, it’s not. So instead of letting it overwhelm us let’s create a plan to help us get it done
STEP 1: Brainstorm Your Cleaning Task
What we need to do first is to figure out what causes you to stress out. If you had a jeanie in a bottle that could take care of just a couple of your cleaning tasks what would it be?
So grab you a piece of paper or you can print the Brainstorm for the Cleaning Plan worksheet and write down everything you want to get done.
Write down everything. Oh and don’t worry about the numbers and the “how often” area you see on the Brainstorm for the Cleaning Plan worksheet we will figure that out later.
It doesn’t matter if it is something you do once a day or once a year. Write it down.
If you are a solo cleaner then do this on your own. Maybe you are one of the lucky gals with a troop behind you then let them help with the brainstorming.
Go room to room and write a list of what you want done. This can be your daily items such as dishes or it can be once a week items such as mopping the floor or once a year items like maybe cleaning your windows.
Don’t forget to think about the outside too. Does it irk you if there is trash in your yard?
Write it all down.
Here is a list of areas and suggestions to help jog your mind a little. I also put this in a pdf you can print if it would make it easier for you. You can print the Cleaning Area Suggestions and highlight your areas. However you want to note the tasks you want to add to your cleaning plan is up to you.
- Clean the toilet
- Clean the sink
- Wipe down the mirror
- Clean the tub/shower
- Wash the dirty towels/rags
- Declutter cabinets/under sink
- Wash shower curtain/rugs
- Pick up loose items lying around
- Wipe off furniture
- Straighten up pillows/throw blankets
- Clean off shelves
- Sweep out fireplace
- Wash pillows/throw blankets
- Clean countertops
- Clean stove burners/oven
- Wipe down stove/oven
- Clean out microwave
- Clean out refrigerator/freezer
- Wipe down refrigerator/freezer
- Wash out dishwasher
- Wipe down dishwasher
- Tidy up cabinets
- Get rid of old items in pantry
- Clean under refrigerator/stove
- Clean off washer/dryer
- Clean off other furniture/shelves
- Throw away empty jugs
- Vacuum out dryer vent
- Clean under washer/dryer
- Wipe off furniture
- Clean out drawers
- Get rid of clothes/shoes you no longer wear
- Wipe down mirrors
- Make the bed
- Change/clean bedding
- Wash large bedding
- Clean off shelves
- Organize toys
- Wipe off desk
- Declutter old papers
- File important stuff away
- Pick up trash & loose items
- Shake out rug
- Mow lawn
- Pick up trash & loose items from the yard
- Pull weeds from flowers
- Clean out cars
- Clean the garage
- Organize storage building/basement
- Clean the cobwebs
- Wash laundry
- Fold & put away laundry
- Take out the trash
- Wipe down the walls
- Clean the windows/blinds
- Declutter old magazines/paper items
- Shake out rugs
- Dust ceiling fans
- Dust light fixtures and lamp shades
- Wipe down door panels
- Wipe down light switches and outlets
- Vacuum furniture
- Vacuum out the floor vents
- Wipe down baseboard/trim/moldings
- Change or clean air vent filters
- Steam clean carpets
- Put dirty clothes in hampers
KEEP IT ALL IN ONE PLACE
The Simple Meal Planning Binder Sheets gives you a place to keep your recipes, meal ideas, stock item lists, and many more. Grab it here to keep everything in one place.
STEP 2: Determine How Often You Do Your Cleaning Tasks
Now that you have everything all listed out. Decide how often you would like these things to be done.
What makes you happy?
If it doesn’t bother you to leave dirty dishes for a day then do them every other day. Maybe you prefer to keep your laundry done then wash clothes daily.
Do whatever makes YOU happy and relaxed.
Have troops? Now is a good time to make assignments.
Determine the method that works best for you.
For example, with laundry, you may like it best to do all your laundry on one day or maybe you like to do a load every day.
Personally, I like to wash each family member on a different day. For instance, my two sons is on every Monday and Tuesday, my laundry and my husband’s laundry is done on Wednesday and Thursday, towels and wash rags are Friday, and bedding is on Saturday.
This is the schedule that I can stick to best. So what is BEST FOR YOU?
I’m not going to try to tell you to do it my way and it will be the best way for you because it may not fit best with your personality or what is important to you.
Just remember this may take a little practice and that is OK. Using laundry as an example, you may try to do it daily and find out that it just doesn’t work best for you. So what. Try doing it every other day or weekly. Keep experimenting and learning what works best with YOUR personality.
I used to do laundry only on the weekend but after some time I realized that I didn’t like spending my whole day on Saturday doing laundry.
Just like with loose items lying all over the floor. It used to be that I would wait until Friday night or Saturday morning to pick those items up but then I figured out that doing this really caused my stress levels to rise each night so I found it to be much more relaxing just doing a quick pickup each night.
This is for you. What is best for you in this moment?
If you find that you are not getting everything done that you planned then scale back a little or maybe do your items as timed instead of tasked.
For instance, instead of trying to pick stuff up out of the living room, dining room, and bathroom in one day set a timer for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off move on to the next thing.
Most importantly, allow room for error so don’t schedule every moment of your day. Doing this will only allow room for frustration instead.
So, if you used just paper then next to each cleaning tasks write down how often you want this tasks to be done: daily, weekly, 2x per week, bi-weekly, monthly, yearly, or seasonally.
Step 3: Decide What Cleaning Tasks are Important to You
Alrighty now we are about to get down and dirty with this whole thing. We are getting closer to giving you the big picture and a cleaning plan you can stick with.
We have reached the most important part of the entire plan. This is the part that gave me and my family much more enjoyable days.
Remember what I told you in the beginning about how it was a rule in my house that I have an hour notice before company came? Well this step here is what changed that rule.
I had to realize that something needed to change. What I was doing was not working at all. I had to decide what was most important to me and be OK with the fact that I could not do it all every single day.
Here is where you will study each of your task and decide how important that cleaning task is and rank them one through five.
If it is super important to you and I mean so important that you can’t focus or would be an embarrassed mess if someone seen it you would give that cleaning task of one.
If the cleaning task doesn’t effect you and you really don’t care if it gets done or not then you will give it a five.
Everything else will fall in between depending on how you feel when that cleaning task is not done.
STEP 4: Organize Your Cleaning Plan
Now that you decided how often and how important it is now is the time to put it all together.
Organize your cleaning tasks by listing them from one to five on the proper worksheet depending on how often.
Here is an example. Just say you listed as your daily activities being dishes, laundry, picking up stuff from the living room, sweeping the floors and wipe down the toilet seats.
Then you listed priorities as being:
- dishes listed as priority 1
- laundry listed as priority 2
- picking up stuff from the living room as priority 1
- sweeping the floors as priority 5
- wipe down toilet seats as priority 3
So, your Daily / Weekly Cleaning Plan will look like this in the Daily column
- Pickup stuff from the living room
- Wipe down the toilets
- Sweep the floor
Fill each worksheet out. For the Monthly Cleaning Plan worksheet you will fill in the week you prefer to complete your monthly cleaning tasks.
With these filled out they will show you what is most important to you down to what doesn’t cause you to much stress.
What do you do with this information? Read on.
STEP 5: Put Your Cleaning Plan Into Action
Now that you have your cleaning all planned out there are two things you must do.
One is to post it where you can see it every day. I put mine on our family’s Communication Center so that we know what is going on each day.
Two is really important. You listed out your priorities for a reason. This is where forgiveness comes in. Put your cleaning plan in action starting with your top item and then moving down the list. If you don’t make it completely through your list then what is left will be those tasks that doesn’t bother you too much.
No big deal. Just start again tomorrow.
But writing it all down is one thing. Committing to it is another.
Give it one week. Commit to the plan for the entire week.
If you look back and say “THAT SUCKS!” then it sounds like you need to adjust your plan.
After all, it is a work in progress. Give it one week.
You can do all the brainstorming and planning you want but until you commit to making the plan work then it doesn’t do you any good and you will be back to square one.
You will find your happy medium. You will also be able to welcome company at your front door without the dread of them seeing your home. Most importantly, you will get to that point when it all happens naturally and then one day you look back and realize that cleaning is now the least of your worries.
Here is just a quick recap for my readers who like to come to the end of the post and get the conclusion:
- Step 1: Brainstorm Your Cleaning Tasks
- Step 2: Determine How Often You Do Your Cleaning Tasks
- Step 3: Decide What Cleaning Tasks Are Important To You
- Step 4: Organize Your Cleaning Plan
- Step 5: Put Your Cleaning Plan Into Action
Follow the plan and you will also be living easier, less-stress days.
What are some cool tricks that you have come up with when it comes to making it easier to keep your house clean?
Until next time…
IT’S UP TO YOU NOW
If you are ready to change the path of your future and starting working toward living a less stressed life and putting some extra cash back in your pocket, then you are ready to get yourself more organized.