Housecleaning is one task that I just LOVE! Actually, not really. It’s last on the agenda and last on the list of priorities in my life right now. But there is certainly some level of maintenance that must take place in order for our home to run smoothly and peacefully, and for us to be able to extend any level of hospitality. I honestly am a recovering perfectionist.
Through seasons of babies, little ones, and trials, I have had to learn to let go and embrace the mess. The mess communicates that hearts are nurtured and bellies are well fed. Letting some things go is okay, mommy. Don’t kill yourself over mopping the floor every night. Yes, it might need it…but it’s going to be there tomorrow too. How do we make a workable routine that will help keep the house picked up without killing yourself at the same time? We still want plenty of time to play with and train little ones. So, here is my 30 minutes a day housecleaning plan for you. Yes, it is possible. As long as you are willing to let go of the deep cleaning for another season.
1. Find 30 minutes every day to do a daily maintenance task.
I take 30 minutes every morning after breakfast cleanup to do a 30 minute cleaning task. Mondays are laundry day at our house where I do it all in one day, so I reserve Tuesday-Friday for these remaining tasks. Tuesday is day 1, Wednesday is day 2, etc. You could also do all four of these tasks once a week during a two hour period of time. To be perfectly honest, this happens more often then not. It really depends upon how the week flows, but you will often find me doing a two hour chunk of these simple maintenance chores around my home on Fridays.
I started my list by making a master list of all the basic housecleaning tasks specific to my home. Then, I determined how often each task needed to be done. For example, my bathrooms need to be cleaned and my floors need to be mopped once a week (at the very least). I vacuum the basement and the bedrooms once a month, etc. Lastly, I jotted them done into a weekly schedule as follows. The first two days repeat each week, the last two days are the less frequent tasks. I post this list in my kitchen so I know each week of the month what tasks need to be completed. Finally, I set that timer and get to work! You’d be amazed how much you can get down when you set your mind to work diligently for 30 minutes. When 30 minutes is done, I stop. I’m not doing in depth cleaning here, just picking things up and wiping surfaces down.
And include those little helpers by all means! Give them a rag and a little broom and encourage them to work with you. This is part of our education as a lifestyle goal.
1. Clean bathrooms (disinfect toilet, countertops, mirrors, shower – I usually clean out showers every other week to ease the load)
2. Vac and mop high traffic areas (entry way, kitchen, living room)
3. Clean bedrooms (quick pick up, wipe down surfaces, & vacuum)
4. Clean windows on main level (inside and out, as needed)
5. Clean bathrooms
6. Vac and mop main traffic areas
7. High dust the entire house, wipe down surfaces (art work, coffee tables, dressers, shoe rack, chairs, mantle), sweep patio
8. Clean “extra” rooms (basement and office, pick up & vacuum)
9. Clean bathrooms
10. Vac and mop main traffic areas
11. Clean bedrooms (pick up, dust, wipe down surfaces, & vacuum)
12. Clean up the garage and/or car
13. Clean bathrooms
14. Vac and mop main traffic areas, wipe down tables & chairs
15. Organize a closet (pick out a kitchen closet or storage closet that needs sorting), clean out refrigerator
16. Deep clean kitchen (wipe down appliances, trash can, cupboards, and clean out one cupboard)
For the general everyday cleanup, we follow these simple routines:
2. Add a general house clean up in your evening routine.
Every night before bed, during or after kitchen cleanup, we do a general house pick up. Get all the little workers to help together. In this way, you can start the next day fresh and clean. Toys are picked up, and kitchen floors are swept.
3. Clean up as you go.
Another valuable tool I have learned is to clean up as you go. While making your meals, put ingredients away as soon as you are done with them. Put a few dishes in the dishwasher while the dinner is cooking on the stove. This practice will save you hours of kitchen clean up time. We try to teach the kids that they can only take out one toy/game at a time. After they are done playing with it, they must put it away before taking something else out. This helps train them in the importance of staying clean and organized. This prevents the huge playroom distaster where everything is everywhere. Lastly, when we do any project or craft, we all help clean up the mess afterwards. We want to train our families that we all work together for the good of the family. Your children can learn this when they are very young. Make it fun by singing the clean up song, “Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere…”
My Favorite Tools
And just for fun…here are the housecleaning tools I use and love. And yes, this is really all I use.
Enviro Floor Steamer - We use this steam mop for all our floors and it is easy, natural, and environmentally friendly. Cleans your floors with heat and water. Nice.
Oreck Vacuum - We had to buy a new vacuum about a year ago and wanted something real lightweight and high quality. I love the simplicity of this vacuum. It’s what professional housecleaners use and it was well worth the investment!
Microfiber Clothes – I love Norwex but these basic microfiber clothes are a bit more reasonable. Microfiber is the best!
Mrs. Meyer’s All-Purpose Cleaner - I love this simple, natural cleaner for everything! I keep a small spray bottle in each bathroom, under the kitchen sink, and in my cleaning bucket for easy cleanups of all kinds of messes.
BioKleen Amonia Free Glass Cleaner - I was tired of homemade cleaners that left streaks on my window. This is my new addition – natural, safe, and does the trick.
Seventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner
What tips can you share for maintaining a clean, organized home?