Create a steady, not stressful, cleaning plan
This post is Day 13 in the 31 Days to a Super-Purposeful Schedule series.
I feel so underqualified to be sharing any sort of advice on purposeful cleaning for today, I mean you've seen my mess, right?
But then again perfect, shiny houses are not the goal of this month.
Being purposeful with our schedules is the goal and so I'm happy to give some ideas for how we can stop wasting our time and using bad methods when it comes to cleaning.
Speaking of methods, here are a few categories you might fit into when it comes to cleaning....
The Chaotic Cleaner
You hate to clean. You never do it unless you absolutley have to. The few occasions it happens is when company is coming over or a big event is happening at your place. And then you magically transform into a cleaning machine, spending days at a time storming the place until it's in shape. By the end you're usually too exhausted to even appreciate your clean environment or your guests.
The Distracted Declutterer
You can get a room looking clean-ish a few times a week. But the process takes you forever because you get easily distracted. After all, there's a lot of great stuff that you can find while cleaning, like old photos, magazines, or projects you forgot about. Before you know it, you've spent two hours in this mess and end up bored of the process. So you move on, never truly finishing the job, and then feel frustrated later that you didn't accomplish much.
The Procrastinated Piler
You don't mind cleaning regularly, but you never know what to do with all the leftover stuff that doesn't have a home. So you put these things into piles to deal with "later" and pretty soon your house is filled with neat little piles of random stuff you try to ignore. When it comes time to find something, you and your family just end up frantically digging through all the little piles and creating more messes to deal with.
The Obsessive Orderer
You need to have a perfect space with everything in its place. So you're a master at cleaning and organizing right down to the small details. It bugs you if even one pen is left out of its holder. If your place gets messy, even for a day, you can't work, relax or even hold a conversation until everything is back in order and sparkling. You never truly stop cleaning.
Could you relate to any of the above examples? I think maybe they've all applied to me at some point!
The main problem with all of the methods above is that they cause stress.
We're stressed when we can't find something. We're stressed knowing we might not live up to the expectations of others. We're stressed when it feels like we might have days or weeks of catching up to do.
When it comes to cleaning, I vote we change our methods to steady, not stressful.
A Steady Cleaning Plan
1 | A little each day - I'm talking 5-10 things that are enough to help you feel normal. (Examples: made beds, load of dishes, load of laundry, cleared/wiped surfaces, cleared/swept floors.) I find that spending about 10 minutes twice a day keeps things mostly under control.
2 | Housekeeping - Pretend you're a housekeeper for 30 minutes every week. (Examples: Dust, change linens, deep clean the bathroom, wash appliances, and mop/vacuum floors.)
3 | Zone cleaning - Spend 15 min a day or 1 hour a week deep cleaning and organizing a focus area or zone. (This could be right after your weekly housekeeping.) If you split your house into 6-8 zones, you'll only have to deal with each area every 6-8 weeks which us usually when things need attention anyway. The entire house is scrubbed and organized every 1-2 months. (Examples - Week 1: Kitchen, Week 2: Living/Dining Room, Week 3: Bedrooms/Closets, Week 4: Bathrooms Week 5: Basement/Laundry Room, Week 6: Office/Paper Clutter, Week 7: Porch/Deck, Week 8: Storage Areas)
Don't go too crazy and spend all day. Just give yourself a few things to do on a regular basis. The more consistently you do it, the faster it is to clean.
Steadily working like this helps us to have an idea of what to prioritize cleaning and be purposeful how often we get it done. We won't feel like we need to do it all right now, but it will keep our house from getting too chaotic.
Today's Action Step:
Decide on your steady, not stressful cleaning routines. You can use the space in your workbook to write out what's most important to you and how you'll group everything together. (*Note: if you're already subscribed and are having trouble accessing this page, email me for a refresher on the password. xo)