Your Own Housecleaning Habits

singingsky_z5September 18, 2010

Do you do housework daily? Do you have a best/favorite time of day to approach most of the chores? What is your reason for that choice? Are you organized in your approach to cleaning? I just thought the answers to these questions could be fun and perhaps provide some thoughts for others.

I am 60, my husband and our 30 year-old son live here. We have one cat. Hubby and I both have disabilities. I love to clean house and organize. We live in a 1200 sq. ft. newer mobile home.

Best time of day: Early morning (to beat the heat and because I have the most energy then). Along with everyday chores, I have two or three extras each day, on a list which is always kept, and which by closely following gets me all the way through the house once each week. This allows me to spend a small amount of time each day with the work while at the same time keeping up with it.

Being rather organized (or at least attempting to be), my approach is two-fold: (1) Room by Room, and (2) Making Good Use of Time (for example, on mopping day, I mop all through since the pail and mop are out; having the Pledge and dustcloth out means dusting throughout; same with the vacuum. I keep bathroom cleaning supplies in each of the two baths. And I love to cook and bake.

How about you??? Enquiring minds want to know. :)

Linda B.

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I take a triage approach to cleaning - when I can't stand the dirt any more, I clean the area that is troubling me. Expecting visitors will drive a full house clean. Thank goodness I don't get many visitors.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 10:10AM
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Singingsky, can you post your cleaning schedule? I am not an organized person by nature, but I desperately want to be! LOL! I did so much better when Flylady had lists instead of just email reminders.
It's me, my husband and three sons living here, and my stepson visits in the summer. The house is 1800 square feet, 4/1, and constantly under construction. 2 dogs (a Bassett and a Grate Dane) and one male cat who sometimes gets mad and sprays even though he's neutered. Most weeks I feel like I'm just keeping the slovenliness at bay. I'd love to have a truly clean home at all times.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 1:23PM
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Hi, Graywings..LOL on the triage approach!

And hello to you, addictedtoroses! I think everyone has her/his own set of circumstances, and yours do differ from mine. No dogs here, not so many kids at home any longer, no construction. However, I am disabled, which necessitated an organized approach. Maybe my list can be of some help if you modify it for yourself.

Keep Lists!! Declutter once and for all!! Simplify!! (Well, that's my motto. LOL)

EVERYDAY chores: Swish & Swipe in the bathrooms (got that from Flylady), make the beds, make meals, do dishes, make meals, spray and clean sink & countertops & stovetop after each meal. None of this takes long but there are only three of us here.

SUNDAY: Dust throughout, do the laundry
MONDAY: Swipe down the living room & hallway walls, vacuum thoughout
TUESDAY: Clean entire kitchen (including outside of all appliances), sweep throughout
WEDNESDAY: Mop throughout, do the laundry
THURSDAY: Thoroughly clean both bathrooms, wash the c-pap and inhaler hubby and I need
FRIDAY: Dust throughout again, do extras (i.e. clean monitors & TV screen, wipe kitty noseprints from the windows, etc.)
SATURDAY: Change the bedding, vacuum throughout again and spot clean
Hubby scoops out the kitty litter each day and takes trash out. Son keeps his bathtub and shower very clean. The guys take care of the car and the lawn. Stanley Steemer comes early spring and mid-fall to clean the carpets, two recliners and small sofa - not a big expense since our home is small.
The guys have learned the habit of speaking up as soon as we are close to running out of anything they happen to notice, and I will walk from one end of the house to the other to put it on our running grocery list. If not, I forget it, having lost many brain cells over the years. :) We never, never hold onto any paper. The mail is dealt with immediately, check written for bills, all junk shredded. We don't subscribe to a newspaper or magazines. Don't collect things and have no clutter. The surfaces are easy to dust because there is not much on them.

Oh, we sound so perfect! Not so! Our house is clean, it is not perfectly spotless! (Don't ask to see our son's room.)

I think you have a bigger job to tackle.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2010 at 4:05PM
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I have a 1 bedroom apartment, and it's just me and a cat. You'd think that my place would be spotless since I have 36 vacuums and collect them as a hobby. Not so! There's always some degree of clutter somewhere, and dust everywhere. I do vacuum sometimes twice a day, but it's to play with my machines, not to really clean. Sometimes, after I bake or cook a big meal, I clean the kitchen the NEXT DAY! I clean things when I can't stand looking at the mess anymore, but I really have to be in the mood to clean. There's *always* some degree of laundry on the bedroom floor. I just don't have the attention span to clean on a schedule, and I do everything in phases... when I clean the bathroom, I'll do the tub one day, the shower walls the next, and the sink and toilet the next... then I might do the floor a week later. I took the box springs and mattress up the other night at 3 AM (a cleaning mood usually strikes in the wee hours) and vacuumed under the bed, oh what a mess that was! I hadn't done that since I rearranged the room a year ago.... I can't just stick a vacuum cleaner under there and wave it around regularly because I have an exercise machine (the kind that folds flat for "easy" storage), a vintage typewriter, and lots of old shoes under the bed.... cleaning under there requires a major disassembly and reassembly process. I do vacuum under the couch and chair in the living room every few months. It seems to work for me. I thought about hiring maid just once to give me a really good head start once and then I could just keep up with it, but haven't done so yet.

At least when I clean, I do it thoroughly. I scrub the kitchen floor on my hands and knees (small apartment, remember, so it's not too hard), when I wash the sheets, I vacuum the bed and spray a dust mite killer on the mattress along with flipping it.

Oh yeah, when I vacuumed under the bed, I must have disturbed a spider, because after going to sleep that night, I woke up the next morning with a really sore and itchy spot on my arm and two "fang" marks right beside each other. I *never* see spiders in my place, so that really surprised me. There are some right outside my door, but I usually just smile at them and think they are eating other bugs and leave them alone. Not anymore.... I'm going to kill every one I see now, get them before they get me! Just the thought of one crawling on my bed and sinking its fangs into me while I'm sleeping gives me the heebee jeebees (how do you spell that?)!

Someone on this forum once said years ago, "If someone comes over unexpected, they deserve whatever mess they see!" I quite agree.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 12:42PM
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Singingsky, that's a wonderful list. I printed it out. Thank you.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 12:35PM
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I attended a group for disabled people (I am one). One speaker was a lovely woman who has MS. Not in a wheelchair, but she spoke about terrible fatigue. She says she manages housework by limiting herself to cleaning one room a day. That sounds do-able. No list needed.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 8:13AM
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I'm with you graywings. I think cleaning house is a thankless, never ending job and I'd much rather be doing something more creative elsewhere. The trouble is I hate to live in a dirty house so therefore I clean.

My husband never did much of cleaning before he retired but he does more than his fair share now, for which I'm extremely thankful. With both of us cleaning, in no time flat it's done. Now he doesn't do as good a job as I would do, but I don't sweat that. The house is reasonably clean and that's all that matters.

We can go off and enjoy ourselves. There is more to life than a spotless house and I've never seen it written on anyones tombstone "she was a perfect housekeeper"

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 11:13AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Your Own Housecleaning Habits
I just wish I had some. Maybe I should also print out Singingsky's list. It might not be 'exactly' right for me, but would be a good starting point at trying to develop some very nice habits.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 12:01PM
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You guys are terrific and have different approaches, as do we all. Having hoped to spark some conversation and ideas, the plain fact is that I cannot be comfortable in my own house when it is dirty but don't mind in the least being in someone else's messy home. In other words, this isn't meant to be judgmental.

I've always really enjoyed housecleaning, in good part due to how nice the feeling of accomplishment is. The disabilities meant that I had to come up with ways to work around the limitations. Some retired folk say that their houses stay pretty clean -- not so with mine! Dust still settles, dirt gets tracked in, dishes are used and countertops, sinks, appliances, and bathrooms are not self-cleaning around here.

Along with the fun of discussing each and every approach to housework, I'd love to hear of shortcuts you have learned or different ways of doing things. If I stop trying, I may never get moving again!!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 12:26PM
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I had a friend named Marci , who has since passed on. she and I were members of a gareden club, got to talking at a meeting and found we live only a few miles apart. She invited me over for lunch and to look at her garden. as I drove up, I noticed her front blinds were down and askew. A vine was tangled in the blinds. as I entered, there were piles everywhere. Toys, books, catalogs, all kinds of stuff, and everything was covered with dust. I couldn't even see if she had carpetting inthere. She led me to her kitchen, where the table was covered with piles of paper, bills, taxes, what-have you. The sink was full of dirty dishes and there was a used waffle iron, crusted up with dried batter. But Marci had such a smile on her face, we continued talking and I forgot all about the mess. We chatted on and on,about our families, gardens, jobs, and before I knew it it was time to leave. We had a great time and it didn't matter at all that her house was cluttered, messy, and dirty. She remained a great friend till her death. From her, I learned that keeping house is not the most important thing in the world.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 10:58AM
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I have to agree that keeping house is not the most important thing in life, but it certainly makes life easier for those dealing with the home in question. I was laid up for about 3 months because of a sciatic nerve problem related to my pregnancy. I had to lay on the couch, the bed was too hard, and watch as messes piled up day after day. Even in excruciating pain, I would finally get up and deal with one little thing at a time. I finally got to the point where I would ask my kids to help. Even the 3 yr old did a pretty good job of picking things up and putting them away when I asked her an item at a time. My 10 yr old did really well. The only thing he never mastered was dishes. He couldn't get them clean for anything. My 14 yr old SD was wonderful. She really pitched in like a champ when she was here.

Now that I am back to normal, I find that the time I was "off" helped my kids to learn that it won't kill them to do things and that if they pick up after themselves there is just less mess altogether.

Besides that lesson, I have learned that I am a morning cleaner. I get up with DH at about 5am and pack his lunch and make sure he doesn't doze off. He works insane hours and I like to make sure he has plenty to take with him because it could end up being a 16 hr day. If I stay up until I get DS up for school, I have found that I can get a lot more done. If I am tired, I can lay down when the 3 yr old gets her nap. I think it is the lack of distractions and interuptions that make it easier. I can
have nearly the whole downstairs cleaned in under 2 hrs. The only thing I can't do is vacuum. But that is a lot easier with everything else done anyway.

I think everyone has their own rythms and habits. It ends up making it hard to follow someone else's pattern, but having a starting point helps you find out where you need to make adjustments. It also gives you an idea of what needs to be done if you have never given it much thought in the first place. Good luck and good times cleaning to all!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 9:27PM
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Peanutmom's post is a good example to any woman. Doing all the house cleaning should not fall solely in a woman's lap.

My philosophy on housecleaning is everyone, man or woman should know how to iron, cook and clean up after themselves. At some point in most peoples lives they will be on their own and have to take care of themselves. How much easier to do that if you've learned the lessons in childhood.

I taught my son and my DIL is teaching her boys. They have been making their own beds since they were 3. They are now 5 and they clean up and put away their toys too. My son is a good example to them. When they were first married he told his wife that he would do general cleaning and cooking if she would clean the bathrooms and do the laundry. This is a good arrangement because they both work and he is home an hour before her.

My husband didn't help out a lot (but he did help some )before he retired. I was a stay ay home mom and didn't expect it.

Now that he is retired however the chores are split just about 50-50. I clean the bathroom--he makes the bed and does the picking up. I vacuum the bedrooms and living room--he vacuums the bathroom, kitchen, landing and stairs. I mop the floors and clean the windows(easy because they tip in for cleaning). He does the mowing and whipping--I do the laundry and cooking. He takes care of the garden--I take care of the flower beds. We have been known to help each other but you don't mind when the work is divided. When the work is done we spend the time enjoying each others company and doing things together or alone or with friends.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 10:25AM
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I'm back, and I made a tentative schedule for myself. You're right, because there are more people and animals in my house, your exact schedule will not work for me. But I used the idea of it, and expanded, so I will start with this. As time goes on I think I will add to it. All of these things I already do, though not often enough. Having it written down will help me alot, so I thank you.

This list is in addition to laundry and dishes, which I have to do daily in my house. I average one to two loads of laundry a day, and wash dishes once or twice also. So here's my new cleaning schedule:
Cleaning Schedule
Clean bathroom.
Sweep hallway and living room.
Pick up clutter in hotspots
Clean sinks.
Dust surfaces throughout home.
Dust television and computer screens.
Pick up clutter throughout home.
Clean sinks. Swish toilet
Clean old food out of fridge and wipe areas you can see.
Clean out car. Vacuum with shop vac.
Clean sinks. Swish toilet.
Clean kitchen floor with rag on hands and knees to get in the corners.
Clean bathroom.
Sweep hallway and living room.
Pick up clutter in hotspots.
Sweep/mop throughout home.
Pick up clutter.
Clean counters thoroughly and wipe with bleach if necessary.
Clean sinks. Swish toilet.
Clean off dryer and wipe down washer and dryer with bleach cleaner.
Sweep laundry area.
Clean sinks. Swish toilet. Clean bathroom mirror if needed.
Dust surfaces throughout home.
Vacuum carpeted areas
Shampoo carpets as necessary.
Clean sinks. Swish toilet.
Pick one drawer or cabinet in the home and clean it.
Week One: Clean ceiling fans
Week Two: Clean all doors throughout home
Week Three: Clean windows
Week Four: Take everything out of refrigerator and thoroughly clean fridge, inside and out.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 1:05PM
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I take a triage approach to cleaning - when I can't stand the dirt any more, I clean the area that is troubling me. Expecting visitors will drive a full house clean. Thank goodness I don't get many visitors.

I have a similar process, except I invite people over when I really need some motivation to clean.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 7:45PM
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Personally I just watch an episode of Hoarders or How Clean Is Your House and then I feel so much better. Somehow the pile of papers on the counter just doesn't seem so bad! LOL!
But since that won't work forever, I've found that starting a routine works wonders. It's out of a page from Flylady but it really does work. For me, starting small and then building on it works the best. For instance, Monday is sheets day. All of the beds get changed no matter what. I've been doing it so long now that it's a habit and I don't even think about it. Every morning I clean 2 shelves in the refrigerator. It takes about 5 minutes, it's easier than cleaning the whole thing at once, and it stays clean. I also clean the bathrooms every morning. 3 bathrooms take about 10 minutes. I just grab some cleaner and some rags, wash the sink and counters and the toilet. One of the tricks for me is to not get sidetracked. If the shower needs cleaning it has to wait until I'm done with the bathrooms. Otherwise I will have 6 projects going and none of them near done! Flylady also suggests keeping a cleaning journal. Write down what needs to be done for each day of the week. Then you consult the journal at the beginning of the day. Since I'm not the most efficient cleaner, checking the list off helps me see my progress.
Addictedtoroses has a great schedule. Customizing one to your needs would probably help a great deal.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 3:55PM
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I'm in my thirties and, actually, find accomplishment in keeping our homes. I spent a ton of time researching materials we used to renovate and/or build them as well as the best way to maintain it. It even makes me feel good at the end of the day to look around before bed or hosting a dinner party. Lol.

There are a few things I do everyday (make the bed, take out the trash, throw out junk mail, etc.) Then it just breaks down to weekly, monthly and seasonal stuff. For me, it's not about a specific schedule as much as it is understanding the goal, then making sure I achieve it. I love it.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 8:01AM
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My sister has a beautiful home, always perfectly clean. I can drop over anytime and she's got it party-ready. One afternoon I drove over, she made me coffee and I said "Did you see such-and-such article in this morning's paper?" . She answered "NO, I missed it, the paper's already out in the recycling box." Another time, I asked her secret for keEping her house clean. Well, she told me," I throw out leftover food. I don't want that stuff in my refrigerator. And I never do spring or fall cleaning. If I spend 20 minutes a day keeping my house clean, it stays so nice I never have to do seasonal cleaning." On top of that, she works full-time. But her work schedule is pretty good. She works two days one week and five days the next. That allows her to stay home seven days out of fourteen.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 8:07AM
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Great thread, Linda B - thanks. And thank for for posting your schedule - that's a help! :)

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 2:51PM
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SUNDAY: Church in the am, nap in the pm. Make supper.
MONDAY: Garbage by the road, volunteer in the am, pick raspberries, tomatoes, etc. Freeze extras, do yesterdays dishes and make supper.
TUESDAY: Tired from monday, take am off. Pick raspberries, tomatoes, etc. Freeze extras, do yesterdays dishes and make supper.
WEDNESDAY: Breakfast Day with wife. Drop her off at work and shop for groceries. Pick her up for lunch. pick raspberries, tomatoes, etc. Freeze extras, do yesterdays dishes and make supper.
THURSDAY: Maybe clean the house, dust and mop if necessary. pick raspberries, tomatoes, etc. Freeze extras, do yesterdays dishes and make supper.
FRIDAY: Same as Thursday
SATURDAY: Wife doesn't go to work so I don't either.
AS NEEDED: Mow or shovel snow, laundry 3 times a week about. Clean bathroom after a steamy shower, real easy to wipe down. Really clean if we have company coming.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 10:44PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

That was so funny ebear! I do the same thing! An hour of Hoarders makes me feel like Martha Stewart.
Otherwise, I try to keep on top of things by doing things when I feel like doing them. I'll never feel like doing them later so if the urge arises to dust ( and yes it happens) I make sure I always give into that immediately. Or if I notice a filthy ceiling fan and want to clean it, I go for it right then.
I don't like a dirty cluttered house ever so when it gets dirty, I clean. But I have a fairly high tolerance for floors: we have two dogs and wear shoes in the house. I try to keep the dust bunnies at bay and mop when I have time.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 12:32AM
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the term triage cleaning describes me exactly.

I am methodical when I get started. so when I get the time to clean I get the whole room/area done in one session. Dusting, including the walls/ceilings/window sills. Washing sides of cabinets/shelves/appliances as i wash the insides. Mopping on hands & knees (sm. apt) or moving all light furniture to vacuum.

I try to clean the outside of the windows every early summer when I'm out cleaning the swamp cooler for the season. and again when they get to me.
I wrote the months directly onto my mattress so it nags me when I'm late rotating/flipping it. and of course you have to vacuum it while it's stripped.

In the five years I've lived in the apt., I have had only one visitor. They don't even come into consideration, I do it for my DH and Me.

vacuum fan: I know how you feel. I woke up once, as a house guest, with a spider crawling across my face. hated spiders every since.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 1:43AM
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