can you help me with a good cleaning routine

sunshinebubFebruary 5, 2008

I want to give my home a good clean, that is dust, remove kids fingerprints from walls, clean windows, fans and lights ecetera. With 3 kids under 7 I don't have alot of time (saying that I am a sahm so I don't really have an excuse not to get it all done). I wanted to see if you did a cleaning routine that you stick to each week and what works for you.

I thought about doing room by room, or say do all mirror builtins, then all fans, all windows etc etc. I want to get into a routine and stick to it, so I cover everything. I have done so much decluttering and now want to make my home spotless! Well as spotless as it can be with kids. Thanks so much!

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I have a routine that works when it's a slow week; I am also a sahm! Monday - dust down all the baseboards and fans in addition to doing laundry. Tuesday - Clean the bathrooms but i am not good with cleaning our shower (it's all uba tuba granite; shows all the water spots and i let it go too, too long). Wednesday - i try to dust upstairs - Thursday = downstairs. Fridays - i like to keep free but usually have to do a touch up of the family room where my husband spends most of the weekend when we are home. We replaced all the carpet in the house this summer with hardwood so in addition to the cleaning, i am constantly using the microfiber mop on the wood; should have gotten an irish setter; not a very light golden retriever!. forgot about the kitchen floor....i am not good about this; i spot wipe as it's travertine (kitchen, hallway, foyer, laundry room and downstairs bathroom). this should be mopped once a week, too, but sometimes it's every other week; the good thing about it is it hides the dirt well. i don't do the windows. we have shutters on every window. i do wipe down the shutters with the duster and then not often enough, i have to wipe them down really well (using murphy's oil soap, with a damp rag). but my kids are in school full time so i have a little more time...who am i kidding; there's never enough time, although right now (Jan and Feb) are slow months! hope this helps.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 2:26AM
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I use Flylady's zones. if you are not familiar with her system. It's based on the house being divided up into areas and you clean that area one week each month. Since it is done on a rotation, the house pretty much stays clean all of the time and nothing builds up. I started her system when I had three kids under 6 and I worked out of the house (DH was home with them while I was at work, so there was always someone there messing things up.) Here's her zone rotation.

Since you are already decluttered, now's a good time to start.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 1:29PM
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I agree, Flylady is a good starting place. I signed up for daily emails for a while, but it was tedious. I gave up but kept the ideas I liked-divide your home into zones and rotate from room to room. Keep your sink shined,your laundry and dirty dishes current, work on really bad mesees a little at a time, use a timer, etc. Go to Flylady dot net and look around. I guaranty you'll be inspired!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 3:23PM
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I'm really awful about having routines, I need them but I find them so hard to stick with. Here's the bare bones of my routines. I have 2 school age kids, 6 yrs and 9 yrs. Of course I do more than this, but this is the stuff I feel a need to schedule because it either fits in well at a particular time of week or I fear neglecting it completely if I don't schedule it.

SUNDAY Beds and kid's room focus day
Changes on all beds.
Supervise kids in tidying their room.
Get kids to wipe down smudgy walls in their room with cloth and disinfectant.
Clean out fridge, and plan meals for week.

MONDAY Kitchen focus day
Clear and clean all counters, backksplashes, cupboard doors, floor.
Wipe out oven and grill and dishwasher surrounds.
Tidy one area (a drawer, a shelf, etc)
Sanitize kitchen bin.

TUESDAY Bathroom focus day
Clean bath, vanity, tiles, floor, toilet.
Tidy vanity top and one storage area.

WEDNESDAY Lounge and Dining focus day
Clear dinning table and wipe, wax if needed.
Clear floors in both rooms.
Use spray bottle and cloth to clean TV, around light switches etc.

THURSDAY Declutter and floors focus day
Sorting out long term clutter issues.
Make sure garage bin goes out full tonight.
Visit second hand shop to drop off donations.

FRIDAY Shopping and repairs focus day
Fix clothes or household areas or furniture.
Shop in town if purchases needed.

SATURDAY Personal possessions focus day
Everyone to take care of their personal stuff... today I hunt people down and hassle them if their stuff is all over the place.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 4:32PM
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Thanks everyone, yes I am familiar with flylady, I found it a bit confusing at first, but I am going to look back into it because I like the idea of zones and if they are done regularly and it's all rotated, then the house should always be clean!!!!!

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2008 at 10:33PM
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I also visited the FlyLady website & signed up for emails, but I thought they got annoying... You get the same emails over & over again. But, I did take notes & made her idea work for my life. I'm not a SAHM, I don't have children (although I think my DH is comparable... LOL) and I work part time, so my schedule wouldn't work for you, but maybe you could get some ideas to make up your own.

What I did was sat down & made a list of everything I could think of that needs to be done. I made up a list of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc... For daily, I did wiping table, sweeping, etc., those things that really need to be done everyday. Did the same thing w/ weekly, like taking out the trash; and monthly would be taking inventory of all household supplies & making a shopping list (I'm one of those ppl that leaves the store, gets 2 miles away & then remembers something I forgot.) and also culling magazines. For quarterly, I took into account things like cleaning coffee pot (maybe you should actually do this more often???), changing/cleaning filters (furnace, dryer, etc.)... You get my point.

(NOTE: When I say cleaning the dryer filter, I don't mean getting the lint off of it, I do that after every load. I have read that FS sheets create a buildup on dryer filters that need to be washed of periodically b/c it makes the dryer less effecient if not cleaned... That's what I mean. :) )

Next, I sat down @ my computer & opened up a never before used program: the calendar. I proceeded to fill in the dates w/ each chore that needed to be done. I tried to keep in mind how long each chore took & layed them out carefully so each day was pretty much equal in the amount of work. For instance, I work every Sat., so I put fewer chores on that day b/c I knew I would be tired from work, and on Sun. I did less, pretty much just b/c it was Sun. LOL. But, Mon. - Fri. were pretty much equal. I just made recurrances for each chore, ie: every other day, weekly, etc... I just try to stick to the agenda closely, but if something comes up & I can't get a certain job done, I don't beat myself up over it, I do it A.S.A.P., sometimes it has to wait until the next day & be included in that day's chores. However, I would never wait any longer than the next day, if possible, b/c then things would pile up quickly & you would soon get overwhelmed.

I find using the computer calendar is very helpful, b/c if I find something needs to be done more frequently, or vice versa, I can change it w/ a click of the mouse instead of crossing out things & rewriting them. Plus, you can always write things in, if need be. Also, if you think of a new chore that needs to be done... ditto.

Like I said before, our situations are completely different, so this more than likely won't meet your household's demands or your time frames etc., but maybe you can get some ideas from my schedule. Good luck! :)

PS~ If you would like me to send you an example list of my schedule, pls feel free to email me!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 8:30PM
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FlyLady was an inspiration for me, for sure. I also found the Speed Cleaning books and there was a couple other organizing books that I found useful, a lot just for motivation. FlyLady kind of took it to the basics and reminding not to obsess over it, just start, anywhere, since you'll come around to it. And if you miss one because you're sick, on vacation, death in family or something, again, no big deal, you'll make it up next time. I tried the chore cards thing that another place recommended and I liked it but I didn't have the cards organized enough. I wound up just making lists, similar to what mc_hudd does. I had my wake up, mid-day evening and before bed routines worked out that I was able to do them (pick up dirty dishes before bed, etc. The shiny sink thing sounds so stupid but it REALLY made an impact! Try it for a month and see how it works. Then there was the normal daily things that eventually just plain are habit anyway, sort the mail before bringing into the house, the weekly that you might be doing on certain days, garbage to the curb one day, etc. Then there's some that should be every couple weeks, monthly, bi-monthly, annually, semi-annually, bi-annually, etc. Don't be afraid to modify it if it doesn't seem right. My gets constant revision.

My biggest modification that works for me is using a reminder program in the computer. Reminds me to pay the bills between the 8th and the 12th of the month, put out garbage/recycling the night before, certain TV programs that I treat myself to watching so have the work done beforehand, pay property taxes and income taxes on time, etc. So I have a modified system and it works for me.

I was getting a very organized and respectably clean house. I was very proud. Did you notice the "was"? Well then I got laid up for 6 months. Well everything went to pot. It took years to get back on track. I still was able to keep up on bills at least but the housecleaning suffered. But I went back and read some things at Flylady and here in the forum and got some motivation to start back in. Getting more organized. Can't physically clean as much but do priorities. Try to get something done on certain days and well, it's getting better.

I work a strange schedule. Some days, like this last week are long days and I'm exhausted when I get home. So many things get pushed to the weekend. Tomorrow I'll get some more done and spend some more time doing the 15 min in the kitchen and just make it better. Once I realized that even just 15 minutes means 15 minutes that don't need to be done later so it's still an accomplishment. My mantra became doing SOMETHING, no matter how little, accomplishes far more than doing nothing. (if for nothing else than the satisfaction of doing something)

The one routine that needs to be included and made a difference for me was to pat myself on the back and feel good for doing something instead of beating myself up for what I didn't get done. The world didn't come to an end because the steps weren't dusted last weekend. I did them today. Now I need to get out the vacuum.....

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 7:59PM
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As others have mentioned, I also have a weekly checklist of things that need to be done. I have a separate list from each room, with spaces for check marks in each week of the month. Because my schedule is somewhat unpredictable, if I find myself with ten minutes I can spend that time in one room, checking off chores, OR I can spread things out and do the same chore in each room (like washing windows and mirrors, wiping down switch plates and doorknobs, etc.). Checking off the boxes in the grid helps me keep track of where I've been, and gives me a visual reminder that I've accomplished something with my time!

I include monthly chores on the weekly list, too, with an asterisk in the box for the week I'd like to complete the task. If I do it that week, great; if not, I know I have to do it somewhere in that month. As long as it gets checked off at some point, I'm good!

    Bookmark   February 17, 2008 at 7:02PM
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Oh yes, julietspeaks! That's one thing I miss about using the computer over the paper checklists, which I guess is why I've been writing many things down, is the satisfaction of checking off the completed items! Scratching something off the list is like scratching an itch, it feels so good!

But I've started using a strikeout font in the computer for completed stuff. Scratch a chore is just like scratching an itch.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 3:22PM
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I'm the type who likes to do things assembly-line fashion. It's gets done quicker for me that way.

If I need to clean a window, I clean all of them. Doing it this way for me keeps the supplies limited to the task at hand. I'm not carrying around supplies I really don't need...and say with windows, doing 1 sets me up to do the next, my momentum and efficiency is focused to the 1 thing.

Same for bathrooms. If I decide to do 1 bath, I just do them all.

If I'm wiping down the counter, I also wipe down the dining table, the coffee table, and end tables.

That works best for me.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 12:55PM
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I think the key is WRITE DOWN A PLAN. Clean one room a day, or do one activity in all rooms, such as declutter,dust,vacuum,etc. Flylady does have some good ideas, I suggest you read her site and take down the ideas you like. I like her ideas of "zones", break down big tasks, etc. My motto is "Orogress, not perfection." Several things I keep current are dishes, clothes washing, keeping my kitchen and maon bathroom clean,etc.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 12:31PM
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What really helped me was the first five/ last five. The 'q-tip' and 'erase the evidence' helped keep my house in better shape. Here is the link...

Here is a link that might be useful: first five last five

    Bookmark   March 9, 2008 at 10:47AM
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"Kids can be given 3/3's but I find husbands do better with a basic 2/2 for the advanced an a 1/1 for the ordinary garden variety...."
I don't know why this (1/1) struck me so funny, but it did. Actually the 5/5 list is really good for those who work or have children athome.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2008 at 12:50PM
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Remove obvious garbage first, then declutter, then do actual cleaning-dust, vacuum, wash off fingereprints. Whethether you do this on a constant or daily or weekly basis is up to you.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2008 at 5:19PM
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