Ah, the weekly cleaning schedule, that perfect balance between the life you want to live and the environment you want to have. Its standard is different with everyone. But I made this one of my March goals, so I thought I would share with you what I have learned so far.
When I stopped working, I had this overwhelming sense of responsibility to keep the house in perfect working order. It was something I put on myself, and when I fell behind for whatever reason, I would crash, feeling absolutely horrible. But the reality is that I am more than just a housekeeper. I have a life and friends and responsibilities outside of my house, and I can’t keep stressing out. In fact, the whole reason we decided that I would stay at home was to learn how to deal with stress, not transfer it onto a whole new set of rules!
But truthfully, I absolutely hate to clean. I don’t like to do dishes, laundry (except towels fresh out of the dryer, of course), bathrooms (ugh to the nth degree), vacuuming or sweeping, really anything.
My organizational style is mostly made up of baskets/drawers (with labels of course) that I throw similar things in so I can find them later. I want to be able to find the things I need and realize when to get rid of the things I don’t need. I do get overwhelmed if there is a lot of stuff on the counters or tables, but I’m better when those things have been placed in a bin or drawer out of sight (but still retrievable, not a big fan of the random junk drawer though I understand its inevitable necessity. We do have one, and it’s the bane of my existence most days).
But, in making my weekly cleaning schedule, the first thing I did was embrace the chaos. I had to be okay if I left dirty dishes in the sink at night, if making my bed wasn’t the first thing I did when I woke up, or if the laundry was left in the dryer all day (I try to avoid doing that with the washer cause, you know, mold). When we adopted our new puppy over a month ago, this really helped to embrace the chaos, because he is, right now, quite a chaotic entity in our home. He doesn’t know all the rules (like don’t take the remotes out to the backyard). And I spend the majority of my day working with him.
One day this week, in fact, I lamented to Michael that it took me literally 3 hours to do about 20 minutes of kitchen/dishes cleaning because some dog somewhere needed my attention (usually our young pup). And one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to be okay with it. Sometimes dinner won’t be ready until the cavalry (aka Michael) comes home. And that’s okay.
The second thing I did was pick my dailies. These are things that I can actually do every day very easily. And if I miss a day, it’s not the end of the world, but life does move more smoothly if these things are done.
For example, I make my bed every morning. And I don’t make it with hospital corners. In fact, I read an article that said the undone bed is on the rise, so I don’t put forth too much effort every morning. I pull the sheets and comforter up and smooth it out, tucking in anything hanging beneath the comforter. I make sure the fitted sheet is pulled down around the mattress. And then I put all of the pillows at the top. I have literally made my bed with my dog still on it (of course, she’s moved around as I made it, but she was just not ready for the day yet).
I picked these things because they are easy to do in 5 to 10 minutes every day. Also, the biggest helper to me with the shower and the counters are these wipes.* I keep them in the shower and wipe down the shower after use. And I keep one on the kitchen and bathroom counters to use as well. I know that this is not the best environmental choice, but if I have one vice environmentally, let it be this one.
And finally, I created the rest of my schedule around not making it the majority of my day. I divided up the bathroom duties because I absolutely hate doing the bathroom, so if I can do one thing at a time, it’s easier to handle. Here’s that schedule.
I don’t have cleaning during the weekends if I can help it. Some things I do as needed, like cleaning out the car or tidying up a room that we don’t usually use on a regular basis. But if I get the above things done, then I’m doing okay. And I can spend the rest of my day doing other things.
Now I fully realize that this will change when kids come into the picture, which is why embracing the chaos was number one. Right now I only have dogs and a husband to clean up after, and my husband is pretty neat and clean. So I know that tidying a living room might not be possible if a baby is going to go behind me undoing everything I am doing. But for this stage of my life, this is what works for me, and I don’t believe the overall sentiment will change. As long as I can find a system that helps me to find things and move about my house safely and (mostly) sanitarily, then it’s all good with me.
*I am not sponsored by any products listed, however, I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.