Thursday, February 16, 2012

cleaning list from brown paper packages

 I'm one of those crazy people that likes to clean, and I really love a clean house.  There's something about an orderly home that creates a calming atmosphere, and I find that I can manage the rest of my life so much better if my house is clean.

 I'm a big believer in "maintenance" cleaning, as opposed to cleaning for hours on one day of the week or before visitors are due to arrive.  It's much easier for me to fit in chores around my schedule during the day whenever I can, and it also allows for our house to stay clean as possible with five kiddos and seven people running around.

I'm also a list girl, and so keeping a cleaning checklist just makes sense, and helps me to keep track of things that need to be done not just daily, but weekly and monthly. (I also have quarterly and annual lists.)  This list can be printed out and laminated, and hung on the fridge or other prominent spot.  It could also be placed in a frame, and items crossed off with a dry erase marker.

How does it work?  I have certain chores that I do everyday, and work WONDERS to keep my home looking and feeling clean.  I fit them in when I can during the day, depending on my schedule. For example, I fold laundry each night after my kids are in bed while I catch up on my favorite shows, then I put it away in the morning.  It's a nightly ritual, but it's the way I can keep up with the 15-18 loads I do per week. I greatly believe that these daily chores are at the crux of success--do these, and you'll find yourself with more time overall, not less. Oh, and my kids do help with these chores...but that's a topic for another day.  :)


1.  Make beds

It's the first thing I do in the morning--I don't leave my room until it's done.  Having all the beds made is one of the best ways to keep rooms looking tidy, and it always makes me feel better to have it done.

2.  Wipe down bathrooms

I keep Clorox bathroom wipes and Windex in each bathroom, and it takes less than one minute to wipe down the counters and clean the mirror each day when we're finished getting ready.  Doing this daily will greatly reduce the amount of time it will take to deep clean the bathrooms--which I do weekly.

3.  Sweep after each meal

My husband says that I'm really married to the broom, and he probably has a point.  I sweep after each meal, and as needed throughout the day.  This is another chore that only takes a minute, but has a great impact.

4.  Dishes/dishwasher

We turn on the dishwasher at night, and put them away in the morning, which ensures that my sink can stay empty all day long.  

5.  Wipe down kitchen counters after each meal

Clean counters = clean kitchen.  When counters are crumb and clutter free, it sets the tone for the whole space.  It makes it easier to cook, do homework, and all the other things that go on in the busiest part of the house. I also wipe down all appliances (especially the fridge) after each meal--since I have stainless steel, this is a big deal for me!

6.  Laundry

I like doing laundry everyday, as opposed to doing it on one day of the week--and I've always done it this way, even before I had to do as many loads as I do now.  Laundry can quickly feel overwhelming, and when I saw a lot of piles, it makes me crazy. It also keeps my laundry room more orderly and organized, and it's easier to keep track of clothing.  I don't assign certain loads on certain days, except towels and sheets, because I just do them as they need to be done.  I could talk for days about laundry, but I'll spare you. Lol.

7. Vacuum main floor

We spend the majority of our time on the main floor, and I vacuum it each night after the kids are in bed.  It takes less than 10 minutes, and  No toys are kept in my kids' upstairs bedrooms, so they aren't up there until it's time to sleep, which means I can get away with vacuuming only once a week on the upstairs level.

8.  Open/file mail and school papers

Oh, how paper can quickly take over our lives!  Staying on top of it is the key, so each day go through mail and school papers and file them where they go.  Controlling paper clutter will make a HUGE difference in both appearance, and as a time saver...since you won't have to look for anything!

9.  Entire house pickup

I pick up the house throughout the entire day, but before bed, the whole house gets a once-over.  House rules call for rooms and playroom being clean before dinner, so it's really just the family room that requires the picking up before bed.  If you can set aside 10 minutes each night to pick up your entire house, it will greatly reduce and diminish things from just piling up.  This is where having a place for everything makes a huge difference, and it will go so much faster! 


I fit these chores in as I can during the week, and I usually choose a few each day to tackle.  It changes from week to week, as does my schedule, and I like the flexibility of being able to switch things around as needed.
  • vacuum whole house
  • vacuum under couch cushions, ceiling corners
  • dust
  • mop all floors
  • wash sheets & towels
  • empty trashes
  • wipe down kitchen cabinets
  • clean glass
  • deep clean bathrooms (toilet, tub, shower, floors, drawers & cabinets)
  • kitchen (microwave, stove burners, drawers)
  • wipe down kitchen chairs


I make a plan for these items, because they take a little more time to accomplish than many of the daily chores.

  • vacuum out and clean windowsills (when you open the window--that part between the inside & outside)
  • dust ceiling fans and ledges
  • wipe down vents (on walls and in floors)
  • clean fridge and freezer
  • wipe down doors and doorknobs
  • wipe down switch plates
  • cycle clean washing machine and dishwasher
  • clean oven
  • clean out garbage cans
  • sweep out garage
  • wash bed quilts/comforters
Keeping cleaners and rags accessible are a must.  Find a place for them on each level of your home, and it will be that much easier!  I have a cupboard in my laundry room for lower level cleaning, and in my bathroom cupboard for upper level cleaning.  I also keep stacks of rags along with the cleaners, so it's all there together.  To keep all the rags straight, I only use white rags for cleaning (they can be bleached), and colored rags for the kitchen.  When it's time to fold and put away, it's easy to know where they go!


There you go!  Hopefully some of the tips will help you on your journey to a clean and organized home.