Creating Good Habits – Working on My Cleaning Schedule – Part 1

So last week, I posted that I was going to work on a cleaning schedule. But when I sat down to write everything up, I realized I had a lot of work I had to do before I started this. I really just handle cleaning in such a disorganized manner, being mostly reactive instead of proactive. I needed to sit down and think about what all the tasks were, how long each of them truly would take if I was organized and what ways I could streamline them better.

I’ve spent most of the summer de-cluttering the house and this really has helped a great deal in keeping things clean. I asked myself which areas were my weaknesses and I realized that the state of cleanliness of my house revolved a lot around my laundry and kitchen situation. That may sound a little bizarre but here’s why I say that:

*If I get behind on keeping my cleaning and dish rags clean, I can’t clean anything.

*If I get behind on putting my clothes away, I spend way to much time digging through baskets of clean clothes rather than utilizing that time to clean the house.

*Having too many clothes and no organized manner of where to put the clothes adds to the clutter of the bedrooms and laundry/utility room making it impossible to keep them clean–and taking up too much time.

*If I don’t keep up on dirty dishes and keep a clean kitchen, I’m stumbling over myself when it comes to mealtimes, making everything take twice as long.

Basically – time wasted in other areas takes away time that I could use to maintain the house.

Here are a few things that I worked on this week:

1) I caught up ALL my laundry so I could get an idea of how much space our closets had. Answer = None! I went through and pulled out anything that we didn’t wear, didn’t fit or was stained. My goal was making sure there was plenty of extra room to quickly put away the clothes.

2) I found better organizing solutions for my laundry room and closets. I had bought a deal on Jasmere for Kangaroom Storage awhile back and picked up Days of the Week Clothes holders for both kids. This will save me time M-F for getting the kids ready in the morning. Clothes for each day will be put in there as the laundry is cleaned. I also bought a sorting clothes hamper for the laundry room. This is for any clothes that get thrown in there outside of the bedroom hampers. (Check around for the best deals on these products. I just had free credits to get them there and only paid shipping costs.)

3) I am only starting laundry when I know I have time to finish the load of clothes from start to finish. Typically starting a load before a meal and then putting them in the dryer afterwards. Wrinkle-able clothes are hung up immediately and everything else is folded, put in a basket and put away when the basket is full, rather than at the end of the day. I only keep one basket in there so I’m not tempted to let things pile up.

4) I am started to read Fly Lady as she was recommended by a reader.  I loved her first task — keep a shiny kitchen sink. Seems like an easy task but making sure that sink stays sparkling clean is quite a feat! It’s helped me keep my entire kitchen clean, though. :)

5) I’ve started to log each task I do throughout the week and time how long each one takes. Before I can start a schedule, I have to have a better idea of the time the tasks take so I can balance them across the days. I also ask myself if there isn’t a way to streamline the task so I could save time. Is it taking too long because of clutter? Not having the right cleaning equipment? etc.

So I’ve been working mostly on getting caught up and a little more organized. And in the meantime, I’ve kind of put together a cleaning schedule that may work. I’m going to try it next week before I share it, though. And keep in mind, every household is different. So you’ll really need to create one that fits your household’s situations and schedules. Or you may find that you’ll work better without a schedule and just giving yourself a set of daily tasks/goals each morning when you wake up.

How is your cleaning schedule/plan coming along?