Yesterday I shared with you cleaning methods at which I tried and failed. Then I started to think about what I wanted my house to be rather than the process of how to get it there. I realized that in order to achieve a clean house all at once, I needed to clean my house all at once. This is the method that works for me. It may not be your best method, but I highly recommend it. Here’s what I’ve learned and how I’ve made it work through job changes, and the addition of children.
At that time, I calculated that I had approximately 4 hours a day to do things (this was when I worked full time but before I had kids), so I decided that if I left Fridays open as my cleaning day it would be attainable. I chose not to do any real cleaning until the first Friday arrived. The first Friday came and I accomplished my goal—completely clean house. Then, I had to make supper and lunches for my husband and myself. I left for work feeling close to a failure and the kitchen was a wreck. The next week, I learned to start earlier. I also discovered that if I was going to let the house go during the week, my lack of cleaning could not include neglecting clutter. On Thursdays especially I had to be sure and de-clutter or I would spend too much time doing that project on Fridays. As the weeks went on and the Friday cleaning became a habit, my confidence in my housekeeping skills grew and I felt more prepared to have guests into my home. Since I chose Fridays as a cleaning day, weekends were a natural time for company. Almost no prep, and we were ready to whip up a meal and open our home! Then our son was born…
After an insane amount of nursing problems, I had very little time to clean or cook or anything! For months, I did just a few jobs a day, but then he started to have consistent nap times, so I had 2 hours slots. For over a year, I was able to “cram” my 4 hour cleaning session into 2 hours. I still did it on Fridays. After our daughter was born (my “efficient” sleeper) I am able to clean the entire house in exactly 1 hour. I work crazy fast and there is no time for extras, but it works. I often wonder how many hours I wasted during those years of spending 4 hours on the exact same thing! Funny how kids push us to work harder than ever before.
At this point in our lives, I nanny from home on Wednesdays and my husband teaches piano lessons from home on Thursdays. I changed my cleaning day to fluctuate between Monday and Tuesday which allows us to relax over the weekend and make a mess without worry. This also helps me to jump start my week. We have been very happy with this method. If someone does come over on the weekend, I take about 10 minutes to vacuum the downstairs and quickly wipe down the bathroom. That’s it and we’re good to go!
You might be reading this and thinking that it seems silly to give so much thought to when and how I clean—I don’t blame you! But I think it is crucial to give careful thought to how we’re going to do things, otherwise we’ll never achieve the end result we want. Think of how you want your house to be and then make a plan of how to get it to that point. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
“Even if you shoot for the moon and miss, at least you’ll land among the stars.”
Tomorrow I’ll share with you exactly what I clean and when. Also some tips to make it go faster and how to prep for cleaning without actually cleaning.