Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Daily Chores Plus One

It's no secret that I have to trick myself into cleaning and decluttering beyond the normal, everyday chores. I'm constantly inventing new ways to get myself or my kids to clean up more. It's not that I like to clean, because I truly don't. But, I find that if I ignore things, they don't go away. In fact, they get worse. There's more clutter, more dust and more dirty laundry. If only the house elves would come and clean it all while we slept!

Alas, they don't. I've been taking care of a home for many years and I'm still learning that the only way to clean is to break it up into small, doable tasks. And, I still slack far too much. I've got the basic cleaning routines down, but those daily routines don't even touch the deep cleaning that needs to be done regularly, though not every day.

To try to put a bigger dent in the dust and clutter, I'm adding one task to each daily cleaning routine. Here's how it looks in action for some daily tasks:

1. Wash one load of laundry. For the past week, after I start the day's laundry, I do one cleaning task in the laundry room (this room is ignored for weeks on end as far as cleaning goes). One day I cleaned the top of the dryer. The next day I swept the floor. Then, I vacuumed the cobwebs off the ceiling. Now, one week later, the laundry room looks pretty good, with minimal effort. Each extra task only took a couple of minutes.

2. Clean the kitchen. This consists of doing the dishes, wiping the counters and sweeping the floor. I'm now adding one extra task to the end of the routine. I started this two days ago, but so far I've scrubbed the area of the floor under the dog dish and cleaned the sink (I normally just rinse it). Today, I think I might wipe down the outside of half the cabinets. I'll do the other half tomorrow.

3. Pick up the living room. I generally vacuum it every other day, though I pick up daily, at least once. Today, I added dusting all the pictures on the walls. They were quite dusty, but usually go unnoticed when I clean.
I love this picture, but it was holding some serious dust!

I'm going to stick with this plan for awhile and see how far it takes me. It may not work to get every single bit of deep cleaning done, but the house will at least be cleaner and less dusty. I'm aiming for better, not perfect.


  1. This is so interesting! Just yesterday I tried something like this and I want to take it further, like you are. What a great idea!

    What I did was, I dry my clothes for about 5 minutes and then hang most of them up. Now I want to use those 5 minutes to clean the laundry area a little. It's in the basement, so it gets very dusty and cobwebby. If I clean for 5 minutes a few times a week I think it will really help.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. I think it will help, Amy! That's a great idea! I've found I can get a heck of a lot done in 5 minutes.

  3. You make it all sound so easy...just five minutes...
    such a good idea...I hope that by continually reading your posts I'll get motivated!!

  4. Like while you are waiting for something to cook in the microwave you can clean!

  5. Holly - You can do it! After a week or two of doing 5 extra minutes here and there, it is very noticeable! It won't be perfect, but it'll be better.

    New Kid - Exactly!