My cleaning schedule : how to stay on top of it all

 

As we (finally!) move back into our newly renovated home, I’m thinking about how to update my cleaning schedule to deal with dust and keep things look brand new. I’ve been using a cleaning schedule like this for about a year now, and I find it works really well for me. I can’t claim complete credit for it - I use a lot of what The Organised Mum suggests, including having a list of daily tasks and a focus for your 30 minute clean each day. But I’ve adapted it to work for us, and added a couple of things here and there to make our week run more smoothly.

 
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1. Daily 15 minute clean

This includes:

  • Quick hoover of the main living areas

  • Making the beds

  • Quick clean of the bathroom, focussing on a different part each day, but cleaning the toilet every day

  • Quick house tidy - I grab an IKEA bag or similar and walk round the house once picking everything up. If something belongs in the same room, put it away. If in another room, put it in the tote and then put it away when you reach that room. 

  • Putting a load of washing on - I alternate each day between a nappy wash and another kind of wash. Some days I don’t need to do a wash at all, but thinking about it every day helps me stay on top of things.

  • Putting away yesterday’s washing

I don’t tackle all of this in one go, but tend to split it up throughout the day. To help me get through it all, I have a list on my phone that I work through as the day goes on. It’s roughly in the order I get around to it in a normal day.

2. Daily 30 minute clean

I use The Organised Mum’s daily focus areas, because they’re easy to remember and she’s great, but I have quite a specific way of tackling the clean so that I can get the maximum amount done in the 30 minutes.

Before I start my clean, I take my little cleaning caddy and put all the things I’ll need into it, and put them in the middle of the room. This is usually all-purpose spray, glass cleaner and a handful of microfibre cloths (though for the bathroom I’ll often take my whole stash of cleaning products).

I find the quickest and most efficient way is to split the room into three stages. For the first stage, I tidy everything off the surfaces. That means either putting things away in cupboards or drawers, or if they live on a surface, putting them out of the way in the middle of the floor or outside the room. 

The second stage is to clean! I start at the top and work down, so dust the cornices all the way round, then clean the pictures, then the surfaces. The third stage is to hoover and mop the floors.

While TOMM doesn’t have a daily focus for Saturday and Sunday, I do have a task designated for each of those days. On Saturday, I aim to plan meals for the coming week. I find this still feels like a day off chores because I can plan my meals in front of the telly! On Sunday, I do the ironing. I find I can’t keep on top of it if I don’t have a weekly time devoted to it. Then again, I do own quite a few things that need ironing, and this can be avoided with some clever clothes purchases!

 
 
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I find the quickest and most efficient way to clean is to split the room into three stages

 
 

3. Friday Focus

For my Friday focus areas, I use some of the same categories as The Organised Mum, but add on a number of weeks devoted to decluttering. This is because I find 30 minutes just isn’t enough to clean things that don’t get cleaned often and to declutter. For example, in the kitchen, by the time you’ve cleaned the fridge, you probably won’t have time to declutter the cupboards, so adding in another week to do this will remind you to get it done. Plus I find the decluttering weeks quite therapeutic, so it almost feels like a day off!  

Week 1: Spare bedroom, kids' bedroom(s) & nursery
Week 2: Declutter kids’ clothing
Week 3: Kitchen
Week 4: Declutter kitchen cupboards
Week 5: Master bedroom
Week 6: Declutter clothing
Week 7: Living room(s)
Week 8: Declutter books
Week 9: Hall & stairs
Week 10: Declutter papers
Week 11: Bathrooms
Week 12: Garden/Outside Space

4. The tools

The thing that really changed my approach to cleaning was to have the right tools. This doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune on expensive cleaning products - the main ones can be made at home from three ingredients:

  • White vinegar
    I like to buy a large bottle of this from bargain or wholesale stores like Costco or B&M to save on plastic. 

  • Castile soap
    Again, I buy a large container in one go, usually from Oils4Life.

  • Bicarbonate of soda (sodium bicarbonate)
    You can buy large boxes of this on Amazon.

Here are the recipes I use. I have a stash of reusable spray bottles for each type of cleaner.

All-Purpose Cleaner

1 tablespoon of castile soap to 500ml water.
Optional: 4-6 drops essential oil

Glass Cleaner

1 part water
1 part vinegar

Don’t worry about the smell, it will go quickly!

Degreaser

1 part vinegar
1 part castile soap

This one needs to be left to work for 5 minutes before wiping away.

Stain Remover

Bicarbonate of soda 

Sprinkle a little on a damp cloth and rub away the stain. Always test on an inconspicuous area first.

Finally, I find nothing cleans like a microfibre cloth. I’d love to have a natural alternative, but so far nothing beats these. I just try to get plenty of use out of them so they’re not ending up in landfill until absolutely necessary.

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