Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Real Secret to Housekeeping

I have discovered that the real secret to good housekeeping is MAINTENANCE. Now, that might not seem earth shattering to you, but I've come as close to staying on top of my housework in the last 2 months by doing regularly scheduled maintenance cleaning, than I ever have before.

Sure, I have always done basic housecleaning every week, such as clean the bathrooms, vacuum and do laundry. But by scheduling regular maintenance cleaning, I have kept my house really clean. For Example:

1. I have a really dusty house. In the past I would dust the entire house and then let it go until it really needed it again. Meanwhile I was constantly complaining about how dusty our house is and how there must be some problem. I finally came to the conclusion I just wasn't dusting often enough. Now that I dust my house every single week, alternating extra attention in certain areas, I feel that I have finally conquered the "dust monster" in my house. Even the ceiling fans are dust free!!!!

2. I now sweep the kitchen/laundry room area of the house every single day. I never have to complain about all the dirt I feel with my bare feet anymore. I also mop every week, but can go as long as two weeks, if time is not available for this. I still believe that there's no need to clean it if isn't dirty! I plan to do a focused mopping about once a month which means that I do an extra good job.

3. We have two bedrooms upstairs that don't need vacuuming as often as the rest of the house. I tend to let these go for a long period of time and then, as you would guess, it gets bad. So now I make sure that I vacuum the upstairs and the stairs themselves every 2 weeks. About once a month I will do a detailed job of this.

4. Bathrooms. We have 2 bathrooms. I clean both every week, but alternate doing a detailed job. One week, the floors, rugs, and entire room gets cleaned really well in one bathroom, and the next week I concentrate on the other one. Daily I check to see if the potty and counter need wiping off in between more thorough weekend cleanings.

5. All Around Deep Cleaning. Every week I try to do one or 2 small jobs that need to be done, but seem to get postponed. One weekend I washed 2 windows and the mini blinds for those windows. Another weekend, I cleaned out the spice cabinet. I can also do small jobs like cleaning out a junk drawer while something is cooking or while on the phone,etc. Ever get up on the counter and look at the space above cabinets? Well that was a job that I got done one weekend.

6. The living room gets vacuumed every week, but I do a detailed cleaning of it once a month. This means getting out the crevice tool and moving some furniture and other items.

7. I am in the process of setting up a maintenance schedule for things like washing windows, cleaning the oven, changing out seasonal clothes in the closet, etc. that only need to be done about every 3 months.

Every weekend I now strive to keep what's already been cleaned.... clean. The best thing about keeping the house maintained is that it gives me more free time in the long run. If I am through cleaning the house, I really enjoy sewing and quilting much, much more!!!


Marie said...

Sounds like a great plan to me. I started off the New Year by cleaning out. My husband and I are disabled and limited to how much we can do, but I feel really good about what we accomplished. I got rid of some books that I had been saving and one of my friends came and took them to Goodwill to get her a receipt for next years taxes. We were both helped--I got rid of Stuff and she got help for next year.
I wish you a great New Year!

Mary Ann said...

I agree about the maintenance. A house is not kept clean without any effort, which is what some of us want! Doing a little each day pays off in the long run. I still need to get a better schedule for the occasional jobs such as cleaning the oven, etc.

I clean the bathroom every week but one week is a lighter cleaning then a heavier more detailed cleaning the next.

Mom2fur said...

This is all so true. I find that, after the initial 'deep clean,' daily or weekly maintenance makes life so much easier. Not letting clutter pile up on the coffee table, for instance, means the different between a five-minute chore and a 1 minute one! Five times less work--I can live with that.

Susan said...

I agree wholeheartedly! I used to think my toothbrush holder got terribly gunky till I started cleaning it every week. Now it hardly gets dirty at all - amazing! LOL

I've just set up a cleaning schedule for my house, and I'm enjoying it so much. I'm in the process of getting it all entered into my computer calendar so that it gives me a list of my housekeeping jobs every day. Now if the computer would just do the jobs for me! ;)

Anonymous said...

You are so right! Normally I am the type of person that keeps up on the housework all through the week. My family calls me a cleaning and organizing freak but for some reason this winter I have not and boy can I tell the difference!

It's so funny because today I decided enough is enough and I decided to get back in the swing of things! And here I came and read your post today! :)


Elizabeth-Plain and Simple said...

I agree. Maintenance is very important and saves time. I am always looking for better ways to keep a clean house and still have time to do other things that I enjoy. Thanks for sharing and have a nice weekend.


Anonymous said...

Hi Debbie,
This is perfect timing. Dave and I had this dicussion tonight. I am a planner. I would rather keep up than play catch up. I do a little every day and never let things pile up.Great Job.

Terri said...

Yep, you are right. I used to wait until we had company coming and then I was running around like a crazy person, making my family miserable! Now, I just do scheduled cleaning every week. I'm calmer and my house looks better!

DarcyLee said...

I have been needing to do this kind of schedule for my house cleaning for awhile. It seems I've gotten out of it since my last daughter was married and I lost some of my house cleaning "help." Thanks for the encouragement.

Beautiful pear tree lane said...

Hi Debbie,
Just a great post, as I am about to embark on cleaning my house which hasn't been done since Christmas!
I agree maintaining is the key!! Thanks for sharing.

Lori Harris said...

well said!! now if i could only take your advice! :)

Janel said...

Hi Debbie!
It's Janel from are you? I have a question for you...are you still making your reusable fabric bags? My friend loves the ones I purchased from you (I even shared some with her) and she would like to buy some. I had to stop husband lost his job last year for 7 months. Finally working again, but it will take some time to catch up financially. My friend also would like to know if she could purchase a certain fabric and send it to you for you to use?

Hope you have a happy and healthy new year!

Alexandra said...

Dusting is my least favorite job, but I always feel wonderful after wards. It's the one thing that makes a house look and feel clean.

Congrats to your stepdaughter!

She's Here! Victoria!

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