Keeping a clean house is a two-part task:
- Regular cleaning
- Eliminating the excess
You can't have one without the other, or you'll find yourself exhausted, frustrated and overwhelmed.
Regular cleaning is basic maintenance - do the dishes, wipe the counters, etc. The daily portion of regular house maintaining doesn't need to be detailed or take longer than 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night.
And then a time set aside once a week to clean more in-depth; clean the bathtub, mirrors, toilet, vacuum, sweep, etc.
Eliminating the excess clutter in your home means your regular cleaning will take less time.
- When there is no clutter on the countertops, it's easy to wipe them off.
- When there aren't piles on the floor, it's easy to sweep or vacuum
- When there aren't 17 bottles of misc. in the shower, it's easy to clean the tub/shower.
If both cleaning and decluttering are important, where do I start?
I recommend focusing on building your daily cleaning and I have created a free chart set to help you do just that!
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At first, you'll need to commit to simply following the daily routine. Don't worry about sorting and decluttering on a schedule at first, it will come.
When you are intentional about keeping the dishes done and the counters clean, life feels more manageable and you won't be so overwhelmed with household tasks.
In fact, many things become easier- the dishes are done and the counters are clean, so preparing a meal for your family is easier. Waking up in the morning and knowing that the kitchen is clean and ready for you to start your day, makes the day that much better!
And if you've been lacking the motivation to declutter, taking the action of keeping the dishes done and counters clean means you see progress, and you'll have the urge to do more and see more: motivation!
Motivation follows action and doing the dishes twice a day is the perfect action to jumpstart your motivation to declutter.
If you've downloaded the free charts already, you can see how simple the daily cleaning can be. There is no need to start with 10 minutes in each room making them pretty- in fact, I won't ever recommend you spend that much time cleaning!
Your daily tasks should help you feel in control of your home, not the other way around.
Keep it basic to build your habit:
- Wash the dishes
- General kitchen tidy
- Wipe clean counters & stove
- Reward yourself
I didn't start weekly cleaning until I was a long way into my minimalist journey... 6 years in! I never realized the importance of it or how to accomplish it without it taking a full day away from our weekend.
The amount of stuff you have in your home effects how easy it is to clean it.
When I do the cleaning by myself, it takes me about 2 hours, but because I get the kids and husband involved, it's 45-60 minutes tops.
For me, an hour of time for a home that looks like a cleaning crew just came through is priceless.
(That free chart set that you signed up for at the beginning of this post, also includes a weekly cleaning checklist!)
Why is weekly cleaning important?
When you clean the bathtub every week, you have to scrub a bit to get the soap scum off, but it takes less than 5 minutes.
When you clean the bathtub every 6 months, it doesn't matter how much nasty chemicals you use, that's at the very least a 30-minute job.
It's the same for everything: the more often you mop, the less you have to scrub. The more often you clean the toilet, the less time you spend with your face next to it trying to remove the water ring. The more you dust the surfaces, the easier it is to get the dust off.
I know there are people who do that type of deep cleaning every day, and if you are a mom with kids at home: don't require so much of yourself. Once a week is sufficient to maintain the house.
Kids are messy- the bathroom gets dirty faster, the floor gets dirty faster.
Build in the habits that make you feel good:
- Sweep the floor after a meal so you don't see (or feel) crumbs when you walk through the dining room. But only mop once a week, unless, you need to clean up a spill.
- Wipe the stove off after you cook, but only take all the elements apart and clean them once a week.
Monthly & Yearly cleaning
I'm going to be upfront with you right now: I don't plan these out. I do them when I notice they need to be done.
I don't schedule out when the clean the light fixtures or dust the baseboards, or when to clean the ceiling fan or vacuum out the couch.
I'm ok with letting it be until it's obvious something needs to be done.
But if you want a list, this one is good.
It comes down to your standards and what makes you happy. Some people notice the dust on the light fixtures all the time and if that is you, then it's ok to schedule it on your calendar to clean the light fixtures each month.
But if you don't notice them at all, don't stress about it. When you do notice the light fixture is dirty, you can clean them.