Don’t commit yourself to spending four hours each Saturday cleaning when you have a million other things to do (and who really wants to spend four hours cleaning each Saturday anyway?)
Better time management and organization always seem to fall on our list of New Year’s resolutions – just behind exercise three times a week and eat more vegetables and fewer cookies. We spend the first week of January getting our drawers, closets and filing cabinets in order; hitting the gym each morning; and cooking up healthy dinners every night. By the end of January, bills, toys and newspapers are everywhere and we just ordered pizza for dinner.
Maybe we’re just a tad unrealistic in our New Year expectations. But by biting off what you can actually chew, you can make some goals stick. When it comes to housecleaning, set a reasonable cleaning schedule – one you can seriously achieve. Don’t commit yourself to spending four hours each Saturday cleaning when you have a million other things to do (and who really wants to spend four hours cleaning each Saturday anyway?).
· Make a list of each room in your house.
· Then make a checklist of what cleaning tasks need done in each room. For example, in the bedrooms, you need to change the sheets on the beds and in the living room, you need to dust and vacuum the furniture.
· Create a cleaning schedule for the month. Let’s say you have nine or 10 rooms in your house: four bedrooms, two bathrooms, living room, dining room and kitchen. The first Saturday of the month, give two bedrooms and one bathroom a thorough clean. The second Saturday of the month, give the other two bedrooms and bathroom a good cleaning. The third Saturday, tackle the living room (and a den or home office if you have one). The last Saturday of the month, scrub the kitchen and dining room.
· Be sure to enlist the entire family in this process. Everyone can help keep things neat throughout the week. If they are old enough to walk, they are probably old enough to least pick up toys. The older kids can take on more involved assignments so the whole cleaning process is done much faster – and that’s good for everyone.
Set the schedule however it’s most convenient for you – maybe you spread it over two days a week rather than a Saturday morning. But the point is, your house gets a thorough cleaning each month – just not all at the same time. When it’s a room’s “off” week, just give it a quick tiding up.
And don’t worry if your cleaning schedule takes a nose dive at some point, you can just recommit to it next year.