Creating a realistic cleaning schedule needs to start with a shift in our mindset on how to approach cleaning. Putting cleaning into perspective will help us meet our cleaning goals. On the one hand, we place too much emphasis on cleaning. On the other, we don’t make it enough of a priority. This causes inner strife and conflict. There has always been a certain expectation of how clean we should keep our house and a standard level of cleanliness. I could go into why this is or where this expectation originated, but that’s not the point. The first thing is to figure out what is important to you. Second, we’ll come up with a plan on how to meet these goals. Lastly, focusing on the end result and the benefits of a clean home will provide the motivation for when we don’t feel like sticking to the plan that we created for ourselves.
Time to Brainstorm
Before we get into our own cleaning preferences, there are two pieces of business to go over first. Grab a sheet of paper, it’s time to brainstorm and jot down some notes!
Identify what is already working.
Let’s start with the good news! There are plenty of things you are doing well! Identifying these areas keep defeat at bay and also help figure out what’s already working and how to make more things work.
What is holding you back. OCD vs. ADD.
I know, I know. I’m totally exaggerating but since we like to self-diagnose ourselves I think this nicely shows the extreme ends of the spectrum that we can all relate to in some shape or form! The one end is overthinking things and overdoing every task so that we take forever to get our tasks done and end up burned out in the end. The 80/20 rule is pushed aside because of our need for perfection and we’re not happy until every speck of dust and dirt and been gathered up and defeated! We like to complete our tasks 110% or we’d rather not even bother!! The other type of person cannot stay focused on a task long enough and ends up with completing 80% of each task at hand leaving a ton of little loose ends and feels defeated in the end because it seems like nothing got done!! Which one is holding you back from creating a realistic cleaning schedule?
Determine your cleaning style.
The Toucher-Upper. This person is great cleaning in short bursts and does the bare minimum to make things look clean and tidy. She is efficient
The Organizer. This person would rather have an organized home than a clean home. Everything having a place is more important than a space being dirt free.
The Binge-Cleaner. This person isn’t good at breaking tasks down into smaller segments, so puts off cleaning and does it all at once. Perfectionism and drive allows this person to clean large portions all at once.
The Neat Freak. This person is driven by a clean house. Cleaning is a major priority and comes before other activities. She has a rigid cleaning schedule and her home is always spotless. Cleanliness is very important as is routine.
The Free Spirit. This person loves life. Cleaning falls to the bottom of the priority list. She values personal interaction and hobbies. Her house isn’t dirty and messy, but it isn’t spotless.
The Slob. This person hates cleaning. She struggles with knowing how to keep her home clean and doesn’t know where to begin.
When determining how you best operate, take this information into consideration when you decide on a realistic cleaning schedule that will be work for you. It will help you determine how often, how long, and when it’s best to clean each space in your home.
Create a list of cleaning tasks.
Grab a sheet of paper and jot down all of the tasks based on your living situation and cleaning preferences. This will help you determine how much and how often you need to clean. Think about what days of the week might work best for each task or if you want to just spend a certain amount of day and work through the list as you have time or in the time that you’ve set aside for cleaning.
Create a Realistic Cleaning Schedule and Routine
Once you’ve jotted down all of your tasks, determine how often each task needs to be completed. It is important to figure out the importance of each task based on your own preferences. Some people love to make their bed every day and this is extremely important to them. For others, it might be making sure the dining room table is free of clutter. This also depends on your life circumstances. If you live alone, you will have less laundry to do than a family of four. Don’t compare yourself to others and their status quo. Set a routine that makes sense for you and your circumstances!!
Get the right Cleaning tools for the job
There is nothing worse than cleaning something and it doesn’t seem like it’s any cleaner than before. It’s also super frustrating when a task seems to take forever when it doesn’t seem like it should. Investing in the right cleaning tools will help you get the job done quicker and more efficiently
Deal with the clutter: Declutter timer vs. clutter baskets
It’s important to have everything put away before trying to clean. Set designated times to put things away, or if you are in a hurry and need to clean efficiently, use “clutter baskets” to separate items based on the room they belong, by family member, or by items you want to keep vs donating or throwing out. You will save yourself time by grouping items together, but make sure you put things back or discard unwanted items and not let your clutter baskets turn into clutter! A realistic cleaning schedule will be a lot easier to stick with if you have a system in place for dealing with clutter and also reduce the amount of time it will take to clean each living space.
Pick between the two: high energy deep clean vs. burst speed cleaning
There is a time for each of these. But the important thing is to remain flexible. I know that I struggle with this. I fall on the perfectionism end of the spectrum, so I tend to go for the high energy deep cleaning sessions way too often. But I end up needing to because I don’t always do the burst speed cleaning. It’s better to try and keep up with things than to let them get so dirty that your only choice is to deep clean! On the flip side, doing a deep clean quarterly or every six months will allow you to do a more thorough clean and get to the spots you don’t always have time to clean.
Ask for or hire help when you need it
Sometimes we get in over our heads and just need some help. And this is totally ok! If you’re feeling overwhelmed and feeling guilty that you can’t keep up, consider hiring a professional cleaning service or a professional organizer.
Treat yourself with a reward
Can I just say chocolate ice cream or a bubble bath? When my motivation is really low, and I feel like I’ve accomplished something even it was just getting my laundry all done, there’s nothing better than a hot latte. Not sure that I need to say more about this point.
I hope that you were able to journal some thougts about what it will take for you to create a realistic cleaning schedule that will work for you. I’ve tried a lot of different things and set many goals before I found something that works for me. Letting go of perfection and learning that I need to find the balance between cleaning too much for too long and needing to learn to do small tasks more frequently. I have simplified my cleaning tools and have found products that really help me clean more efficiently. It’s been so good to find balance while being able to maintain a cleaner home! I hope the same will be true for you too!!!
Hi, I’m Shara
I have a passion for organizing. This stems from being naturally drawn to simplicity and structure in my home. Combined with my desire to help women achieve their goals, Simply Renewed Living was born.