If you read “How I Maintain a Clean Home… and Keep My Sanity” then you know that we hired housekeepers to clean our home. It was one of the best decisions we’ve made for my sanity. However like many of you, my family and I have been self quarantined; We’ve pretty much been living in our home 24/7. And we have not had any visitors over in months. Because of this the dust had been accumulating on the blinds, the floors needed to be scrubbed, the refrigerator needed a deep cleaning; honestly the list goes on and on.
Let’s face it the daily messes will continue to be made but we needed to get into a cleaning routine to be happier in our home.
We not only needed a weekly cleaning routine but our house needed a deep cleaning as well. Every crevice in the house needed to be attended to, including the exterior.
It’s strange because once upon a time not that long ago I loved cleaning (yes, loved it). But over the years cleaning became a daunting, unfulfilling chore. So Anthony and I reflected back on the days when we loved cleaning and we took the steps needed to make it manageable. I am sharing what we have found helpful to return to a cleaning routine and deep clean our house along the way.
This is uber important, make a cleaning list
Have you ever heard of a “honey do list”? Anthony and I keep a honey do list which is a collection of chores and tasks that need to be done; historically these tasks deal with the maintenance of our household but can include other things like calling the vet to make an appointment for our dogs.. We currently keep our list in Google Keep and it’s shared between the two of us so we can see who’s doing what.
First we list each room in our home – bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, living room, garage. Then we identify all the areas or things that need to be tackled – pick up the children’s toys, clean out the fridge, etc.. We continue to work our way through the list until all rooms are listed and all cleaning tasks have been listed out. Next we place our initials by the tasks. Here’s a short example of what this looks like:
- Wash sheets (AT)
- Change sheets and make up bed (ST)
- Put shoes away (AT)
- Clean up children’s toys (ST)
- Vacuum (ST)
Give yourself grace
Because cleaning can feel overwhelming be sure to give yourself grace. If you’re looking to establish a more regular, weekly cleaning routine then pick a day and stick to it. I personally find the weekends to be the best day to complete most of cleaning my chores. Depending on the level of cleaning needed and the size of your home, cleaning may not be an easy task so know you may not get to all of it in one day and that’s okay. There’s always a feeling of accomplishment when you can check off the boxes and cross items off your list. A good way to stay motivated is to follow the outline above; you’ll also find my quick wins helpful with this.
If you are deep cleaning I recommend avoiding taking on other projects at the same time because you’ll get overwhelmed. Don’t exhaust yourself by trying to get through everything in one day; be sure to take breaks, refuel and just take some time to breathe while undertaking such a large responsibility. If you make yourself miserable, you will be less likely to go back and complete the project.
Have fun while you clean
Try to make cleaning feel less like a chore by adding music and making it feel like a dance party. Anthony and I have always listened to music while we cleaned. We have different tastes so whatever your choice of music I say blast it and have fun with it. You can create a playlist on Spotify or you can find some inspiration by checking out already available playlists that fit your musical taste.
Start with quick and easy “wins”
Sometimes when we start with a major project it can overwhelm us; this will instantly kill your ambition. To overcome this, I often start with smaller projects that can be done quickly but provide me with a sense of accomplishment. This is true for anything I do but when it comes to cleaning here is a list of small projects you can start with if you need a quick win:
- Recycle all of your junk mail and magazines
- Clean out your spice rack and trash the outdated spices and anything else you find in those cabinets
- Collect all broken or unuseable storage containers and trash them
- Scale down your closet to clothes that fit and you’ve worn within the last six months to a year and donate the rest
- Clean out those junk drawers and trash old menus, coupons, flyers and whatever else maybe collecting dust in there.
Make sure your cleaning routine is manageable for you and your lifestyle; what works for me may not work for you. I am happy to be a thought-partner with you on different approaches to cleaning; join our Facebook group and let’s discuss.
Let us know how your weekly cleaning and deep cleaning are going; we’d love to hear if you found our advice useful or if you have tips to add.
Authored by Sharita Thompson, M.Ed, HBCE