I hate housework. You make the beds, you wash the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again. ~ Joan Rivers
Planning is always the best part of doing anything. This is when you get to dream about the happiest path possible to reach your end goal - a home that is quick and easy to clean. But the house is not going to clean itself.
So I do advise that you don't treat planning like you're writing a novel which needs editing.
Do it quickly!
Then start working even if you're not finished with the schedule.
For me the house cleaning schedule is the second phase of planning. It comes right after the making of checklists. So this should not take more than 30 minutes to complete.
However, if this is the first time you're trying this out it may take a little longer.
Making a schedule is one of the most difficult phases of the planning process. Failure to properly estimate the amount of time a cleaning task needs - can be demotivating. This is especially true when you don't meet your goal or see and enjoy the impact of the effort you put in.
In this article I'll show you how I build my house cleaning schedule for a week so that I can get started quickly.
It all starts with your calendar. One that shows all the commitments you've made for your time. Now, we may have a tendency to treat cleaning as a low priority, but you should avoid that. Make it a priority. Meaning that if you put on your schedule that breakfast dishes should be cleaned and put away before leaving the house in the morning. Then do what you need to do in order to make that happen - even if it means waking up a little bit earlier.
Or - if you plan on deep cleaning all the bathrooms in your home on a specific Saturday in the month, don't ditch because you got a better offer to go shopping or whatever...
Once you add the cleaning task to your calendar treat it like sacred time not to be usurped - unless there is an extreme emergency.
Put your cleaning tasks in the timeslots when you will complete them. Although we do have a habit as human beings to under estimate the amount of time a task will take - there are steps we can follow to mitigate that issue...
Initially, you can double the amount of time that you think a task will take and let your cleaning schedule reflect that. Then, as you are completing the cleaning tasks, log the amount of time a task actually takes so that in the future when preparing your schedule you will have better time estimates.
Note that, depending on the effort and the amount of time you need to block of for each task - some of them may run over a couple of days. If this ends up being the case - try to come up with complete tasks for each cleaning session. Meaning that you break that big task down into a tiny tasks that will take less time and that you can consider as complete once your time is up and you have to move on.
For instance, if you feel like you're inundated with truckloads of laundry each day and can't get it done in one session - that is - washed/dried folded and put away. Try breaking the task down like this...
Wash all the white clothes on Monday. For the rest, may be all the jeans on Wednesday and the colourful shirts and t-shirts on Friday. In this way the task is repeatable and you have a sense of completion and control.
Or you could try having a special laundry day for each member of the family.
Think of the best way for you to break your tasks down to the point that it fits into a block or blocks of time and be complete in your eyes.
On a side note - for this hypothetical example, you may want to consider getting rid of some of the clothes if it takes a whole lot of time to care for all of them. You can try out some minimalism tips to help you with that.
The idea is that, in the end, you don't want to leave anything half done - I'm sure you already know that it's not a good feeling.
I say all of this to let you know that your initial house cleaning schedule will be dynamic. As you continue to use it, you will realize that maybe it's better to do the laundry on Friday night rather than Saturday morning or that you prefer to wash dirty dishes early in the morning rather than late at night. So you will make the necessary changes to suit your preferences.
Now lets create your first house cleaning schedule...
So there are two things I want you to accomplish with this guide:
This way there is no frustration because you know exactly what you need to do, when to do it, and how much time it will take (approximately).
I'm all about keeping things simple so we'll start with the house cleaning list of all the tasks that need to be completed to have the ideal clean space that you want.
Next tag each item on your list as either daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. Now since this is the first cleaning schedule, overestimate how long each task will take (these can change over time). Finally, using one of those calendars, or apps or whatever medium you choose - fill in the dates with the cleaning task and time.
Below is a simple example of my schedule for the week. Because I live minimally with no children about, its quick and easy. Getting rid of most of the unused stuff occupying space and adding to my cleaning chores has made cleaning a less unpleasant task.
The house cleaning schedule is meant for you to see what needs to be done and over time if you do some decluttering you will see your home become quick and easy to clean and you will have no problem sticking to your house cleaning schedule.
Now that you have your major house cleaning events dated and your daily and weekly chores listed with their time commitments, get ready to make your house cleaning year plan.
The schedule lists all your unchanging commitments for the year. The unchanging cleaning times in the following example are highlighted in yellow.
When you finish making your house cleaning year plan, make enough copies of it for each week for the rest of the year.
Now take one copy and start on your house cleaning schedule for the rest of the week. Make sure to consult the calendar of major house cleaning events and your daily and weekly chores lists.
In the example below, unchanging time commitments are in blue. House cleaning times remain yellow.
Remember, planning can be a bit intoxicating. Don't allow yourself to get caught up. Get your cleaning tasks schedule for the next week and days and get started now. Yes - now. If something that you're doing now has caused you to move something out of it's proper place...
Be sure to put it back where it belongs when you're done with it before moving on to another activity. If you're nursing a cup of coffee, finish it - wash the cup and put it back in it's proper place.
Or take a few minutes to stroll around your home putting everything back in it's place if they are not currently being used. And while your taking this stroll you can make note of anything that needs to be repaired.
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