No one likes spending time cleaning. It is a thankless task that no one ever congratulates you for doing it. Let me change that for you now.
“Thank you. Thank you for keeping your home clean and everyone healthy. You are doing an incredible job.“
Cleaning a home doesn’t have to be all-consuming. A room a day gives the house a sense of belonging. People can still exist in their own spaces, and 10 – 20 minutes of sprucing a room up every week doesn’t sound like to much of a hard job, does it?
People build up cleaning too much in their minds. It is not a long, difficult job. The hardest part is starting your routine, which can involve looking at a room that hasn’t been cleaned in a while, taking a deep breath, picking up a lot of rubbish and putting it straight in the bin.
Once that first initial step is over (and trust me, it is worth it in the end) you are into an easy cycle of cleaning. The hard work has been done with the big first clean, now you just need to do a top-up every week to make the rooms presentable.
And don’t ever think you are solely responsible for keeping an entire house tidy. Everyone who exists in that house needs to get involved. Cleaning is a fantastic life skill to have, and if others see you are making an effort to keep things clean, they will eventually notice you are doing it and want to get involved. A little bit of encouragement always helps too.
Kids, as an example, need to learn about keeping clean. Turn it into a game for them – see who can vacuum the floor the best, or who can reach the highest with a duster. However, one key part of cleaning must be respected – never reward others for helping with the cleaning. They are not doing you a favour, and it shouldn’t be seen as a task that gets a treat at the end (remember, no one says thank you for cleaning). It is a skill they need to learn, and by scheduling the cleaning they may only find they need to spend 10-20 minutes cleaning every week (if they are lucky).
Tidying v Cleaning
Now, it is important to differentiate between tidying up and cleaning. Tidying up needs to be done before you can clean, it is the act of putting things away where they belong. Clothes need to go in cupboards and drawers, toys need to be put away once they have finished being played with, and any rubbish that is laying around needs to go in the bin. Workspaces should be clear, books go on bookshelves, and paperwork is stored tidily.
Skippy follows the Marie Kondo method of tidying – clothes, books, papers, objects, and keepsakes. Keep what makes you feel happy, or “sparks joy” as Marie would say. Move on anything else that doesn’t. You want your home to be tidy, minimalist if that is the route you want to go down, but certainly easy on the eyes.
Cleaning, on the other hand, is getting rid of dirt and bacteria to make the house safe and clean to live in.
Tidying can be a big job to start with, and it is recommended tidying the full house before you start cleaning. You can tidy and clean together, but that can make the task seem daunting. If you need any advice or motivation to start tidying check out our guide to cleaning here.
Starting a Cleaning Schedule
The best way to keep a house clean is creating a weekly schedule for doing a ‘lap’ of the house. And yes, the yard / garden / outdoor space does count as a ‘room’ in the schedule. Every house has a different schedule based on how many rooms there are. Try and stick to getting the house clean every week (again, once you get into the swing of cleaning it won’t take long). And aim for a 6-day cleaning schedule. The 7th day is a day of rest, where you can sit back and admire your home.
Example: The Skippy Mansion Cleaning Schedule
Let’s consider the Skippy Mansion – the home of all things Skippy related. It’s not a mansion first of all, it’s a 5-bedroom terrace house with a bathroom, shower room, living room and kitchen. We have a yard too, and that’s it. Nothing special, but functional and brilliant to live and work in. 6 people live here, and after a bit of perseverance, everyone is now fully versed in keeping the house, particularly bedrooms, clean.
How do we do this? We follow our home cleaning schedule. This is something I put together a while ago and has been helping us keep the house clean ever since. Here it is – have a look at the table below.
|Monday||Vacuum Kitchen Worktop, Microwave, and Floor|
Dryer Lint and Water
|Tuesday||Vacuum Kitchen Worktop, Microwave, and Floor Dryer Lint and Water|
Fridge / Freezer, ready for shopping
|Wednesday||Vacuum Kitchen Worktop, Microwave, and Floor|
Dryer Lint and Water
|Thursday||Vacuum Kitchen Worktop, Microwave, and Floor|
Dryer Lint and Water
|Friday||Vacuum Kitchen Worktop, Microwave, and Floor|
Dryer Lint and Water
|Saturday||Vacuum Kitchen Worktop, Microwave, and Floor|
Dryer Lint and Water
|Sunday||Vacuum Kitchen Worktop, Microwave, and Floor Dryer Lint and Water|
Doesn’t look to bad, does it? Let me explain it to you.
Breaking it Down – 5-minute jobs each day.
We have pets in the house, and people who visit with pets a lot. The landing area and passageway, leading into each room, is where the pets like to exist. This area gets vacuumed every day. The general consensus is from cleaning experts is that if you have pets vacuum the areas that they exist mostly every day. It takes 5 minutes to do.
The kitchen is also important. Food is prepared and cooked every day, so it is important that worktops, the microwave, and the floor are clean.
Antibacterial spray for the worktops after they have been used is a 30-second job, wiping down the microwave with a sponge and cloth is another 30 seconds, and sweeping anything off the floor that has fell off the worktop takes a minute.
If there are spillages the kitchen floor is mopped with hot water and a drop of washing up liquid and then dried. Easy peasy. At most mopping takes 5 minutes. And as a rule, I will mop the floor at least once a week, even if there haven’t been any spillages.
Finally, the Clothes Dryer is cleaned. This became part of the routine after I noticed no one else in the house, other than me, removed the build up of lint or water in the Dryer after using it. Rather than risk the house burning down because of a build-up of lint I purposefully take the lint trap out, shake it into the bin (preferably outside), and empty the water down the sink. This whole process takes 1-minute.
These tasks happen every day as these are the main ‘hotspots’ of cleaning in the house. After I have done them, I move onto each room.
Monday see’s the living room getting cleaned. This involves sweeping up with a brush, lifting the couch up to scoop out any rubbish that has ended up underneath it, vacuuming the couch to remove any rubbish that has fell down the sides, vacuuming the curtains, dusting the walls and any worktops / shelves / ornaments, before finally finishing with a quick vacuum of the floor. 10 – 20 minutes to do depending on the mess.
I feel the living room is an important Monday task as it means it is nice to exist in for the rest of the week.
Tuesday is when we do the food shopping, so I clean out the Fridge and Freezer ready for the new food items to arrive. Notice how I’m only cleaning the one appliance as the main kitchen area is cleaned daily. This involves checking any food still in there is in date and fresh, disposing on anything that isn’t.
The glass shelves and plastic drawers are taken out and washed with warm water and washing up liquid in the sink. I then leave them to air dry while I wipe the insides of the Fridge and Freezer down with a wet sponge (warm water with more washing up liquid) and cloth. Once dry the shelves are put back in and the food put back. This whole process takes around 15 minutes.
Wednesday is the turn the shower room. Plenty of spraying of sinks, toilers, radiator, shower and walls, and the floor gets mopped. This does involve a little bit graft to get the surfaces either shiny or see-through, but the process takes no longer than 20 minutes.
Thursday is the turn of the bathroom, which is just like the shower room except there is a bath to spray and clean instead of a shower. Surfaces are also sprayed, and the floor mopped. Again, 20 minutes.
Friday’s signal the end of the working week, meaning a sleep-in tomorrow! You want your bed stripping down to the mattress on the morning to let it air out during the day, and the room vacuumed and dusted before you make the bed on the evening.
In the Skippy household I only look after the master bedroom and our little girl’s room as she is only 4 years old. The older kids are responsible for keeping their own rooms tidy and changing the bed sheets. If they don’t privileges, such as internet access, are removed until it is done.
I’m quite strict with them, I want their rooms to be tidy by round 7pm, which is when I do a ‘room inspection’ to make sure they have put the effort in. Occasionally they need some help or a gentle nudge to put something away, but overall, it works well.
Once again, cleaning takes 20 minutes at best, and 5 minutes to make the bed with fresh sheets. Lovely!
Saturday is a busy activity day in our household. The kids and missus are out doing various sporting activities, and I’m away refereeing football matches. I clean the yard, which involves scrubbing with a brush and hot water, as well as spraying any moss-build-up that I spot on the walls, knowing it will be gone in a few days. The yard is done in 15 minutes.
I must also point out that animal dirt isn’t left all week in the yard. Absolutely not! This is cleaned up as and when it happens throughout the week to stop the spread of germs, and the appearance of flies.
Sunday is a day off, except for cleaning the kitchen and vacuuming of course. I’m usually out refereeing again, and when I get home, I just want to relax. If we have missed something out by accident during the week (this very rarely happens) we’ll catch up on Sunday.
The Hardest Part is Starting
And that is how we keep the Skippy Mansion clean. 20 minutes each day in a different room. The hardest part of cleaning is getting stated, but once you begin it is a routine you will be thankful for it. There is no better feeling then finishing cleaning a room, looking around to admire your handiwork, and being proud of the place you call home. You can do it, I believe in you.
I highly recommend creating your own weekly cleaning schedule. Not only that but there are some jobs you should do monthly too, so getting into a routine is a great way of ensuring your house is clean, safe, and looking after you. It is an old adage but couldn’t be any truer – look after your home and your home will look after you.