Friday, January 28, 2011

Steps to a Clean House

If you are anything like me, you are so busy during the week that housework tends to be put on the side. Life happens and laundry piles up, countertops end up cluttered, and toys get scattered throughout every room in the house. I find it hard to keep my house clean during the week since we are on-the-go often. I always felt I was behind, but for the past two weeks, I have used a method that has proved to work quite well. I have adopted the "timer" method for cleaning my house.

Because I find it hard to deep clean during the week, I save my cleaning for the weekends. I continue to pick up during the week as best as I can, but if I really want to do a good job and focus on deep cleaning, I have to clean on a weekend. Here is a cleaning strategy that has worked well for me and I hope that it may help you, too.

First, gather all cleaning supplies needed: broom, mop, vacuum, cleaning products, cleaning rags or papertowels, and small garbage bags. Place them where they are easily accessible to you during your cleaning time.

To start, set your timer for 15 minutes. Go through your house and gather all dirty laundry and sort. Throw one load in the washer so that it will be running while you are cleaning.

When you are finished gathering laundry, set your timer for another 5-10 minutes. Take a large trash bag (or reuse grocery store bags) and find and throw away any and all trash around the house. Empty the trashcans in each room.

So far, we have spent 20-25 minutes on a little laundry and gathering/emptying trash. You may find that you don't need that much time, which is even better! There is something about being timed that makes you a little more effective at what you are doing.

Next, take your timer into any bedroom. Set it for 30 minutes. Start cleaning and get as much cleaned as you can in that time. Organize toys, put away any clean clothes, dust, vacuum, and change the bed sheets.

Repeat the step above for each bedroom/office. Again, you may not need all 30 minutes for each room, which is great. That will give you more time for other rooms. If you do find that you need more time, give yourself the additional time to get the job done.

Check on your laundry during your cleaning time, move loads into the dryer and have start another load while you continue cleaning. Try to always have your laundry going as you clean. Fold each load as it finishes. You can set a timer for folding and putting away, also.

Set your timer for 30 minutes for cleaning bathrooms. Scrub toilets, showers, wipe down counters, and try to sweep and mop in this time.

Work your way from the back of the house to the front. When you get to the kitchen and living room areas, repeat the process and clean as much as you can in 30 minutes time for each. You may need to allow separate time for sweeping and mopping the floors, since this can be time consuming.

You can do this all in one day, or you may space it out over a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Your goal is to have it all clean by Sunday evening, so that the next week you can focus on your career, workouts, children and playgroups, and more. If you have help, this will cut your time in half. Recruit your children and husband to help you. Make a game out of it. If you feel a need, offer an incentive once everything is finished (play a favorite family game, or watch a special movie together).

Using the "timer method" has worked for me and helps me stay focused on getting the job done. When I break the tasks up into one room at a time, I feel my cleaning is more effective, and I feel that I have a place to start, vs. not knowing where to start.

Do you have a cleaning method that works for you? Please share it with us!


  1. Great tips! I work in a similar fashion, except I don't have a little one around, so it's quite a bit easier for me lol!
    I used to keep all the cleaning supplies under the kitchen sink, but living in a 2-story condo, I learned that is stupid. So bathroom supplies stay upstairs and everything else downstairs, near where it needs to be used.
    I take 'cleaning breaks' throughout the day instead of trying to cram it all in at once. Most of my time is spent studying these days, so I study-clean-study-clean, before I know it, everything is done! I also try to get everything done Mon-Fri so that our weekends are free to do anything we want. It's a nice little bonus for Warner :-) And he does appreciate it!
    *Amber K*

  2. Thanks for this tip I need to try this as Im in the same situation :(

  3. I totally use the timer method. It is amazing what you can get done in 10 minutes.

  4. I love the timer method. I used it in the past but had stopped doing it until you recently reminded me of it.

    Great post!

  5. Amber, thats great that you can get it done during the week! I would love to be able to do that. We are just always in and out of the house so much that by the time we get home, I'm exhausted! :) I don't mind doing it over the weekends--whatever works for ya! Thanks for your comment!

    Erica, let me know how it works for you!

    Michelle, you are right. You really can't get alot done "under pressure!"

    Heather, hope it continues to work for you!


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