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Ok. Let’s be real, not one room in my home is anywhere near what those pretty little Insta-rooms are.
And to be fair, who’s really are? More often than not those pretty pictures on Instagram aren’t reality. But, that’s beside the point and honestly more than I can say for my home.
As most of you know, our family consists of 3 dogs and 3 cats… and yes they’ve taken over our tiny house. While I love them dearly, I am also very allergic to them. Being an advocate for rescue means I’ll always have a home full of their fuzzy, sweet selves so it’s absolutely essential for us to come up with a way to reduce the dander, fur and outdoor allergens as much as possible.
We’ve been working hard on decluttering so that we can maximize our space, keep the space airy and light and hopefully even make it beautiful. Most importantly, I want to give ourselves and our furbabies a home to thrive in.
But the really important step to all of this is one I’ve failed at miserably over and over again: a cleaning routine.
We’ve come a long way over this last year in terms of cleaning out the house (check out some progress here) and giving more thanks for the shelter that it provides us, but I’m still sprinting around like I’m training for a marathon when Doug says someone is stopping by, shoving misplaced items wherever they can be shoved and out of sight. And it’s getting old.
A big reason I’m so adamant about this is because our home is not at a good place right now. It’s been five years and we’re still in the phase that it brings me more stress than peace and positive experiences… In fact, most mornings I wake up and dread having to get up and deal with the visual noise that is our home.
It drives me nuts that I have so many negative feelings toward our home. I’m trying every single day to love it no matter it’s condition and I can’t quite seem to figure out why it’s taking so much effort. But I am damn determined to transform it into the home we love, like it and we deserve.
So I took a few minutes to decide at a very basic level what tasks really need to be done daily to provide a clean, tidy and livable space that functions the way we need it to… aka our biggest probem areas.
Here’s what I came up with as a bare minimum:
- Clean litter boxes
- Vacuum the main floor area rugs
- Wipe the counters in the kitchen and bath
- Get the dishes done with nothing left in the sink at the end of the night
All pretty basic tasks that make a world of difference when I’m trying to fold laundry on the living room rug or make my coffee in the morning.
Next, I threw all these tasks under columns labeled by days of the week in my Google Sheet.
Because I know our old home full of pet-fur tumbleweeds needs constant TLC to stay clean, my next thought was to seek out an existing schedule that gave someone else success. No need to reinvent the wheel, right? So I turned to one of my go-to resources: The Organically Clean Home by Becky Rapinchuk of cleanmama.net. There are lots of checklists at the back of this book that are a good starting point in creating your home maintenance task list so I added a few relevant ones to my days.
One of the most obvious tasks that I’ve ignored up to this point was doing a load of laundry every day. Anyone else wait until Sunday to get the mountains of laundry done for the week? Or wait a little too long to wash that dog and cat bedding that is full of fur and dander?
So, I threw one load of laundry on my daily list. Easy enough, right? Well here’s the kicker: do a load of laundry start to finish.
I have to say, I love doing laundry. There’s something so therapeutic about folding freshly cleaned clothes, but that’s about where the therapy ends. The clean laundry then sits for weeks being picked and pulled at until I finally get fed up, have to refold it and put it away with anger. So, this as a daily chore was a must!
After I added in the daily chores that were relevant to our house and brainstormed a few more, I incorporated the Monthly Task list from The Organically Clean Home by designating tasks on Saturday and Sunday to complete one thing from the corresponding month’s list.
I specifically picked these days because it’s most likely the days we both are home.
So, this is what our weekly cleaning schedule looks like:
I attached a copy of the Monthly Checklist to the back of this sheet so that it can be easily referenced.
Typically, I overthink everything and need it to be perfect before I start so it was hard for me to throw this list together and move on to the next phase of actually completing it every day. (I think one of my Resolutions for 2018 will be to stop using the excuse that something needs to be perfect before executing it. Don’t be afraid of imperfection).
So if I may give a word of advice, just get a rough copy of your list and try it for a week. Over time, things will need to be added (or hopefully removed) and when they do, great. But if you’re anything like me, here’s your reminder that done is better than perfect. P.S. Did you see our boy Mogley’s wrinkles got on our cleaning list? Pug fam, can you feel me?
Sunday was day 1, and I have to say it went pretty well.
What I love most about this or anything scheduled for that matter, is that you don’t waste time figuring out what to do when you’re doing it. You just do what’s given in front of you and know that it’s part of a bigger plan (this is also how I schedule my planner with goals).
Also, don’t forget to make sure everyone in the household is on the same page so you’re not completing tasks from yesterday’s list. You’ll never get ahead!
…. now if only the dogs would learn to put away their toys instead of leaving them in the middle of the floor.
What does your cleaning regiment look like? What’s working and what isn’t?
Leave a comment below and let me know!