Through my personal experience and experience working with clients, one of the number one reasons people struggle to maintain their homes efficiently is that they do not have a strategy. You have to know where you what your objects are and how you plant to meet them. Often we treat cleaning as an objective – goal clean the house. Holy Moly that is a big goal that means a variety of things to many people. By doing this, you are actually potentially slowly down progress and making cleaning a necessary evil.
So, here is the secret sauce to a cleaning strategy:
Create a Plan
Everything must have a place and a plan. I recommend creating a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly type schedule. Daily you may want to clean the kitchen by wiping it down, doing the dishes, etc. Weekly, you may actually break out the mop and deep clean all the floors. However, cleaning the ceiling fans may only be done monthly. Quarterly, may want to clean out the gutters. Feel free to download the copy below for inspiration.
Now, this seems obvious but we all grew up and created different expectations and rules for what clean looks like. Let me tell you, although simple, these different opinions can lead to a little or a lot of frictions in relationships.
I recommend sitting down with your family (spouse, significant other, children, whomever you live with) and talking about the expectations. Come to compromise. Although, yes you are always right, you do need to compromise about how all of you will maintain your home.
After defining expectations, open it up for everyone to select the tasks for the week, month, or day that they would like to do. Now, if there were things that you were challenged to agree on, maybe one of you decide that they will always do that task. I really do not enjoy doing the dishes, so my husband primarily does the dishes. This does not mean that I cannot, but in most cases that will be his task. He does not like to fold and put away laundry, so this is my job. I am particular about it and find it somewhat relaxing.
Break it down into reasonable sections
Yes, there are days that I would love to clean the entire house top to bottom, re-organizing, de-cluttering, and doing a good deep clean. This is my therapy. BUT the reality is that in my season of life this is not going to happen. In order for me to maintain what I consider clean, I need to do a little bit at a time. That may come in the form of 20 minutes in the morning or in the afternoon. Maybe it is 10 minute breaks throughout the day. Or for some, it is an entire hour a couple times a week. It does not matter what it looks like, just that you agree on a plan.
My recommendation is using my non-negotiable rule. Pick 1 -3 things that you will call your non-negotiables. These are 1 -3 tasks that make your home feel a little cleaner and more organized. Set a timer and focus on those tasks alone. If you get more done, great.
We have to maintain our space as a family. I am a firm believer that it takes an entire family to make a mess, so it should take an entire family to clean up. The more people involved, the less time it should take in theory. Having a strategy and clear expectations goes a long way.
Intentional Living Tip:
Take some time to work with your family on defining a routine, a schedule, expectations, and a plan. Now, it is a process, so it will take time to build a new habit. Organization and clean is a lifestyle. Take action steps. Do not worry about perfection. There are no wrong answers. It needs to just make sense for you and your family in their current season. Let me know how I can help!
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