Friday, December 7, 2012

The lazy person's guide to keeping your house clean(ish)

Now that we are getting settled in, I am trying to return to the normal routine that we had established of cooking at home, planning our meals and having a cleaning schedule.  A cleaning schedule!  What are you, thirty?  Yes, I am.  Thirty-one, actually.  See, I am naturally not a tidy person.  I like things to be clean, but I hate cleaning.  When I first moved to Portland, I moved into a house with two other roommates.  They already had a chore chart, and asked if I would be OK with that.  And I found that having a chore chart really helps me to stay on top of keeping the house clean(ish).  Of course, it helps when you have roommates and so only have one major chore a week.  In that house we used a whiteboard calendar that we filled in every week.  Each roommate had their own marker color and had a different chore assigned each week.  For example, one week would be floors, one week would be kitchen and one week would be trash.
I think this is exactly the same calendar that we used

 This works well for roommate situations because it leaves little room for resentment from one person doing all the chores and another never doing any.   After living with the chore chart for awhile, I decided it was the best way to keep myself on top of housework, and I thought I would probably try to continue to have a chore chart even after moving out.  K also really liked our chore chart, so we decided to keep one after we moved in together.  We assigned chores to ourselves according to our schedules, but instead of using a white board, we use our iCloud calendars.  This is great because you can keep calendars for different people or events, and you can access it from your phone or a computer so you pretty much always have access to it.  Each of us has our own chore chart, and we also have a general calendar to schedule things that we do together like events we are going to, people visiting, etc.

  Since I am not working right now and have more free time, I figure I can at least attempt to keep the house clean (easier said than done).  I kept seeing these things on pinterest that were links to blogs saying "Clean your house in 15 minutes a day!".  So I based my current cleaning schedule on THIS one.  Honestly, I don't know if I am just a slow cleaner or what, but it is at least half an hour to an hour per day, who are they kidding with 15 minutes a day?  To be completely honest, I am not very good about sticking to this 100%, but having it written down reminds me that it hasn't been done in X amount of time and needs to be done.  This can also be adjusted to your own personal needs or preferences.

Monday: Dust
Tuesday: Sweep and mop tile
Wednesday:  Clean out fridge, deep clean kitchen
Thursday: Clean downstairs bathroom (half bath)
Friday:  Clean master bath

K has take out trash, vacuum carpet and clean second bathroom.  Dusting and cleaning the half bath take the least amount of time, those can probably actually be done in 15 minutes.  I added the cleaning out fridge and moved kitchen to Wednesday since we moved into this house because we now have to keep our trash cans in our garage.  I don't want to throw out stinky food and have it sitting in the garage for 5 days.  Wednesday night is when the trash goes out, so that is the best time to do it.  Keeping up with cleaning out the fridge once a week will allow us to avoid any gross situations in there and help us to avoid food waste by keeping tabs of what is in the fridge that needs to be used up.  Plus, I really love my new fridge and I want to keep it nice!  (Nothing like deep cleaning your old house when you move out to show you how gross you are!)
Fancy new fridge

The most important chore that I have started doing is in my kitchen.  Although I am lazy when it comes to cleaning, I HATE a messy kitchen.  Drives me nuts.  And I felt like I was constantly cleaning the kitchen, especially since we cook at home so often now.  I was facing a pile of dishes and messy counters everyday, and it seemed to take me about an hour to clean my kitchen daily, only to mess it up again at dinner.  So, I started a daily routine that helps me immensely IF I stick to it.  If I skip one day it messes up the whole thing and it takes me a day or two to get back on schedule.  It is fairly simple, and might be a "Duh" moment for some people who already do this, but for procrastinators it will be a life saver.  In the morning, while I am brewing my coffee, I unload the clean dishes from the dishwasher and quickly load the few stragglers from the night before and that morning.  Then the dishwasher is empty and accepting dirty dishes, so throughout the day if I dirty a dish it goes directly into the dishwasher.  After dinner, leftovers are packed into lunch sized portions for the next day,  all dishes are loaded into the dishwasher, and counters are wiped (takes less than ten minutes).  I set the dishwasher to run overnight as it has a delay button, but you could run it right away.  The point is that the dishes should be clean the next morning so that you can unload them and start over.  This takes a little discipline because doing a chore first thing in the morning before you have even had coffee is not the most fun thing in the world, but it is REALLY not hard, and it makes a huge difference in the amount of time spent cleaning up for the rest of the day.  Also, I really like walking into a clean kitchen, which happens most of the time now!

Basically, regular maintenance is your friend.  As a procrastinator, I often avoid doing something for as long as I can.  The problem with that is that often I have twice as much work when I finally get to it.  After cleaning up, it is best to KEEP it clean, instead of putting it off until you can't stand it anymore.  And yes, those type As out there already know this, but this guide is not for you.  We all know you have no problem keeping your house clean.
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Alisha said...

I so need an "Japan Edition" for those of us who are procrastinators and don't have dishwashers. It entails DOING the dishes at night and then putting them all away in the morning after they have dried. Ugh! I SO want a dishwasher... ;-)

NW Girl said...

I know, Alisha, not having a dishwasher makes it so much harder to keep up with dishes! It is a luxury that I take for granted, but in college I lived in a few places without one. It helps to have roommates that you can share the dishwashing responsibility with :)

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