Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Cleaning, laundry and other necessaries

Some One more of the 'ten posts' alleged in previous post...

Next thing that needs to get on track is cleaning, tidying, laundry and other necessaries. I am going back to a system that has been very successful in the past.

I don't do well with schedules. I am a perfectionist, if my schedule says, '12 noon - laundry,' and I am ten minutes late my brain is going, "FAILURE!". For all you relaxed non-perfectionists who are thinking, Well duh! Get a grip woman!" I just can't help it, that's the way I'm built. :P

The way I keep on top of things at home is by timing myself. Incidentally, this can apply to other work, not just household work. Although in the workplace I like lists and computer generated reminders - but that's another post I'm sure! :)

I shared in a Happy Homemaker Monday post, a couple of Mondays ago, that a great way to do a quick tidy up after the chaos of weekend (are all you mothers nodding your heads?), is to time yourself with no more than 5 or 10 minutes in every room. Your home won't be perfectly tidy and clean after this, but it will feel a million times better and then you can concentrate on laundry (the other post-weekend nightmare).

For the rest of cleaning, here's how I do it, (Flylady has similar schemes)[This can be done a couple of times a week, or once a week if your time is precious]:

  1. Get a clock, timer, mobile phone - anything that you can time yourself with.
  2. Starting in the kitchen after breakfast and my prayer/Bible time I start with 15 minutes, clean around the sink, stack the dishwasher, wipe the surfaces, clean the floor - as much as you can do in 15 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes move on to the next room - the aim isn't perfection, but just as much as you can do in 15 minutes. Carry a box or basket round with you and chuck stuff that needs to go into a different toom. Carry a couple of bags too, 1 for rubbish and 1 for recycling.
  4. Depending on your energy levels, take a 15 minute break every hour (that's what I'm doing right now!).
  5. Work your way round every room in the house.
  6. Once I've done this, I move onto my 'projects' list. This is a list of things that I find hard to keep on top of, my perfectionism gets in the way and I spend far too much time on them. Here's what's on my list and the time I allocate every day to: windows (5 minutes - usually works out at 1 window), filing (5 minutes), ironing (30 minutes), shelves/cupboards/drawers in the kitchen (5 minutes), putting away laundry/ironing (15 minutes) get the idea.
Opps, there's my 15 minutes gone.

I'll be back! :)


  1. Thanks to your Happy Homemaker Monday post I'm tackling housework in 10 minute stints. Shopping, cooking and laundry I can do. Housework is my downfall. I get easily overwhelmed and end up not doing anything because I can't work out where to start. Even FlyLady overwhelms me :(. I'm hoping three 10 minute cleaning blitzes will keep things reasonably under control. I always do better with a timer, but I had forgotten that until your post reminded me.

  2. It's a good place to start. Housework is one of those things that can get so overwhelming that I don't know where to start. That's why the timing thing is good, I have only x number of minutes, the aim isn't perfection just do what I can and then move on. I find that if I keep on a bit in every room then I really start to see improvements.

    The worst one for me is my filing - it gets out of control! You'd be amazed at how much can be cleared just by setting aside 5 minutes a day!

  3. soo...all your talk on cleaning...I'm not great at it, but I'm not bad at it. But that bathtub, well, it's been lacking a super clean. For, well, do I dare admit? Nah. John used to do it because he is really good at it. I'm not so good at it. :) And it was starting to show. So last night we worked together and got it cleaned up. It really shouldn't take that long. Must consult the Queen of Clean on keeping up with that better. :)

  4. I'm not great at keeping up with cleaning, I get a bit bogged down - hence my 'scheme'.

    Scrubbing the bath with biological washing powder sprinkled on a cloth is so easy and shines it up beautifully! The Queen of Clean speaks. :)

  5. I'm not so good with schedules either for the same reason you mentioned. So I may have to give this a try. Thanks for the idea! (o:


  6. Michele - just don't over-do it! You might hurt your back again if you try to do it too fast. It is a good way of focusing on the task in hand though. xxxx

  7. I do a lot like that.