How To Keep a Clean House in 20-30 Minutes a Day

I’m generally an all or nothing type person. When I start a project I like to finish it as soon as I can. I don’t like starting something new until I’ve finished up what I started earlier. This personality trait has, for all of my adult years, carried over into how I clean my house. For years my cleaning schedule has gone like this: 1.) wait until the house gets dirty enough that I can’t stand it anymore (which isn’t long…I’m a neat freak) 2.) spend the whole day cleaning the entire house from top to bottom 3.) crawl into bed at night exhausted with dry hands and a sore back.

That schedule worked ok for a while and I’ll admit there is something so soothing about having your whole house clean at once. But, let’s face it… with kids the whole house stays clean for a total of about 5 minutes before something’s messy again. Plus, it was getting harder and harder for me to find a day where I could devote 5+ hours just to cleaning my house. I pay (too much) attention to detail when I clean and also end up sorting, rearranging, putting things away while I clean. That, coupled with lots of interruptions from the children, made for very long days of cleaning (yes, they do help me with cleaning but their “help” often creates more clean up for me!).

But everything has changed! You guys…. I have found a solution! I have changed my cleaning habits from a project into a practice. I’ve implemented THE TWO WEEK CLEANING SCHEDULE! It totally goes against my grain but I have gotten into the routine of it and I am loving it! All it takes is about 20 -30 minutes of cleaning a day. And the good thing is…my house always feels clean!

Ok so you may have seen people post before about how they clean one area of their house each day of the week and then they always have a clean house. Yea, well, that sounds good in theory… but cleaning each part of my house every week is just too much for me (honest truth). And, while some areas of the house could use a cleaning once a week, there are many areas that I think do just fine with a cleaning every two weeks. So that’s what I do. I choose one area of the house to clean each day and complete the whole house over a two week period. Here’s my sample schedule:

Week One:

Monday: Vacuum
Tuesday: Deep clean kitchen
Wednesday: Master bathroom
Thursday: Guest bathroom

Week Two:

Monday: Empty trash throughout house, clean windows (not all my windows but things like the slider and back door which the kids touch)
Tuesday: Dust
Wednesday: Sweep
Thursday: Mop

I have chosen not to clean on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday because I like to have the weekends free and I also like to have some extra days in case one day I just can’t fit in the time to clean. I also do laundry on the weekends and meal prep. But if you have a larger house or more areas to clean you can always add some or all of those days to spread out the work. Also once a month on a Friday or Saturday I do something that only needs to be done once every couple of months like windows, blinds, ceiling fans, and baseboards. As a side note, this schedule does not include things like dishes, picking up toys, putting away clothes, vacuuming or sweeping up spills and messes, etc. These are things that I do on a daily basis and don’t need to add to my cleaning schedule. I will also swipe the toilet or wipe down the bathroom sink real quick if need be in between cleaning days. This list is just for the more scheduled deep cleanings, not the quick things I do daily.

The beauty of a schedule like this is you can customize it however you like! You can do a little something every day of the week or cut it down to just 3 days a week. You can clean the bathrooms once a week instead of once every two weeks if yours get dirty quicker (I’ll admit they probably do need it but I just hate cleaning bathrooms so I figure once every 2 weeks is enough!). If your dog sheds and you need to vacuum every day then add vacuuming along with something else to your schedule. The only carpet we have is in our bedrooms so I don’t need to vacuum as often. The key is, don’t overload the schedule! If your cleaning is going to take more than 20-30 minutes you probably aren’t going to get to it each and every day because it’s too time consuming. You want short, quick jobs that you can accomplish quickly and that you won’t be able to talk yourself out of.

I’ve been loving my two week cleaning schedule so far and it’s taken alot of stress off of me as I know that at any given time most areas of my house are clean. What about you? What methods of cleaning work for you? What household chore do you absolutely hate to do? I’d love to hear!

 

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"If it’s not a HELL YES, then it’s a no"

So I just realized that I didn’t post any blog posts in December. Nadda. Zero. Zilch. Oh well!

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December was a great month for us. Just busy! The kids are at such fun ages and it made Christmas such a magical time this year! But since they’re getting older now we’ve also added more activities to our plate during the holiday season. Isaiah had parties at school and a basketball performance at the half time show of a local basketball game. Eloise had her first ballet recital. We saw Santa at several events. We took one last trip to SeaWorld before our season passes expired (WOW!! SeaWorld at Christmas time was AMAZING! Even though we’re not buying season passes again for 2016 we’re still planning to try and make it there at Christmas time again. Truly magical!). We stayed up late looking at Christmas lights in different neighborhoods. We spent one evening at Adventure Landing for WinterFest. We crammed in as many Christmas movies as we could. We moved our Elf on the Shelf (“Elfis”) around the house every night while the kids were asleep and tried to come up with something creative for him to be doing the next day (man that’s stressful!!).

We hung Christmas lights on the outside of our house for the first time ever (and then (after hanging up 5 strands) realized we didn’t’ have enough to go all the way around the house so we tried to buy more… and then found out that they were out of stock at all the stores and were being discontinued (thanks Target!)… so, since we didn’t want to buy 10 completely new sets (because just 5 new ones wouldn’t match the 5 we already had) and since by this time it was just a week before Christmas, we just decided to get back up on the roof and take them all down. And…the story gets better. When we took them down we put them in a garbage bag and set them in the garage (why did we do that?!?)….and then a week later accidentally threw away the garbage bag full of 5 strands of perfectly good icicle lights (bangs head on table). Yea, that was one of our Christmas adventures I’d rather not remember!). We read the Christmas story several times and and sang to lots of Christmas music. Drew and his dad spent Christmas Eve (after our Christmas Eve service) setting up the new trampoline we bought the kids so they would be surprised on Christmas day. We made a gingerbread house, Christmas cookies, crafts, and decorated the house. Not to mention buying all the gifts for friends and family which rests pretty much solely on my shoulders. We had alot of late nights and early mornings. It was a busy month for sure!

And now I’m just focusing on rest. I usually don’t add too much to my plate but this holiday season I feel like I did. I’m usually good about putting up boundaries. About saying no when I need to. About declining a play date or forgoing an event if it’s just too much. But as 2016 is beginning I want to refocus on this. I want to make sure that I go all in on what GOD is calling me passionately to and weed out everything else that just creates busyness. If it’s not an emphatic YES, then I want to say no. Of course ministry and serving sometimes need to be done whether we feel like it or not and, if God is calling me to it, it needs to go under the emphatic YES category. I’m talking about saying no to things that I add to my plate that are simply things I want to do or even feel compelled to do. I want to say no to those things so that I can have room to say yes to more important things.

Have you ever heard of Jen Hatmaker? Oh my gosh. If you haven’t you totally need to look her up. Here is her blog. She is an amazing woman of God and an amazing speaker. I could really listen to her for hours. She is actually speaking at the IF Gathering (if you haven’t heard of that it’s so awesome too. Click the link!) in February and my mom and I are going to a broadcast of it at her church while we’re in Indiana visiting them later this month. I’m so excited!

Anyways, Jen posted this on her Facebook a few days ago and it exactly put into words what I want my year 2016 to be. I’ll just let you read this and I’ll slip out the door because, really, what more could I say?

 
“As you move into 2016 hoping for a saner schedule that prioritizes your actual life and keeps you focused on the things that matter the most, let me share the decision-making filter my agent Curtis always gives me:
“If it’s not a HELL YES, then it’s a no.”
So that medium yes, that I-feel-like-should yes, that guilty yes, that coerced yes, that I-actually-hate-this-thing yes, that I-guess-so yes, that who-else-will-do-it yes, that careless yes, that default yes, that resentful yes, that I-probably-shouldn’t-but-struggle-with-boundaries yes?
NO. Nope.
No thank you. I am unable to commit to that this year. Thank you so much for asking, but any new yes I give right now means a no to my family and sanity. I am so flattered you asked and count on my prayers, but I am at my maximum bandwidth right now. I appreciate your work so much, but I’ve already committed my time and energy this year. I’ve loved being a part of this, but I am no longer able to continue. We are aggressively focused on x, y, and z this year, so as a family we’ve agreed on no new commitments. This is what I can give but won’t be able to do more right now.
Now, the things that make your heart race, your blood pump, the fire in your belly burn, your gifts to leap to life, and keep your family and home healthy and strong…the hell yeses? ALL IN, BABY.”