My “Not-So-Routine” Cleaning Routine

posted by Andrea | 02/19/2013

Ever since I’ve had my own home, I’ve experimented with SO many different ideas, schedules, and routines — all in attempts to simplify the cleaning process.

I tried implementing specific chores on specific days, but that didn’t work because I ended up cleaning things that weren’t even dirty and doing tiny loads of laundry JUST because that was the day I had “scheduled” to do those tasks.

I tried doing all the cleaning on one day, but that didn’t work because if I skipped one day, that meant nothing would be cleaned for another whole week.

I tried using cute printable sheets to check off what I’d done, but that just seemed like a waste of time and I’d often rush through the jobs just so I could cross something off the list and move on to the next thing.

I tried cleaning one whole room every couple of days, but that didn’t work because I like to clean the kitchen and bathrooms more often than the bedrooms.

Our house was always clean enough, but I never felt like these self-imposed schedules or systems were a good fit for my daily life… and for some reason (probably because I’m a Type-A) I felt like I NEEDED to have a cleaning schedule in order to make the cleaning process most efficient.

However over the past year, I’ve come to realize that the best cleaning “routine” for ME is no routine at all. (Yes, you read that right!)

My cleaning routine is basically, clean whatever needs to be cleaned, whenever it needs to be cleaned — and as time allows.

It’s not perfect, and I realize this won’t work for every family, but it’s working for us… for now!

 photo source

My general cleaning routine.

Please notice that I said “GENERAL”. This is just approximately how often I clean certain areas of our home… it’s definitely not set in stone.

FLOORS and SURFACES:

Vacuum Carpets = 1-2 times per week. (keep in mind we have no pets, only 1 child, and we usually take off our shoes)

Sweep Hard Floors = 1-2 times per week.

Mop Hard Floors = whenever I think of it and/or have time (a.k.a. not very often!)

Dust = once a month (I know this might sound bad, but our house honestly isn’t that dusty)

Windows = once a year or as needed (our windows flip in so it’s pretty easy to quickly spot clean them)

KITCHEN and BATHROOMS:

Kitchen Counters = I wipe them down while I cook, and then usually a good cleaning every night

Appliances = I clean them with stainless steel polish as needed (like every other week)

Sink = I give it a good cleaning once a week (more about my sink here)

Bathroom Counters = I wipe them down as needed and do a full-bathroom cleaning every 2 weeks

Toilets = Every 2 weeks or whenever company comes (this might sound gross, but I’m the only one who uses them all day)

Showers = Usually once a month — but I’ll be honest, I’ve skipped the last couple of months!

LAUNDRY:  

Whites = usually 2 loads per week (this includes all towels and some bed linens)

Everything else = usually 2 loads per week (and no, I don’t sort colors)

Sheets = I wash our pillow cases every week, but our sheets usually only once a month

Blankets, pillows, rugs = twice a year or as needed

NOTE: I also wash almost anything that is supposed to be dry-cleaned at home

 

So that’s it — our “not-so-routine” cleaning routine!

As I mentioned above, this is very general, and definitely not set in stone. There are times when we have guests staying with us, so the bathrooms get cleaned much more frequently. There are other times when I might decide to wash all the sheets, blankets, comforters, pillows, winter gear, all in one week — and then the washing machine goes non-stop!

I actually don’t mind cleaning — if there’s nothing better to do. However, since my days are often jam-packed, the “routine” that works best for me is simply to clean whatever is dirty, whenever it’s dirty, whenever I can make the time!

What type of cleaning routine works for you?

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49 comments

  1. Kim s

    02/23/2013

    Thank u sooooooo much for posting this. I feel I am also a Type A and have been trying to figure out this cleaning thing for years. It’s making me crazy!!!! I honestly thought that I had to have a routine or list or schedule in order to do it all. Thank u again for your hearthfelt and honest post!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    You’re welcome Kim — glad to help!
    It’s funny how much time we (myself included) have probably spent trying to find the perfect system and routine for things… when the simplest option me be just not having a routine! Obviously, “no routine” wouldn’t work for everything in life, but for cleaning, it’s working just fine in our house :)

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  2. Jennifer

    03/13/2013

    This sounds so much like what I do, and as a Type A personality it has bothered me not to have a typical routine. I am evolving though because my kids are now more than old enough to help out. My goal these days is to teach them how to take care of a home. I never received this training and have felt inadequate for years. I don’t want my kids to have the same experience. I want them to feel confident when they are grown and on their own. Thanks for sharing this post!

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  3. JO

    03/13/2013

    Thank you for posting this! I have 3 kids, work full time and do not use a cleaning service. I have thought about trying to implement a schedule but have never gotten around to doing it. You’re right – just do what you can when you can and it won’t pile up. I also involve my kids quite a bit. They do toilets, baseboards, and they all love to swiffer – especially my baby boy who is the exact same age as your Nora! He’s obsessed with dusting! I really enjoy your blog – next project is photo albums – I have to do it!

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  4. john justus

    09/14/2013

    hi andrea,im a stay at home guy, look after a work at home wife, 5 little dogs that sleep in at night and are in and out durning the day, guys are not always so intense when it comes to attention to detail with house keeping,, so it was very encouraging to read your take on general cleaning routine and it really made so much sense(its not gross, clean the toilet when people are visiting) you have come across as just a normal family. a fast vanishing breed in this world of must have biggest and best, spotless and clean jon

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  5. Veronica D.

    05/07/2014

    Thank you. I thought I was MAD! My mother in law really thinks I am. I have 4 kids under 7 yrs old and I clean the same way and it works. I don’t sort colors…why waste time? Dry clean? I live 90 miles to closest dry cleaners…so no, I wash Everything! Besides, my husband is a total spontaneous man. “let’s go fishing this weekend” so I fly by the seat of my pants all the time.Keeping house is not an exact science really…like you said, clean what and when it needs done. Kids spill, I wipe it up. Very simple. Thanks again for posting this, it shows me I am not the only mother like this!

    [Reply]

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