Ever been to one of those houses that is always clean enough you think the people have cleaning staff? Everything seems perfect all the time? That ain't us and I am guessing others feel the same way. While we always try to maintain a certain level of cleanliness, we don't sweep and dust every day. Cleaning the house every day sucks. We have better things to do. Theresa and I (mostly Theresa) came up with a plan that works for us. We have a monthly cleaning day, usually on the new moon.
Theresa inserts that the New Moon is a time of clearing out the old and then starting the new, so it's a perfect time for house cleaning. She also points out that one reason she was able to talk Bear into this system is that even he couldn't say that cleaning only once a month was too often. She likes the system because whenever she sees something untidy that is driving her nuts, she can tell herself that she'll get help cleaning that on the next cleaning day.
So sometime near the new moon everyone, even me, helps clean the house. Only the cats don't have to help. They tend to get in the way. (This was Clover, way back when, saying "OI, you forgot sumthin!")
- We hope to get everything done in 2 or 3 hrs, but sometimes it ends up taking all day. Usually it's only half the day. We also (try) to go into the day with a good attitude. Theresa is better at this than me. Music helps. When we're done, we get a treat meal (did someone say steak?) and the rest of the day to goof off.
- Next thing is we got a 2do list to keep track of what needs to be done once a month or a couple times a year, as well as the basic things we do every month. What would your basics be? Our minimum work includes: dust shelves and lights, sweep all rooms and move furniture to get into the corners, deep clean the kitchen and bathroom, have all dishes done, etc... The list can be as long or as short as you want. As a bonus, you get to cross things off the list, doesn't that feel good?
- Like I said, every room gets swept and dusted, but we also choose one or two rooms a month to get extra treatment. Whatever untidiness happens to be bothering us (mostly Theresa) the most, such as cleaning closets, moving nicknacks to dust behind them better, washing the covers of the couch cushions, etc....
- What are the (big?) projects we usually forget? It's usually a home maintenance list. Add these to your 2do "sometimes" list and keep track when you do them so you wont forget. Like cleaning the lint out of various machines like the dryer, refrigerator, or computer? Deep cleaning the refrigerator or freezer? Clearing out the cobwebs in the unfinished basement you don't go into often? Washing the curtains that are collecting dust? We run hot water down our sinks then pour a pan of boiling water down to clear them of old grease (it's cheaper than calling a plumber). Look around, you will find stuff you usually miss, then don't forget to add those to the 2do list.
That's about it. Remember to take some small brakes if you are going to have a long list. As you can see below some breaks are more intense than others...