Author Topic: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?  (Read 8375 times)

terran

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Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« on: July 18, 2017, 01:55:09 PM »
My wife and I are terrible at keeping our house clean. Basically we go too long and then do a serious deep clean. It's not nearly as bad as some of what we saw during our recent apartment hunting endeavors, but we do feel obligated to clean before people come over so they don't think we're gross.

Anyway, since we're moving to a new apartment, this seems like a good time to shake things up and I've been thinking about trying to make a shift to doing little tasks everyday to keep things clean instead of waiting until people are coming over or things get too gross for us to stand and then having to really work at it. I've had some limited success with this with a nightly pass around the sink and kitchen counters as part of dinner cleanup.

Has anyone had success with this clean-a-little-bit-every-day method? What is your schedule? Does it work, or do you still need to regularly do a deep clean?

A little bit about our new home: 2 bed / 1 bath single floor apartment. Stained/polished concrete floors. Tile on the walls of the shower, regular tub base. Low grade stainless appliances. Granite (or something like it) countertops. 3 ceiling fans. An A/C intake vent that will probably need to be dusted.

No pets, no kids, and we usually (but not always) take off shoes when we come inside. One bedroom will be used as more of an office, so only one bed to keep made and laundered.

I could also use any cleaning tips anyone wants to impart, especially related to some of the new things we need to learn to clean (stainless, granite, concrete floors).

Currently I most often use Comet and assorted brushes and sponges on all countertops, sinks, toilets, tubs, and appliances. Will this be ok on granite and stainless? Any better options for all the things I currently use it on?

In the past we've had wood floors which we sweep somewhat regularly and do a full wet mop on with Pine Sol or Murphy Oil Soap every so often. I gather concrete would require something made for it (something about a neutral pH balance) if we decide to wet mop. The landlord says he just uses something like a Shark Steam Cleaner with only water when he does apartment turn overs. Any tips on concrete floor cleaning? Anyone ever apply some kind of "wax" (apparently it's not really wax) and did it make future cleaning easier?

Possibly as the in-between-deep-clean option or possibly as an alternative to wet mopping I've thought about picking up a reusable microfiber mop. It seems like it would let me get to hard to reach spots (under the bed and couch) that regular mops and brooms can't, and maybe if I do it regularly it could replace or at least reduce the frequency of wet mopping? Anyone go this route for cleaning your hard surface floors? Do you just use it dry, or do you use some kind of cleaning solution? Any tips on which mop to get?


Road42

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2017, 02:04:57 PM »
We live in a small house that has 4 floors (1500 sq, basically one room per floor, with three bathrooms) and have 2 kids who aren't super concerned with neatness. I'm kind of a clean freak though, so definitely no shoes in the house, no food outside the kitchen/dining area.

I clean one floor of the house per day, starting in the basement, working my way up, and then wrapping back around to the basement again. The best things I've done to make this easy: each bathroom has a full set of cleaners in it (toilet bowl cleaner & brush, all-surface cleaner & paper towels for toilet & floor, baking soda & sponge for sink, vinegar water & rag for mirror).  In the non-bathrooms, I mostly just vacuum and dust. Because I all of this so often, there aren't really any places that harbor a lot of grossness - there just isn't time for dirt to build up, so it takes very little time to clean each house area.

Clean rooms top to bottom, and if you just do one room/one floor at a time it'll be a daily 20 minute thing that will keep the house mostly spotless. Good luck!
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 02:18:27 PM by Road42 »

ketchup

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2017, 02:14:48 PM »
Basically we go too long and then do a serious deep clean.
Try the same exact strategy, but make the time between "deep cleans" 20% shorter.  That's basically what we do, fairly routine "deep cleans" a bit before they are truly necessary (usually about 1/3 of the house at once), and just do light "maintenance" and as-needed spot-cleaning in between.

(Two adults, with dogs.)

terran

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2017, 02:23:42 PM »
We live in a small house that has 4 floors (1500 sq, basically one room per floor, with three bathrooms) and have 2 kids who aren't super concerned with neatness. I'm kind of a clean freak though, so definitely no shoes in the house, no food outside the kitchen/dining area.

I clean one floor of the house per day, starting in the basement, working my way up, and then wrapping back around to the basement again. The best things I've done to make this easy: each bathroom has a full set of cleaners in it (toilet bowl cleaner & brush, all-surface cleaner & paper towels for toilet & floor, baking soda & sponge for sink, vinegar water & rag for mirror).  In the non-bathrooms, I mostly just vacuum and dust.

Clean rooms top to bottom, and if you just do one room/one floor at a time it'll be a daily 20 minute thing that will keep the house mostly spotless. Good luck!

Whoa, 4 floors! You must get your exercise running up and down that. So it sounds like you prefer to do all types of cleaning for discrete spaces rather than one type of cleaning for all spaces.

Basically we go too long and then do a serious deep clean.
Try the same exact strategy, but make the time between "deep cleans" 20% shorter.  That's basically what we do, fairly routine "deep cleans" a bit before they are truly necessary (usually about 1/3 of the house at once), and just do light "maintenance" and as-needed spot-cleaning in between.

(Two adults, with dogs.)

It sounds like you also prefer to do all types of clean to a part of the house at once?

I think what tends to happen to us is that we end up doing all the cleaning to the whole house at once, so it seems rather more daunting. I think I was thinking it would make sense to do one type of cleaning throughout the house, but that seems to be counter to the preferences of both of you who seem to instead clean whole spaces and then move on to the next space next time.

Aunt Petunia

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2017, 02:26:21 PM »
Taking off shoes really helps.

I like the shark steam mop for hard floors. It gets 90% of the dirt without getting the floor too wet, and you can wash the pads again and again.  I spot clean with a rag, water, and dish soap anything I can still see after that. Damp (not soaking wet) microfiber is a good choice too. I have never had granite so I can't speak to that. I use diluted vinegar on my counter tops. Scrubbing bubbles and a rag for sinks and showers, and toilet cleaner for toilets. I have actually eaten through the enamel on a tub with comet before and had to refinish it.

I have a child and a dog so I like to have leather furniture so I can easily wipe up spills. I usually tidy, declutter, and vacuum once a week, mop every 2-3 weeks. Bathrooms and the kitchen sink are every 2 weeks or so. There are also less frequent tasks like cleaning windows, gutters, and light fixtures.I do a little extra cleaning when company comes but this keeps it from being too overwhelming.

I like an app called "Regularly" to set reminders for things like this. You can set your time intervals for whatever you want, and it doesn't nag you.

Road42

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2017, 02:30:28 PM »
So it sounds like you prefer to do all types of cleaning for discrete spaces rather than one type of cleaning for all spaces.


You know, it's funny - I also used to try to do the same kind of cleaning throughout the house at once. Like, ok, today I'll do all the bathrooms, and tomorrow, all the dusting, or whatever. But maybe it's because of the way that my house is laid out, or because of how my brain works, I never really liked that. I never got the sense that a particular space was all the way clean that way - it was always sort of done and sort of not.

But mess makes me stressed out, and I work at home, so seeing disorder would make me lose my concentration or depress me. So I prefer to each day have one floor where it's really just perfectly spic and span, and to know that any time I see mess or dirt, it's just a day or two away from being cleaned. That way I don't have to waste time cleaning it or thinking about it in that moment.

This does seem like a your-mileage-may-vary kind of thing, though.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2017, 02:35:28 PM »
I apply a golden rule from my legal practice: if you're thinking about it and it can be done in less than five minutes, just do it now. Otherwise you'll forget and the little things pile up. So when I think, "Oh, I need to call [client] back," I just do it unless something major is going on.

Same thing with my house. I look at an unmade bed and just make it. I see a dusty windowsill and dust it off. I see the carpet needs vacuumed so I just grab the vacuum and do it. I see dishes in the sink and put them away. I see weeds in the flower bed when I get the mail, so I just pull them before I go inside. I see the kitchen floor look dirty so I mop it.

In terms of a deep clean, we do that about every two months. But when everything is tidy, this honestly takes less than two hours.

Lis

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2017, 02:54:55 PM »
There are two things I do regularly on a schedule - vacuum (every Saturday morning) and change the cat litter (Tuesdays and Fridays). Everything else I do as I need to.

I take a few minutes in the morning before I leave for work to figure out what I need to do. Does the dishwasher need emptying? Do I need to wash my whites or my towels? Should I just get all the crap off my dining room table already? I pick a couple of things I think I can realistically get done that night, then set a reminder for myself right before I leave work (so I'm thinking about laundry or whatever on my way home which makes me ready to do it). Because I try to do a little bit every day, I'm not kicking myself if I get home from work and just say "fuck it, not in the mood" (usually happens once a week or so).

Cranky

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2017, 03:08:45 PM »
What mess bugs you?

Honestly, I don't feel like I spend a lot of time cleaning, and it never feels like the house is horrible.

I do a lot of laundry, but I don't feel like anyone really "sees" that.

I have days for doing stuff. I vacuum on Monday and Friday, for instance. I wash towels on Thursday and sheets on Friday. I wash the kitchen and bathroom floors on Thursday, too.

I cook a lot, and I'm fussy about not having dishes in the sink. I run the dishwasher every night and unload it either before I go to bed or in the morning. I make the bed every day. I scoop the litterboxes. I run a swiffer around the place once/week.

I wipe off the (granite) counters every day, and maybe once a week I use the granite spray stuff.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2017, 03:18:13 PM »
This isn't exactly w hat you asked about, but get a copy of "Make Your House Do the Housework" by Don Aslett. Changed my life. Seriously. Best 2.60 I ever spent.

mm1970

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2017, 03:23:45 PM »
I never did the 20 minutes a day thing at all.

Before kids, we did 2 hours on Saturday morning.  Recognizing that doing dishes and laundry DO NOT COUNT.

terran

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2017, 03:36:35 PM »
What mess bugs you?

Good question!

This might not be exactly what you mean, but in approximate order of dislike (and what therefore goes too long): tub, toilet, sinks, stove/oven, vacuuming rugs. I don't mind the act of mopping, but the time commitment to get all set up, then waiting for things to dry bugs me.

I might lobby for just getting rid of all rugs entirely. Or we might have to upgrade the vacuum since ours is not good. Or maybe machine washable rugs would be an answer.

Oddly, while cleanliness bothers me more, clutter bothers my wife more. I can probably leave decluttering to her, although figuring out systems to not clutter surfaces in the first place would be ideal. I think that's a whole different thread, though, so lets keep this one to cleaning.

Honestly, I don't feel like I spend a lot of time cleaning, and it never feels like the house is horrible.

You clearly have a system though (days for different things, etc). I think that's the key. I also don't feel like we spend a lot of time cleaning, but when we do it's a half day production.

This isn't exactly w hat you asked about, but get a copy of "Make Your House Do the Housework" by Don Aslett. Changed my life. Seriously. Best 2.60 I ever spent.

Interesting! Would it be applicable to apartment living or only to people who are building or remodeling a house?

redbird

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2017, 05:09:01 PM »
I don't do the little bit every day thing (excluding feeding/cleaning after pets and the dishes). That would annoy me.

I have this whiteboard where I keep track of the last time I did a particular chore. For example, it'll say things like this:

Kitchen (date last cleaned)
Bathroom (date last cleaned)
Vacuum carpets (date last done)

Most things I do once per week. There's a few chores I do once every 2 weeks or once every month, depending on what it is. I typically make either Thursday or Friday my cleaning day and I'll just do whatever needs to be done according to my system. It helps keep me honest. It also got me in a routine. Before I started doing this, I would not clean very often. I would only clean when things got so dirty that it annoyed me. Certain things take a LOT longer to clean if you let them get that dirty, like showers and bathtubs.

The big things excluded in that is laundry and mowing the lawn. Those get done whenever it's needed (laundry basket full or grass getting too long).

ThreeCarbsNoGrains

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2017, 05:47:56 PM »
+1 to the Shark steam mop!  It has changed my life.

I have a similar sized apartment to the OP.  My recommendation is to make cleaning as easy/convenient as possible.  I used to have a piece of junk vacuum and it was horrible.  I now have a good Shark vacuum which I also use in place of a broom.  I vacuum the whole apartment, carpet and hard floors.  Then I mop the hard floors using the Shark steam mop.

The other thing I recommend I learned from the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  She recommends not leaving any of your shower items (shampoo, razor, etc) in the shower because they inevitably get pretty gross in there.  Remove all those items every time you shower and store them somewhere else.  This makes it so much easier to clean the shower and I don't avoid that task or put it off.  That book is also helpful for tackling clutter which makes cleaning so much easier.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2017, 06:11:46 PM »
What I do is make a list of the things to do, and I do X of them each day.


- ovens
- fridge
- dishes
- benches, shelves and table
- laundry
- vacuum
- mop
- toilets OR showers
- sweep outside
- sheets (weekly - one time adults, one time kids, so they're changed fortnightly)
- towels (weekly - as for sheets)


I find that if I do 2 of those things each day, the house is okay. If I do 3 a day, the house looks clean. If I do 4 then the next day I'm short of something to do.


Before kids, doing 1 of the things each day was enough to keep the house okay, and 2 to keep it clean. But kids make mess, more dishes, more laundry, etc.


Saying "I'll do 2 of those things today, whatever I feel like" keeps me sane. I couldn't follow a schedule, and letting it become a filthy mess and then doing a tornado blitz of cleaning leads to too much screaming and drama. Just do a couple things each day.

Zikoris

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2017, 07:18:27 PM »
Our basic "system" was to downsize to a tiny place (400 square feet) and get rid of most of our stuff. We clean stuff when it looks dirty. Laundry is once a week on a schedule. Daily stuff is cooking, dishes, cat litter/garbage.

For tidying, about once a week we spend 5 minutes putting things back where they belong. It's easy when you have as little stuff as we do.

I think the biggest thing is just not making messes to begin with. We don't wear shoes indoors, obviously, and generally pick up after ourselves.

Hotstreak

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2017, 07:47:02 PM »
My habit is to let things get messy for a month or so, then do some cleaning each day until the job is done.  Day one I might do dusting & get all the laundry and dishes started, day two straighten living areas, day three scrub kitchen messes, day four sweeping and mopping, day five bathroom, then done.  No more cleaning for another 4-6 weeks. 

terran

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2017, 09:03:13 PM »
I don't do the little bit every day thing (excluding feeding/cleaning after pets and the dishes). That would annoy me.

I have this whiteboard where I keep track of the last time I did a particular chore. For example, it'll say things like this:

Kitchen (date last cleaned)
Bathroom (date last cleaned)
Vacuum carpets (date last done)

Most things I do once per week. There's a few chores I do once every 2 weeks or once every month, depending on what it is. I typically make either Thursday or Friday my cleaning day and I'll just do whatever needs to be done according to my system. It helps keep me honest. It also got me in a routine. Before I started doing this, I would not clean very often. I would only clean when things got so dirty that it annoyed me. Certain things take a LOT longer to clean if you let them get that dirty, like showers and bathtubs.

So you do everything on your list every week (except the things that alternate every few weeks)? How long do you find that takes you? I'm sure it goes a lot faster as you say since things aren't as dirty, but I feel like it would still be a long enough process to create a certain barrier.

The other thing I recommend I learned from the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  She recommends not leaving any of your shower items (shampoo, razor, etc) in the shower because they inevitably get pretty gross in there.  Remove all those items every time you shower and store them somewhere else.  This makes it so much easier to clean the shower and I don't avoid that task or put it off.  That book is also helpful for tackling clutter which makes cleaning so much easier.

Interesting. That would never have occurred to me. Where you you keep them?

What I do is make a list of the things to do, and I do X of them each day.

- ovens
- fridge
- dishes
- benches, shelves and table
- laundry
- vacuum
- mop
- toilets OR showers
- sweep outside
- sheets (weekly - one time adults, one time kids, so they're changed fortnightly)
- towels (weekly - as for sheets)


I find that if I do 2 of those things each day, the house is okay. If I do 3 a day, the house looks clean. If I do 4 then the next day I'm short of something to do.


Before kids, doing 1 of the things each day was enough to keep the house okay, and 2 to keep it clean. But kids make mess, more dishes, more laundry, etc.


Saying "I'll do 2 of those things today, whatever I feel like" keeps me sane. I couldn't follow a schedule, and letting it become a filthy mess and then doing a tornado blitz of cleaning leads to too much screaming and drama. Just do a couple things each day.

I like that. I think I might need a little more structure than that though. Do you find it works out pretty evenly or do you still have tasks you avoid longer than you probably should? Do you do anything to keep track of what you've done most recently to "keep yourself honest" like redbird does?

My habit is to let things get messy for a month or so, then do some cleaning each day until the job is done.  Day one I might do dusting & get all the laundry and dishes started, day two straighten living areas, day three scrub kitchen messes, day four sweeping and mopping, day five bathroom, then done.  No more cleaning for another 4-6 weeks. 

Not entirely unlike my own current system. That way lies danger for me I think. I'm glad it works for you though :-)

Kyle Schuant

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2017, 11:55:59 PM »
It works out pretty evenly. I mean, if I don't do the laundry I run out of undies, this is a powerful incentive.


Some things like cleaning the oven I don't do often enough. But if the oven is closed I don't see it, and if I know it's dirty I won't plan meals requiring baking, so it's not a problem. I mean, we clean far more than we need to for health and hygiene, mostly it's for looks and mood and showing off to friends.


I find the issue with a structure or schedule is that if you miss one day then you'll have to catch up later and do double next time, and end up saying "fuck it" and doing nothing ever again, until you can't bear it anymore and do the Screaming Stress Tornado Cleaning Blitz. So that's why I say: well, I'll do 2 (or 3, or whatever) things each day. Then the place will never be spotless, but it'll never be filthy. And by committing to doing X things a day, but whichever things I feel like, I get into the habit of doing things, but it's not horribly binding.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2017, 12:48:20 AM »
Flylady

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2017, 05:25:01 AM »
I have recently started following the Clean Mama method (google for website). Every day, do the basics like clean sink, make beds, laundry, sweep up floors after meals, tidy up, etc

Then every day, there is a specific spot area. I find this works best, because even if I clean the house top to bottom, my kids will mess it up within 30 minutes. What's the point?!? Nothing really ever feels clean anyway, so I am trying to win a war that can't be won (at this stage of my life). Monday is bathrooms, Tuesday dusting, etc.  I find that sticking to a schedule at least means it is never too long since  I last did xyz. Also, getting off my butt to clean usually encourages me to wipe a couple more things, but I aim for the minimum to be happy with my productivity.

Case in point, we had impromptu friends show up a couple weeks ago with <30 min notice, and we had the house ready real quick because the stuff (vaccuming, dusting, clean sink) were pretty much taken care of and we were on top of. We just had to tidy the kids toys up. It was so much less stressful and that was an eye opener for me. I, too, used to get stressed about people coming over and it would take me 2 hours to get house clean. Then I would not want them coming over, because of the barrier it involved.  No more. I value having people over now that I am getting out of the baby/young toddler phase. Having people over makes me happy, so focusing on cleaning a bit every day gives me better disposition for being open to friends over. Win/win/win.

No, this system is no perfect. But doing a little every day and sticking to it has been the most consistent thing for me thus far in my life. Plus, most importantly, I don't stress about cleaning anymore. I just do stuff on auto pilot now. Having that mental clutter removed is awesome.

As for cleaning tools: get an awesome vaccum that truly picks up the dust (having a crappy vaccum gave me more grief and made me hate cleaning), microfiber towels, I use Mrs Meyers right now for cleaning virtually everything. I am going to look into a vinegar homemade cleaner once I get my system going a bit longer. I have an old steam cleaner for cleaning floors well that has a washable pad. I wash all those things once a week.

Hope this helps! Keep trying to find something that works for YOU

Cranky

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2017, 05:25:24 AM »


I find the issue with a structure or schedule is that if you miss one day then you'll have to catch up later and do double next time, and end up saying "fuck it" and doing nothing ever again, until you can't bear it anymore and do the Screaming Stress Tornado Cleaning Blitz. So that's why I say: well, I'll do 2 (or 3, or whatever) things each day. Then the place will never be spotless, but it'll never be filthy. And by committing to doing X things a day, but whichever things I feel like, I get into the habit of doing things, but it's not horribly binding.

I feel like it's the other way around - if I miss Floor Cleaning Day this week for some reason, I know that it will happen next week and it will be *fine*.

I do clean up anything that bugs me as I go along... if something sticky gets spilled, I clean it up now, not next week.

I agree that FlyLady, or Unfuck Your Habitat (which is the same set of routines, really but with more swearing), can be very helpful in building routines that work for *you*.

For instance, cleaning the catbox happens the same day I scrub the shower, because both those things involve bleach and I want to wear my ratty cleaning shirt, but someone else might link cleaning the shower with something else.

I don't understand why cleaning the toilet is a separate job, though. Every time I wash the floor, or do anything else that involves a bucket of hot water, I dump that water in the toilet and give it a swish. There's also toilet cleaner in the bathroom and I expect any adult who notices that s/he has left the toilet in a less than pristine condition to remedy that.

nottoolatetostart

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2017, 07:20:50 AM »


I find the issue with a structure or schedule is that if you miss one day then you'll have to catch up later and do double next time, and end up saying "fuck it" and doing nothing ever again, until you can't bear it anymore and do the Screaming Stress Tornado Cleaning Blitz. So that's why I say: well, I'll do 2 (or 3, or whatever) things each day. Then the place will never be spotless, but it'll never be filthy. And by committing to doing X things a day, but whichever things I feel like, I get into the habit of doing things, but it's not horribly binding.

I feel like it's the other way around - if I miss Floor Cleaning Day this week for some reason, I know that it will happen next week and it will be *fine*.

I do clean up anything that bugs me as I go along... if something sticky gets spilled, I clean it up now, not next week.

YES! This was kind of a revelation for me that having a 'dusting' day and missing it 1 week is not gonna break my whole life. It will happen next week. It helps so much when I am traveling and miss those cleaning days. I just jump right back in where I can. Let's honest, missing a day and waiting until next week is NOT the first time you went more than 2 weeks dusting your picture franes, right?!??!?! Something better than nothibg

shelivesthedream

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2017, 07:22:58 AM »
Yes, Don Aslett's book will still help you. It's more a philosophy of arranging your home that you'll absorb. I first read it living in a rented flay and now we're in a house where we can change things and there are so many subtle choices I've made that make it easier to clean.

You should also look at this triumphantly wonderful thread, which is my favourite one ever on the MMM forums: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/advice-for-making-your-home-interior-easier-to-clean-and-maintain

terran

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2017, 07:33:52 AM »
Flylady

I was like "huh?" but then I googled it: http://www.flylady.net/d/getting-started/

I have recently started following the Clean Mama method (google for website). Every day, do the basics like clean sink, make beds, laundry, sweep up floors after meals, tidy up, etc

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As for cleaning tools: get an awesome vaccum that truly picks up the dust (having a crappy vaccum gave me more grief and made me hate cleaning), microfiber towels, I use Mrs Meyers right now for cleaning virtually everything. I am going to look into a vinegar homemade cleaner once I get my system going a bit longer. I have an old steam cleaner for cleaning floors well that has a washable pad. I wash all those things once a week.

Clean Mama method: https://www.cleanmama.net/start-here

I'm wondering about the vacuum with all hard surfaces -- still important or would we be better off with a dry microfiber mop (like a swiffer, but washable)? It always seems like a bit of mechanical action gets a floor cleaner than a vacuum since it scrubs at the dust a bit.

I find it interesting that we're now getting a number of more people with the "do this one thing to the whole house" method where before we were getting a lot more "clean this one space from top to bottom." I wonder if any of you have tried both methods and have any insights?

I find the issue with a structure or schedule is that if you miss one day then you'll have to catch up later and do double next time, and end up saying "fuck it" and doing nothing ever again, until you can't bear it anymore and do the Screaming Stress Tornado Cleaning Blitz. So that's why I say: well, I'll do 2 (or 3, or whatever) things each day. Then the place will never be spotless, but it'll never be filthy. And by committing to doing X things a day, but whichever things I feel like, I get into the habit of doing things, but it's not horribly binding.

I feel like it's the other way around - if I miss Floor Cleaning Day this week for some reason, I know that it will happen next week and it will be *fine*.

I do clean up anything that bugs me as I go along... if something sticky gets spilled, I clean it up now, not next week.

YES! This was kind of a revelation for me that having a 'dusting' day and missing it 1 week is not gonna break my whole life. It will happen next week. It helps so much when I am traveling and miss those cleaning days. I just jump right back in where I can. Let's honest, missing a day and waiting until next week is NOT the first time you went more than 2 weeks dusting your picture franes, right?!??!?! Something better than nothibg

Interesting! Kyle's rationale made a lot of sense to me as I could totally see myself missing a day and then saying screw it and the whole things falls apart, but then the counterpoint does as well. I think the key with Cranky and nottoolatetostart's point is NOT to try to make up the missed day, but just say screw it and move on to the next day instead of saying screw it and dropping the whole system.

I agree that FlyLady, or Unfuck Your Habitat (which is the same set of routines, really but with more swearing), can be very helpful in building routines that work for *you*.

Thanks for http://www.unfuckyourhabitat.com/ufyh-fundamentals/ -- I like a little bit of irreverence when applied to otherwise boring subjects.

Thank you all for the resource suggestions. I don't have time to read through them all right now, but I looked them up and have included them here for future reference and in case anyone else wants to take a look at them.

Yes, Don Aslett's book will still help you. It's more a philosophy of arranging your home that you'll absorb. I first read it living in a rented flay and now we're in a house where we can change things and there are so many subtle choices I've made that make it easier to clean.

You should also look at this triumphantly wonderful thread, which is my favourite one ever on the MMM forums: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/advice-for-making-your-home-interior-easier-to-clean-and-maintain

Thanks, that'll take a while, but looks like a good one!
« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 07:37:15 AM by terran »

Mr. Green

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2017, 08:30:41 AM »
With polished concrete floors, if you don't have pets what is there to clean? We have laminate floors and about the only reason we need to clean at all is because of pet hair.  Bathrooms are the big thing really. My wife has taken to scrubbing the tub every so often when she's already in the shower and we slack on the toilets. They get cleaned when a ring starts to appear but you can lengthen that time with toilet bowl inserts. We use a Lysol thing that sits inside the lip of the bowl and adds a chemical to the water during each flush. I'd say it's at least 2 months between every toilet cleaning.

Cranky

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2017, 08:46:23 AM »
You know when my bathrooms were crazy clean? When I had little kids and had to sit in there and watch them take baths. That gets boring really fast, so I was always wiping stuff down and cleaning under the sink.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2017, 09:22:06 AM »
My new favourite way to clean floors is a few microfibres cloths pushed around with a rubber broom. Zero prep required (plugging in, filling buckets...) and you can use the broom alone for a quick sweep in between. It makes it less of a palaver so I'm more likely to do a bit little and often.

terran

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2017, 10:01:39 AM »
With polished concrete floors, if you don't have pets what is there to clean? We have laminate floors and about the only reason we need to clean at all is because of pet hair.  Bathrooms are the big thing really. My wife has taken to scrubbing the tub every so often when she's already in the shower and we slack on the toilets. They get cleaned when a ring starts to appear but you can lengthen that time with toilet bowl inserts. We use a Lysol thing that sits inside the lip of the bowl and adds a chemical to the water during each flush. I'd say it's at least 2 months between every toilet cleaning.

Hah :-)

The only reason you think that is that you have pets. People make plenty of dust too. I don't really know what it is. Skin cells and hair I guess?

Your toilet strategy sounds about like my current one. It certainly isn't going to kill anyone, but I'd like to do better.

My new favourite way to clean floors is a few microfibres cloths pushed around with a rubber broom. Zero prep required (plugging in, filling buckets...) and you can use the broom alone for a quick sweep in between. It makes it less of a palaver so I'm more likely to do a bit little and often.

I didn't know that was a thing. Is it like one of these? Other than pushing a microfiber cloth around, what is it supposed to be for? They seem to be selling it as doing all the things that a normal broom does, but it seems like it would miss things from the bristles being bigger an further apart.

lizzzi

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2017, 10:23:54 AM »
Make your bed when you get out of it, and keep the dishes washed and counters wiped after every meal. If you only do those two things, you can get away with a lot.

Keep your bathroom cleaning supplies in the bathroom. Just keep it cleaned up little-by-little as you use it. Your bathroom will always be clean and not disgusting. Try to keep most of your personal care products and toiletries tucked away--it streamlines the cleaning.

You don't really need to mop your floors very often if you keep a couple of old sponges handy in the bottom of a convenient cupboard. When you see a spot or spill, just wet the sponge and clean up that spot--keeps your floors looking nice without much work.

Spend the money on quality tools--mostly your vacuum. I went through a lot of discount store cheapos before I drank the Kool-aid and bought a type of Miele designed for mostly hard surfaces. OMG, what a difference. Worth every cent.

As others have mentioned, get one of those extending dusting wands, so you can easily get the cobwebs out of ceiling corners, the dust off tops of pictures and the refrigerator...etc.

This is just me, but I like cleaning products by Meyers Clean Day, Seventh Generation, J.R. Watson, and Method. What I'm looking for are natural, non-toxic, not bad for the environment products. (Sometimes I just like the labels...I know, I know.) I'm not a purist, but I tend toward those brands, and am willing to pay more for them.

Have one basket or bag where all the dirty clothes go, and whenever you do a load, wash it, dry it, fold it, put it away--in other words, finish it. No piles or stacks of clothing or linens laying around disturbing your karma.

Another thing that I try to do is open some windows every day and air the place out--in cold weather this may just be cracking the bedroom window for a couple minutes while I make the bed. I like to dilute lavender essential oil in a spray bottle and spray that lightly around the house--a nice touch, although I don't always have time.

Bee21

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #30 on: July 19, 2017, 03:26:43 PM »
I am not a neat freak, but mess depresses me (I see more jobs for me to do) so i reduced our stuff drastically. I regularly have decluttering sessions (esp when I am angry about something) that helps because i find that dealing with clutter takes up twice as much time than cleaning.

I do a basic clean 2 a week and concentrate on one area per week (do more than usual cleaning and decluttering there). Plus the usual make the bed, clean the sink, do the dishes every day. Laundry is twice a week.

Get the best tools. A good stick vacuum cleaner and a steam mop, plus microfiber cloths were a game changer for me.

As for resources, the best for me was Melissa Maker at Clean my space. She has lots of videos about technique, is hillarious and even wrore a book. I cannot thank it enough to whoverer recommended her blog (here on these forums).

Urchina

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #31 on: July 20, 2017, 12:22:35 AM »
We have daily tasks, weekly tasks and seasonal tasks.

Daily: dishes (load dishwasher as we go throughout the day, run at night, unload in a.m.)
Clean litter box
Fresh food & water for cats
Beds made
Mail sorted & handled

Weekly
Friday: bathrooms, menu planning, water the garden
Saturday: laundry, grocery shopping
Sunday: food prep for week
Trash & recycling out (we generate less than 1 kitchen-sized bag of trash a week).

Twice a month:
Gas in cars
Bills paid

Monthly or less:
Windows
Walls
Mowing the yard
Dusting

For cleaning, scrubbing bubbles has changed my bathroom-cleaning life forever. I use it on tub, shower, sink, countertops. Lysol toilet bowl cleaner for toilets. Miele HEPA canister vacuum for all flooring. Steam mop for hard floors after vacuuming. Microfiber cleaning cloths for all cleaning tasks. Windex for glass.

I don't clean daily because I dislike feeling that I'm cleaning all the time. Keeping one day a week as my cleaning day really helps. We also have relaxed standards.

2 adults, 2 resident kids, 2-6 neighborhood kids in multiple times a week, 2 indoor-only cats.

life_travel

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2017, 04:13:23 AM »
I just don't think of lots of things what others had listed as chores. When I get up I make my bed and dress myself so if I don't think about putting undies and pants on every day as a job I don't think about making the bed as a job . We hate clutter though and downsized a lot.
Mail opening isn't a job either , I stopped so much snail mail that we now check our mailbox once a week and genuinely curious and exited to see what's there :)
While I cook , I look around ( while waiting anyway) and wipe countertops or kitchen cabinets or windowsills , whatever catches my eye.
In the bathroom we have NOTHING on our vanity , all is in drawers so I quickly wipe it every two days or so with a cloth ( which I hang under the sink on a pipe ) while literally cleaning my teeth . When mood strikes we scrub shower while having shower , maybe once in 2-3 weeks.
The only "jobs " that feel like jobs are : mopping, vacuuming and washing Windows . But because I try to put everything away as we go ( husband is improving sloooowly) ,when we vacuum/ mop it takes us less than 20 mins once a week .
We had boarders in the last three years and they all had to follow my rules :) , nothing on bathroom counters or shower floor and nothing on kitchen counters . While none of them were really clean people , it was very quick for me to wipe everything after them because of said rules .
By the way for YEARS we did " clean all in one go " method and honestly it was such a mission, it felt that it was taking half a weekend each week , then I felt resentful , then I would miss one weekend and it would take even longer ... Hated it !
When I started " clean as you go" method , after serious decluttering through , my life improved SO much :)

lizzzi

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #33 on: July 20, 2017, 06:13:43 AM »
This sounds a little silly, but I try to think of my home as sort of an art project--an ongoing, living...can't think of a synonym...art project. I try to keep it beautiful, comfortable, fresh-smelling, (i.e. open windows), in tune with nature (green plants, etc.), and the tidying and housecleaning is done with this in mind. So it doesn't feel so much like laborious scut work...I try to psych. myself up that I'm creating an environment...a pleasant, almost therapeutic milieu for myself and my dog. The scrubbing, vacuuming, dusting,  is just a part of that--not the whole process.

Not sure that made any sense, but it works for me.

Cranky

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #34 on: July 20, 2017, 07:25:19 AM »
Yes! I don't clean up for company. I keep the house clean so that we can enjoy it.

Housing is expensive - make it the place that you want to be.

Shanksy

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #35 on: July 23, 2017, 12:19:14 PM »
I noticed a lot of people don't wear shoes indoors. We are attempting that and yet I find that shoes keep getting left everywhere! What do you do to keep the shoes from piling up by the door and how do you enforce it with guests?

onewayfamily

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2017, 01:03:09 PM »
What do you do to keep the shoes from piling up by the door and how do you enforce it with guests?

We buy those cheap but decent looking wooden wine racks from IKEA that double as great shoe holders - you just slip in the front of each pair of shoes - each one holds 3 pairs but you can stack them and put a couple side-by-side.

The guests thing can be an issue but I think most people just default to being polite and take off their shoes if they see it's the house policy, even if you insist it's optional.

Cassie

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #37 on: July 23, 2017, 03:03:02 PM »
I bought floor robots to sweep and mop. Once/month I get down and scrub the floors on hands/knees.  I dust, sweep, mop weekly and clean the bathrooms once/month. My kids are grown so that helps but we do have 4 dogs and one sheds horribly.  I try to not let dishes pile up and wipe kitchen counters and stove frequently.  I got rid of a ton of clutter so now dusting is much faster with only a few items to dust.  My DH is messy so that does not help. I confine his stuff to garage, shed and his office.

cats

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #38 on: July 24, 2017, 10:42:46 AM »
I am a slob, my husband is very tidy. What mostly works for us is that my husband actually made an awesome spreadsheet of our recurring household chores/cleaning tasks (laundry, vacuuming, clean kitchen, clean bathroom, etc), and we decided on an appropriate recurrence interval for each chore (some things happen every week, others are monthly/quarterly/annual).  He updates the sheet every week with the last time something was done, and then the spreadsheet gives a time window within which the chore needs to happen again (i.e. if I put in that I did a weekly chore on Monday the 1st, the spreadsheet will tell me to do it sometime between the 8th and the 14th). We have a whiteboard where husband writes down what needs to happen each week (tomorrow I need to launder all our dirty sheets and towels!).  We occasionally have a nutty week where a bunch of long-term chores crowd together, but as time has gone on those have gotten more spread out (as we inevitably punt one or two chores to the next week, and future recurrences are then also punted).  We've also adjusted some of the chore frequencies as time goes on (initially I thought the kitchen cabinets needed a deep clean every month, now I have decided every 3 months is plenty often).

SunshineAZ

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Re: Home cleaning philosophy, schedule, and tips?
« Reply #39 on: July 24, 2017, 12:08:19 PM »
Just wanted to say google how to take care of granite counter tops if you find out that is what is in your new place.  We got new granite counter tops last year and I did not realize that you have to be very careful of what you use on them.  I used to use a lot of vinegar for cleaning and you cannot use it on granite. And I am pretty sure comet is too abrasive and will ruin the finish. I use the cleaner that is specifically for granite, and wipe down the counters as needed and at the end of the day.  I also use Bar keepers friend for our stainless steel sink.