Rachel Anne's post yesterday, in keeping with the theme of our homes as sanctuaries, was about cleaning and the empty nest. Coincidentally, I spent part of the weekend cleaning my house and came up with -- yet another -- system.
My cleaning methods have changed over the years. When my family was younger, I tended to be more of a neat freak about things, which was my survival method for trying to maintain control of all the stuff that a family of five accumulates. I've never been a fan of cleaning, but I do like things to be organized. My weekly cleaning method in those days was a day for laundry, a day for shopping and then clean like crazy on another day. There was some sort of satisfaction in having the whole house clean at one time. Looking back, I can see I was crazy. And probably hard to live with.
I imagined that once all the kids moved out and it was just me and Dan, then everything would fall into place. The house would just stay orderly, because we are such orderly people. Except, I'm not. I'm one of those out-of-sight, out-of-mind kinds, so I tend to leave things out where I can see them. It is taking some real effort on my part to try to change my ways. Decluttering is a big help in this regard.
I'm also finding that I just don't have the energy or desire to clean the entire house in one day like I used to. And because it's just the two of us -- and I am slowly converting to enjoying empty spaces -- I can clean one area at a time, and now that I'm on a rhythm, the house feels fairly put together all the time.
Here's my new schedule:
Monday -- Change sheets; dust and vacuum bedroom
Tuesday -- Dust and vacuum living room
Wednesday -- Kitchen: clean out fridge; wipe countertops and appliances; tidy pantry as needed; mop floor
Thursday -- Dust and vacuum dining room
Friday -- Vacuum and wash car; clean storm doors windows in entryway; Dust and vacuum living room (with a dog, I need to do this a couple times a week)
Saturday -- Laundry; Clean bathrooms; wash towels; extra cleaning as needed
I keep Tuesdays and Thursdays light, because they are my longer work days. I do laundry once a week, because with just two of us, we just don't accumulate enough to do a full load of darks, whites, etc. more frequently than that.
I'm like my new plan! How about you? Do you have a routine that works well?