Keeping your home clean and tidy can be an overwhelming responsibility. However, clutter and messy surroundings can also be stress-inducing and have detrimental effects on mental health; it’s the ultimate catch-22.
Creating a manageable cleaning routine can help you stay on track when balancing the rest of your responsibilities with keeping a tidy home. Here are six tips for creating a home cleaning routine that works for you.
Assemble Cleaning Go Buckets
The easier you make the cleaning process for yourself, the more likely you are to get things done. One of the simplest ways to set yourself up for success is to create “go buckets” with cleaning supplies. Pick up a few buckets with handles from a local dollar store, toss in natural cleaning products, sponges, rags, brushes, and anything else you need to scrub your home.
If you have a multi-story home, consider having a go bucket for each floor. This strategy prevents you from having to carry the bucket all around the house and makes it easier to divide and conquer.
Use the Zone Method
Another effective strategy for creating a home cleaning routine is to use the zone method. With this method, you divide your home into zones and tackle the basic tasks each day. The zones might include:
- Living Room
- Storage Areas
- Home Office
This approach to creating a cleaning routine is ideal for people who don’t want to spend an entire day scrubbing their house. Instead, you can keep your home clean by dedicating 20 minutes to a zone each day or doubling up if your schedule requires it.
Outline Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Tasks
Take some time to draft out a list of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Committing to daily cleaning tasks will prevent your home from getting cluttered, as these tasks tend to pertain to basic tidying. For example, daily tasks might include:
- Doing dishes
- Washing counters and sinks
- Making beds
- Picking up belongings
Weekly tasks are the more immersive chores, like cleaning the toilets, showers, and mirrors in the bathroom or vacuuming everything. Finally, monthly tasks are those deep cleaning things that don’t need to be done too often, like cleaning the fridge and stove or dusting blinds and ceiling fans.
Use the Timer Technique
People tend to procrastinate on cleaning, which creates the need for more time dedicated to these tasks. Setting a timer can help increase focus and motivation to get the chores done quickly.
Start by setting a timer for 10-15 minutes and dedicating that time to focused cleaning each day. Then, as it becomes a habit, scale the time up accordingly. This strategy is also an effective way to get everyone involved and complete a lot of work in minimal time.
Be Realistic with Scheduling
One mistake that humans tend to make when creating a routine is over-promising themselves. This issue applies whether you’re trying to start exercising, eating well, or creating a cleaning routine. When people over-commit, they tend to start strong then lose focus quickly.
Be realistic with your scheduling and expectations when creating a cleaning routine. Starting with a few simple tasks is ideal. Then, as you get into the routine, add a few more. The gradual build-up allows you to make room in your schedule without being stressed or falling off track when you inevitably experience a conflict.
Create Expectations and Rewards
Managing expectations and creating positive outcomes is a must when creating a cleaning routine— especially if you live with other people. Have an honest discussion about what you expect, and take the time to understand everyone else’s thoughts and feelings.
Create a simple reward system within your cleaning routine that celebrates the accomplishment. This reward could be something as simple as enjoying a quiet cup of coffee when the daily tasks are done or taking the family for ice cream after the weekly chores are complete.
With these practical tips, you can create an effective home cleaning schedule that lasts.