What is a cleaning routine?
A cleaning routine is a series of tasks you do in order, and on a schedule. Lots of people get overwhelmed when they think of cleaning their homes. Having a routine reduces stress, because after a time or two, you know how long it will take to clean.
The cleaning routine breaks up the chores into easy pieces so you can complete them in a specific time frame.
As a professional house cleaner you may have eight or ten house cleaning routines in each home. When you complete one routine, you go right to the next routine, and so on.
If you are cleaning your own home, and you don’t have to clean it all at once, you can split the routines between different days. You might have a cleaning routine for each day of the week that includes daily chores. And a separate cleaning routine for weekly chores. And another cleaning routine for monthly chores.
You’ve heard the term “spring cleaning?” Spring cleaning is a routine that usually involves deep cleaning done once a year.
Why you should have a cleaning routine
Having a cleaning routine is like have a recipe for baking a cake. If you don’t have a recipe, you can guess that your cake will have flour, eggs, milk, and sugar. Did I forget anything? Yes, I did. I forgot spices, baking soda, and oil.
If you don’t have a cleaning routine, you are going to forget some things. You will get halfway into your cleaning and realize that there are some small chores you forgot.
Yeah, you can wing it. A lot of people do and there’s no harm if you make up your cleaning as you go. But like baking the cake – having a recipe from the beginning will keep you from getting sidetracked or forgetting things.
A cleaning routine for your laundry – allows you to focus on just your laundry. You can collect laundry from each of the rooms of your house. You can sort the laundry into light and dark colors and special fabrics. Then you can wash, dry and fold the laundry. And then clean out your washer and dryer, and laundry room, and put the clothes away. BAM! Your’re done.
Because you weren’t winging it, you didn’t get side tracked by dishes in the bedroom when you went to collect the clothes. Do you see how quickly you can get off track if you don’t have a recipe for cleaning?
Clean on a schedule
And if your cleaning routine is on a schedule, it eliminates the chores from piling up.
Let’s suppose you have a daily routine each night before you go to bed. This routine may include collecting dishes from every room, and taking them to the kitchen sink. From there, you sort them and they go in the dishwasher. Add soap and turn on the dishwasher. BAM! You’re done.
When you wake up in the morning – you have a new routine to empty the dishwasher and put the dishes away, before making breakfast.
After a while you don’t have to think about the routine – you just do it because it is a habit. You will know that every morning when you wake up, you will go into the kitchen and start a pot of coffee. While the coffee is brewing, you empty the dishwasher and make breakfast and pack the lunches. BAM! You’re done.
See how easy it is to have a cleaning routine. It makes your life simple and removes the guesswork and stress from guessing.
How long should a cleaning routine take?
Every cleaning routine will take a different amount of time, depending on what you need to do. A daily load of laundry will take less time to do, than saving it for the weekend when you have ten loads of clothes to wash.
The key is figure out exactly what you need to do in a routine, and what supplies you will need. And how long it will take you to do to it. And then put it on a schedule. It is possible you may do three cleaning routines in one day, and only one routine the next.
Make your bed in the morning. It’s a routine that will take one minute. A bathroom sink routine, to put your toothbrush and makeup away, and wipe down the vanity and sink bowl will also take one minute.
Wiping down the toilet and using a squeegee on the shower glass doors will also take a minute each. So far your morning chores are at four minutes.
This is not brain science – it is living in an orderly space. And it takes four minutes each morning. Don’t have the time? Wake up four minutes earlier. You hate me don’t you?
Sure. That is the purpose of the routine. Do it over and over again until it becomes second nature. Do it without thinking about it. You can get creative if you like and multi task. If you have a recipe for the chores, you can do them on a schedule or a trigger.
I do my daily chores, dishes, laundry and general tidying up on a routine. My weekly dusting I do on a trigger. I call my mom to chat once a week. When we chat I’m in one of two places. If I’m driving in my car we chat on the way to or from my destination.
If I’m at home that triggers a dusting routine. I grab a Swiffer Duster and while we are chatting I dust my entire house from top to bottom. If there is time left, and we are still chatting, I will organize and tidy up the closets. My closets and my dusting are not on a schedule, but there is a routine. When I get on the phone, I always start dusting in the same place, and in the same room and work my way through the house. Because it is a routine, I don’t get sidetracked and start organizing bookshelves. It is only after the dusting is finished, that I move to the closets and I clean them in order so I don’t get side tracked.
See how this works?
Scour Pinterest for cleaning routines
Every day Pinterest alerts me to new cleaning routines that people have posted. New “free” printables pop up every day. If you are looking for some guidance you can go to Pinterest and find the perfect one for you. But I recommend creating your own.
You know your schedule better than anyone. You know what chores are a priority in your home. You know how many people that live in your home are able to take part in the cleaning routines.
Create your own cleaning routines
You’ve heard of a job chart or a chores list? That is nothing more than a cleaning routine assigned to somebody in the house. Your teenage son may have a cleaning routine that says every Monday night he must collect garbage from every room of your home. Separate the garbage from the recyclables, and take it all out to the curb for pick up on Tuesday morning. By assigning this routine to him, everybody in the house knows who is going to do the job. Your son knows when you expect him to do it.
Your daughter may be responsible for vacuuming the floors and mopping. Say your son is planning a band trip and won’t be around to empty the trash on Monday. He’s going to have to do it before he goes. Or, he may swap routines with your daughter, and she take out the trash, and he mop the floors when he gets back. The routine still keeps everything running like clockwork.
It is like you giving the cake recipe to someone else in the house. But because there is a recipe, nobody’s winging it, and you end up with the same cake.
What is the best cleaning routine?
The best cleaning routine is the one that works for you. The one you follow. The one that makes your life simple. The one everybody understands. The one that easy to duplicate day after day.
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