Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cleaning Zones -Part 1

I live in two different places. Every other week I live at work, so I only spend half of my time at home. Because of this it can be very difficult to stay on top of chores, especially if I leave town for a week off. I have still only spent 2 full weeks at my new house. There have been other times that have come close, but little things like busted pipes keep getting in the way.

As a result of my life switching back and forth my house often suffers, but I can also go almost a month having barely slept in my bed, so my housekeeping needs are a little bit different than a typical families.

Combining suggestions from different friends, blogs, and websites (such as fly lady) I have finally thought of a system that I think will work for me. I have broken my home up into 4 zones. Each zones chores are broken up into a list of chores than need to be done every other week I'm home. (That means it's getting done about once a month. Some of these things that seems quite reasonable. Some of these things like washing sheets that seems like too long, but I promise that if it needs it it will get done more, and really that's like a week and a half of actual use which isn't so bad). Each zone also has one or 2 quarterly checklists. So, each week I can tackle one quarterly task.

There is also a seasonal list of chores. I have broken those down into monthly tasks, instead of one overwhelming week of spring cleaning. But I'm still working on that list so it will have to wait. until part 2.

The final part of this is that I have worked daily tasks into my morning and nightly routines (there are some great posts about routines in my Jan links, but I will probably post more on these later, after I've tried them out for a while.) This includes tasks like doing dishes and making the bed. Some things aren't included like closing the blinds (which I tend to do as soon as it gets dark because I don't like feeling exposed to the night) and doing laundry (which I -well really Zach- tend to do as it accumulates and then put away as it get's done, or at least within a day or 2). The tasks that need to be done every week are done on Monday night since Tuesday marks the beginning of my work week.

This is a new system so I'm not sure how it will work yet, but it's better than all of the charts and calendars I have created so far. I'm very visual and hands on with this wort of thing so it helps me to know I have 5 cards worth of chores to do each week. I can get them all done in one day if I'm feeling ambitious, or I can tackle them one day at a time and still feel accomplished.

A few notes on logistics. With the quarterly cards- I will just write the date they were last completed on the back of the card to make sure I don't slack for too long. Also, any time something doesn't get done soon enough I can just do it an extra time, but I think this system will keep me from getting to that breaking point of feeling like I live in filth (lately this has been my strategy, when I can't stand looking at the mess any more I clean it up, not ideal for a "welcoming" home)

The cards will be laminated, color coded (week 1, week 2, quarterly) and kept on a ring on a hook on the fridge

I think this system will work just as well for a normal - home every week- home. Maybe tweaking a few things on each list and picking a different day for the little tasks that need to be done every week. I hope that as life continues I will be able to modify this system to fit my needs. Including making cards for my kids so they can get in on the household chores too.

Cleaning Zones

Bathroom- Week 1

Clean tub

Wipe off sink

Clean toilet

Trade out Magazines

Clean Mirrors

Bathroom- Week 2

Wash towels & bath mat

Wipe off sink

Sweep & Mop floor

Empty trash

Clean out toothbrush holder

Bathroom- Quarterly

Organize all bins etc.

Wipe all storage surfaces and cabinets

Clean shower curtain

Clean Haley’s toys

Bedrooms- Week 1

Wash sheets- including crib & changing table

Stock changing table

Bedrooms- Week 2

Pick up all trash and return things to their place

Straighten book cases etc.

Sweep floors

Bedrooms- Quarterly

Get rid of old clothes and jewelry

Switch out Haley’s clothes and toys if needed

Dust off all surfaces such as nightstands and dresser tops and lamps

Wash blankets & Duvet Covers

Mop floors

Office & Living room- Week 1


Prepare birthday cards & gifts (wedding, baby etc.) for the month

Straighten closets

Office & Living room- Week 2

Dust book shelves, TV, mantel etc.

Sort and file all papers

Clean off desk

Organize all craft supplies

Office & Living room- Quarterly A

Wash blankets

Clean out and organize closets

Clean all light switches, door handles etc.

Office & Living room- Quarterly B

Mop floors

Clean under furniture

Vacuum furniture & under cushions

Kitchen- Week 1

Clean microwave

Clean stove catchers

Wash dishrags, bibs & napkins

Kitchen- Week 2

Sweep and Mop floors

Clean off table and find places for boxes etc. that have collected

Kitchen- Quarterly

Sweep out Under Fridge

Wipe down oven

Wipe down table and chairs

Clean out all cabinets & drawers

Clean out and stock pantry and fridge

Morning Routine

Make bed

Unload dishwasher

Open blinds

Put on work out clothes

Drink a glass of water

Before Bed Routine

Pick up toys

Do dishes

Clean sink & counters

Read Bible

Take Vitamins

Monday Routine

Fluff couch pillows

Throw out leftovers & food that will expire this week

Take out trash and recycling

Put away all laundry, books, & toys

Pay bills return mail etc.

(I'm linking to Works for me Wednesday)

What cleaning system works for your family? What little chores am I leaving off my list? How would you modify this for your family?


Sarah said...

Nice... I like this idea. One of my resolutions is to be better at house stuff- especially keeping things clean and overcoming the pack-rat gene. I think do 3 "zones" if I did that part, but the routine thing is what really struck me. It's all about finding a system that works!

Wendy said...

Okay, just reading your list made me tired!

I just have to tell you that your baby is adorable in those header pics! :o)

Judy said...

I'm impressed! I really need to sit down and figure out a system that works for me because it's so easy to just put it all off.

Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

Alyce said...

Your list reminded me that I have been meaning to clean my bathroom for real for the past 6 months. My routine: clean everything every week, except for the things I don't want to clean (i.e. the bathroom). It kinda works.

jenny said...

If I had HALF of the motivation and organization that you do... I'd be in great shape!

Martianne said...

Oh, I have made lists like this but have gotten so out of practice in actually following them. You inspire me to try again, in combo with "family work time" which we have recently started.

Carmie of the Single Nester said...

I like how you broke chores down into little tasks. Sometimes, it is all too overwhelming.

Victoria said...

I love the idea of zones, I think this would make cleaning the house much more efficient.