As a housewife, one of my biggest time sucks is keeping my house in order. I happen to be lucky enough to be able to afford a housekeeper, so I don’t do much in the way of actual cleaning, but this has not always been the case. For years I lived in my own apartment and and had to keep it clean without the help of a housekeeper, and even now I still have my own daily, weekly, and monthly chores that have to happen in order to keep a tidy home.
I know there is a lot of information on the web about how to clean your house, but I thought it would be nice to bring my own fresh perspective on this matter. I did some research into how our mothers in the 1940s and 1950s kept house and I learned a few things that I feel are still extremely relevant to our modern lifestyle. As a matter of fact, some of their best ideas, like making sure everyone in the home did their fare share of chores, has been somewhat lost over time. So I put together a few posts to help those of you who are just winging their house cleaning get into a better and more helpful routine based on timeless advice from our foremothers.
As I see it, the best way to keep a clean house can be distilled into these three topics:
Have a regular cleaning schedule.
Get the spouse and kids involved.
Maintain, maintain, maintain.
Today I am going to focus on the first piece of advice, which is to have a regular cleaning schedule.
You might recognize the above picture from the beloved book series, Little House On The Prairie. Housewives have always followed a schedule to keep on top of chores, so the first thing you need to do is make a list of all of the chores that need to be done in your home. I prefer to break the lists down by daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. For example, in an average home (ie: when there is no housekeeper) the chore list might look something like this:
For those of you who are neat freaks, your schedule might be more hard core. And for those of you who work outside of your home and don’t have as much time to spend on cleaning your house, your chore list might be much lighter. I found the website Living Well, Spending Less to have the most comprehensive description on creating a cleaning schedule, which you can see here. I was going to write an entire post on creating a schedule, but she did just a masterful job, I don’t think there is anything I could add, therefore I highly recommend checking it out.
One thing I noticed about most chore lists is they don’t include laundry and have this as a separate entity. Personally I find laundry to be almost more overwhelming than cleaning, so I have to have it included on my list.
No matter how simple or complicated your chore chart looks, it is really a necessity when starting to take charge of your home cleaning. By sticking to a master plan you will find the idea of keeping your house in order to become much less overwhelming, and after a few months you might even come to enjoy the ease with which you are now able to maintain your home.
Here are parts 2 and 3: