Monday, March 3, 2014

88 Monthly Clean Home Challenge

Welcome to the month of March!  I always try to start thinking spring like thoughts in March, however, with four plus feet of snow still on the ground it can be a bit challenging at times.  How is the weather where you are?  Does it have you wanting to open your windows and get into the Spring Cleaning groove?

One of the areas in my life that I really wanted to focus on this year is balance.  How to best juggle my daily tasks; time as a mom, time as a wife, time to take care of myself, time for work and time for play.  I have been doing a lot of reflecting on what matters to me in terms of how my time is spent, and often times left wondering how I can scale back on things to make more time for enjoying this beautiful life.

Last month, I decided to dissect my cleaning routine.  Do I take our home too seriously?  Are we doing more than necessary?

The first step was defining what was acceptable to me?  I basically want a home that is simple to maintain and keeps a presentable appearance for ourselves first {a clean and organized home should translate to a less stressful environment} and our company second.  Meaning we are the reason for the clean house, not to impress anyone that should stop by.

I have always loved to clean, I find it gives me an appreciation for our home and this amazing energy when I accomplish a few tasks.  But on a scale of loves, time with my family ranks even higher.  And let's face it, our cleaning plan works pretty good when we stick to it and have the time to do it.  I have never been a huge stickler over it, and if we miss days it doesn't stress me out.  But what does stress me out is when life gets so busy that our tasks are thrown to the wayside to the point of a snowballing effect and hours spent on a weekend trying to make up for it.  Binge cleaning sessions give me a case of the yucks.


How can I get a clean and happier home in less time?

It got me thinking.  What are the very basics that need to be done to keep our home clean enough?  How could I spread a few of my weekly tasks out to monthly and build the quarterly/semi-annual tasks in as well?  How about taking time to purge and cut clutter?  How could I be sure that we don't have to waste a half of a weekend day cleaning and making up for a busy week?

After some thought, here are the chores that we should be doing daily to maintain:

  1. Keep a clean kitchen:  After dinner each night, this will require us to clear the table, wash the dishes and wipe down the counters, table and stove-top.  A quick sweep up of any crumbs and sweep of the counter for any clutter piles.  Total time: 10 minutes
  2. Laundry:  Laundry can become the biggest thorn in our sides if we don't keep up with our daily chore.  We are always looking to conserve on the amount of laundry we need to do, however, being a family of five does mean it builds up quickly.  Tossing our hampers into the wash each day, and running it on the days it is full, will ensure we are only having to fold and put away one load at a time {a couple of shirts and pants and a pair of PJ's}.  We wash all of our clothes together {minus whites and linens}, so that means there is less for each person to put away each day.  Total time: 5-10 minutes
  3. Bathrooms:  From toothpaste in the sink to splatters on the mirror to life with three boys in general, our bathrooms can go from squeaky clean to just ew in .5 seconds.  A quick wipe down of the sink, mirror and floor around the toilet will keep the grossness from building each day.  And although I am cleaning for us first, guests do tend to go straight for the bathroom when they arrive, and I don't want to be shaking in my slippers wondering what they are about to find....  Total time: 1 minute/bathroom
  4. Pile Pickup:  The goal is to do a quick sweep to clear surfaces of piles and clutter and to straighten pillows and blankets from any lounge sessions.  Just the very basics to give our surfaces a blank slate to start the day the following morning.  Having a place for the daily items that tend to be problematic, is definitely helpful in the process {a basket or magnetic fridge clip for mail and papers, a system for shoes, backpacks, hats and mittens, a basket near the stairs to place items that need to be transported and a basket near the sofa for blankets and pillows}.  I place focus on our primary living areas when doing this task.  Total time: 5-10 minutes
And that is it.  It may sound like a lot, but just doing those four tasks each day will keep the house looking and feeling clean throughout our week of school, work, projects, sports and activities.

Then, once per week, there are four more chores we add in:

  1. Clean Toilets/Showers:  A quick toilet scrub and wipe down of the shower.  Quick tip, clean the shower while you shower. 
  2. Vacuum/Mop:  Run the vacuum through the entire house and a mop over any solid floors.
  3. Dust/Glass:  Run a duster over all surfaces and follow up with wood or glass cleaner
  4. Wash Linens:  We try to do our everyday clothing throughout the week, and each weekend we wash bed linens and towels.
When working together as a family, we maybe have to dedicate a total of 30-60 minutes on a weekend to do these extra chores.

Seems easy enough right?

We tried this in February and it was fabulous.  Turns out that when we work together to get these done, it goes quite quickly.  And we do what we can to multi-task while doing chores.  As I mentioned above, things like wiping down the shower while taking a shower, running the garbage/recycling out when cleaning up the kitchen, or washing and folding linens while watching a favorite show, really doesn't seem like you are doing chores at all.

But the inner clean freak in me knows that it isn't enough.  It is enough to have a clean home and maintain a decent appearance on the surface, but there are a lot of other little tasks that I like to do to go above and beyond.  Things from cleaning appliances to organizing drawers and closets to cleaning out the fridge.  

So, Mon-Fri I try to add in one more quick chore.  I made a list of chores that shouldn't take much time and things I can do while catching up on a show saved on my DVR.  Here are the chores I added to my March cleaning list {many of these chores would be the same each month, while having the option to swap a few out}:
  1. Make cleaning supplies
  2. Cycle clean appliances
  3. Clean out cars
  4. Clean out microwave
  5. Wipe down cabinets/appliances
  6. Wipe down trim/doors
  7. Clean out one drawer
  8. Clean out fridge
  9. Clean out freezer
  10. Vacuum under furniture
  11. Vacuum mattresses
  12. Clean oven
  13. Clean out one closet
  14. Wash out garbage can/recycle bin
  15. Wash windows
  16. Scrub grout
  17. Clean out one cabinet
  18. File paper piles
  19. Purge bathroom toiletries
  20. Clean out pantry

Some people may want to add all of those chores up and do them in a single day.  I personally prefer to do one per day because it still feels like I am getting a lot accomplished and frees up more time for the things I really love to do.  {A few get done while doing the daily chores, others may happen in the morning after the kids go to school or in the evenings after they go to bed.}

We gave this system a whirl in February and I looooved it!  It was not stressful, my house felt clean and I felt like I got a lot accomplished. 

Finally, I realized something about myself long ago.  What really inspires me and motivates me personally is visuals.

Do you ever watch a TV show, read a magazine or a blog post and get up right then and there to go and clean or organize something?  It happens to me all of the time! 

So I am hoping to do that this month.  Each day, I am going to pop in and share my daily task with you.  Some may be boring {vacuuming our mattress?} and others may be a bit more exciting {cleaning out a drawer}.   And if you want to join in and do it with me, that would be crazy fun. The thing I love most about this blog community is that we are always sharing tips and tricks and inspiration which one another, to continuously make our lives easier and happier.  And if you are like me in liking to plan things out, write things down and check things off, I created a free printable as well.

{click HERE to download your free Monthly Cleaning Planning sheet}

And no worries, for those that don't want to play along.  I know this schedule is not for everyone, so I will continue with many of my regular posts as well {home project updates, reader spaces and contributors}.  The daily cleaning challenge is an add-in, unless I take a drawer or closet to the next level of course. 

So who is in?  Anyone else have a similar system and how is it working for you?   What cleaning chores do you get done while multi-tasking?  Any other "shortcuts" you can share?


Pssst!  I will be back soon to share today's first daily cleaning task.  Stay tuned!  

88 comments:

  1. Love this! Thank you Jen. I am trying to get better at streamlining my cleaning and I think putting a time on tasks is key. Doing a full kitchen clean-up seems like a huge task sometimes (we are guilty of leaving the dishes to dry in the dry rack), but what is 10 minutes? Just get it done! :-)

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  2. Have you ever read any Emilie Barnes books? She's had books out for years that have some good suggestions on these topics. We have a little broom and dustpan (with the long handles) and our kids are responsible to sweep after each meal.

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    1. I have not, but will definitely look them up. Thank you for the suggestion!

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    2. Yes:):):) Emilie Barnes is wonderful!!! I took my sister to her seminar as a bridal shower gift. She has changed the way I clean/organize:):)

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  3. I am so in with this challenge! My resolution this year was to find a better work/life balance and that includes all the chores around the house. I can't stand taking half my weekend to do laundry and clean. And if we miss a weekend, the house is not fit for people to stop by. I did great in January, then February got busy and now my house is a mess. Thank you for giving me some redirection in my resolution!

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  4. What do you use to do those quick wipe-ups in the bathroom and kitchen counters? The anti-bacterial wipes that Clorox/Lysol makes?

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    1. Microfiber is my favorite cleaning solution. I will chat about that more in my next post :)

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    2. Would love some tips on keeping my kitchen counters clean! Currently i'am using a dishrag..after a couple days it feels mildew-y. I want to stay away from using paper towels/ wipes..that adds up to be a lot of $$ and discourages me from wiping as often as i would like!


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    3. I use automotive rags in my kitchen and bathrooms to clean, they're easy to launder and hold up well to scrubbing.

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    4. I run my cotton washrags under clean running water, ring it out, then pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes. The heat kills any germies and keeps it smelling fresh. A hot dishrag is also handy for getting sticky or dried on messes (spaghetti sauce splatters!)

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    5. I put my dish rags in the dish washer.

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    6. I am with Jen microfiber clothes are the way to go. Check out Norwex. I have an enviro cloth in my kitchen and in each bathroom. It takes one minute to run it under water and wipe down a countertop… and it is anti-bacterial as well. It is amazing! I will be blogging about it soon. Feel free to check it out
      http://throughthelensofafarmerswife.blogspot.com

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    7. Bacteria survive on the inner surfaces of your microwave - best thing if you're going to use that method is to ensure that your rag is completely wet and maybe use a clean plate.
      I try to toss my cloths in the laundry and grab a fresh one every night. It's a work in progress.

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    8. microwaving the your rag is a great idea! thanks

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    9. I also like the micro fiber. I have one hanging by our shower. After each shower I wipe down the glass. The glass is always sparkling and free of hard-water spots. The hard-water is a killer here!

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    10. I love all these ideas. Very encouraging and inspiring! =) My biggest challenge/ thing I cannot seem to conquer (or not NEARLY as well as I'd like!!!!!) is the wiping of the shower, ESPECIALLY the shower door. I've tried that vinegar and dawn (didn't seem to work) and I've tried Scrubbing Bubbles, Comet Spray, etc. I've looked on Pinterest (that's where I found the dawn one). Idk, maybe it's operator error. =) I heard something about using Rain-ex? Haven't tried that yet. I'm wondering about what you ladies use to clean the shower though, while you're in the shower, other than a microfiber cloth? We've got the same hard water issue, so...help? =) Thanks!

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    11. Hi Lura!

      I don't have the shower door, so I can't personally speak for the following solutions, but I did find a few posts for you to check out that may help you.

      http://www.ehow.com/list_6528255_home-remedies-cleaning-shower-doors.html

      http://askannamoseley.com/2012/10/how-to-remove-soap-scum/

      http://blog.timesunion.com/homerestoration/removing-soap-scum-from-shower-doors-4-methods-and-a-winner/2804/

      http://100things2do.blogspot.ca/2013/12/cleaning-shower.html

      Good luck!

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  5. Great ideas! I've been looking for a way to quit the 'binge-cleaning'. This looks like a manageable way to cut down on that! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. The weather is crazy as always in E. TN. 70 degrees yesterday and now it's snowing today! It's so hard to keep up with mother nature and get motivated to clean. The 70 degree days I just want to play outside but then it drops so drastically I just want to curl up with a book and some coffee and watch my kids play. I'm daily cleaner. I have a big magnetic board with all the tasks to be done and each day I choose something and move it from the to do column to the done section. Stay warm!

    Erin
    upsideofchaos.com

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    1. That is crazy! Sounds like our late spring season. I would love a random 70 degree day, I have almost forgotten what that feels like! :)

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  7. What a fabulous idea! I'm super excited about this challenge - and I can't wait to get started! I love that you're making it easy and approachable for busy moms! Thank you so much for your inspiration - *hugs*

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  8. Hi Jen! I have been following you long time ago! This is my first comment. Today i have to post it. I have been getting use to my new role of mom of three kids and some time I feel that I dont have time to have my house clean in the way that I like or more frustrating I just end 1 task and my little ones have messed up something else. Like you I'm so visual and I need everything on place to be able to do my things. This list I know is going to make my life easier and lees stressful. And more important more time to spent with my family. Thanks ...thanks..thanks...

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  9. i can't believe how much you need to do to keep a clean home...
    I really really appreciate my mom and housekeepers because i know how hard it must be especially balancing it with kids, a husband and a job / social life. Way to go moms!!

    Sara
    www.itsmylittlethings.blogspot.com

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  10. I love this idea and every time I read your blog I want to jump up and organize or clean something...then I realize that I am at work. I'm making a list right now and borrowing lots of your ideas.
    xoxo
    Rachel

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    1. Haha! You must have a really tidy workspace! ;)

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    2. Ha ha, me too! Dying to get home now!

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  11. I'm definetly up for this challenge! Great idea..!!

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  12. Love this! I blogged about our cleaning schedule we have just implemented. Although my children are little, it still helps to all pitch in! My 4 year old puts utensils away, clears the table, etc. Love to see someone else's schedule!

    By the way it was 73 degrees in Atlanta yesterday! (It's yuck and rainy today though). Spring is coming!!

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  13. I so appreciate this post! I definitely need some help in this area- what to clean when and how often, and how to fit it in with three kids and everything else! I just need someone else to organize a cleaning schedule and tell me what to do- hahaha! So thank you!!!

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  14. Hello from hot and tropical Singapore! While you're freezing we're sweating here! :-)

    I have just discovered your blog in the last week and I'm LOVING it!! Thankyou so much for the inspiration, as I try and organise my condo. A couple of months ago we moved from Australia to Singapore and we had to downsize majorly! So I'm now trying to make our small space work efficiently for us.

    If you haven't already, go check out the Flylady. I love Flylady (www.flylady.net), as she taught me how to de-clutter and get organised with my routines and cleaning. She is just fabulous, and she even has missions that gets the kids involved and learning how to de-clutter. She makes it easy... no marathon cleaning.

    Flylady got me de-cluttered and into a cleaning routine, but I was always wondering how to organise the stuff that I did need to keep. Now I'm grateful for your blog on how to organise my stuff that I do need in a way that is practical, useful and beautiful.

    Thankyou so much!

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    1. I love Fly Lady too… I just blogged today about an app that has made Fly Lady's system so perfect for me. Check it out

      http://throughthelensofafarmerswife.blogspot.com

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  15. I have a similar cleaning schedule that works well for our family. Of course I love that feeling of a completely clean house but I've resigned to the fact it won't happen with 3 little kids. Mondays I dust, Tuesdays are floors, Wednesdays are bathrooms, Thursdays the kitchen, cleaning surfaces and emptying out the refrigerator and Fridays are for windows, just the lower third that the dogs make so dirty. Weekends are reserved for more in depth chores or I try to fit them in during the week when time allows.

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  16. When we moved we lost our laundry room for a laundry space. As a space and time saver, we use the washer as a sorting basket and put the colors in there and use a separate basket for whites. When the washer is full, it's time to do the load. We also use the delay feature on our washer so when I get home from work, I just pop it in the dryer and move on to the next load. B Cribbs

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  17. Any suggestions for cleaning out...closets, cabinets, basement?
    I need to hit my closets and basement big time.
    Lizzie
    www.northsideofthecountryroad.com

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  18. I am totally in… How ironic I just blogged about my cleaning routine today. Can't wait to see your updates!
    http://throughthelensofafarmerswife.blogspot.com

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    1. I think spring cleaning is in the air! :)

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  19. Hi Jen! Love this schedule, and I'm up for the challenge! Always looking for ways to keep a sparkly clean house. Of course life gets in the way a lot, but there are a few things I do each morning to keep things in order. Since I leave for work before the kiddies and husband are awake, I take just a few minutes and make sure to clean the litter box and sweep floor in bathroom, straighten out living room pillows/remotes/blankets. I walk the dog and off I go. The dishes in the sink are a thorn in my side, and I'm working on myself to put them in the dishwasher at night!! It's freezing in New Jersey! Can't wait for Spring. I have a picture of your porch on my phone and this will be my first project when the weather is nice!

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  20. I LOVE this post!! I too am a self-professed 'neat freak' and spend WAY too much time cleaning when I'd rather be doing fun things with my family. Lately, the weeks have been so hectic that we get behind and have to do it all on the weekends, which I definitely do NOT want to do! I'll be following along for your daily cleaning tasks and hopefully can modify my routine a little bit!

    A fellow WI gal :)

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  21. I love having a cleaning schedule too. It's just myself and my husband, but can still get messy. Each chore has a specified time interval, for example clean the fish bowl every 4 days. Once I've done it, I cross it off the calendar and schedule my husband on that task on the calendar. That's the only one that has to be done on the day of, but the rest otherwise stay scheduled to that person until they are able to complete it. Eg the bathroom is every 7 days, but if you take 12 days that's your problem if it's harder. The schedule allows me to not nag about it or feel it's left for me, since he'll do it once he is free.

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  22. I'm currently working on our cleaning schedule as well, thanks for the tips! I live in Minnesota (St Paul suburbs) and its still freezing here too! Hopefully spring comes soon this year :)

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  23. I love these ideas! I too love to clean and love a clean home, but I feel like I save all of my cleaning duties for the weekend, and then I'm spending hours of my weekend cleaning, and I feel like I'm never caught up. Doing some simple things daily or weekly is a great way to accomplish a lot. I'm hoping to change our routine to something like this. Thanks for sharing!

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  24. Love your schedule and tips. I followed a cleaning schedule for a few months last year, and it really makes a difference. I gotta bring it back! Thanks for the motivation!

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  25. Finding balance is so important and I agree that cleaning quickly gets sidelined during a busy week. I created a list of all the cleaning tasks I could think of and then divided them into daily, weekly, monthly, bimonthly, quarterly, and yearly tasks. Then I made a basic monthly calendar and filled in the tasks accordingly. For example, cleaning out the garage went in the yearly tasks and it will happen in June when it's warmer (hopefully!). More details about my schedule can be found at my blog. Good luck on your new routine. I can't wait to see the daily posts of progress!

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  26. These are awesome tips! I need to redo my cleaning schedule; with my life being much busier I need to get into some new habits!

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  27. I love the idea of throwing dirty clothes straight into the washer and running it when it gets full!

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  28. These are really good tips! Thanks for sharing :) I'm very visual as well so I'll be looking forward to your picture posts :)

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  29. very motivated to do some cleaning and tidying now after reading this post! :)
    Eilidh - http://letsgetwonderfullylost.blogspot.co.uk

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  30. That idea of filling up the laundry machine every day until it's ready to go is genius!

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  31. Hi Jen! I love love love your blog! I have it up all day and look forward to each new post! I also love to organize and decorate, DIY etc. your blog gives me so much inspiration. I'm always bragging about your blog to my friends! Keep up the great work! Your cleaning article is right on I'm going to see if I can incorporate some or all of it.

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    1. Well aren't you the sweetest! Thank you so much, you have just made my day!! xoxoxo!

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  32. My tip is I clean the bathroom while my 4 yr old is taking his bath. That allows me to be in there with him so he's safe, but gives me a few minutes to clean the mirror, sink and toliet etc. I also do this when it's bath time for me and clean our bathroom while I fill the tub for a relaxing bath for myself. Works great!

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    1. Such a great tip! I did that as well. Now my kids are independent and old enough to help clean the bathroom. Time flies! xoxo!

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  33. I love this!!! I'm in :) thanks for the great and inspiring posts!!

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  34. Yes! This idea is similar to flylady.com :) I do similar and also find the app home routines helpful to organize daily, weekly, and monthly routines

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  35. Okay, I must be the worst mom, wife or person. Your add on list of chores I don't think I think of some at any regular time. You all would hate my home. I grew up watching my mom spend hours on the weekends and do stuff during the week, her motto was "There is a place for everything and everything has a place or something was gotten rid of" My dad and I helped a lot but we noticed she just do it over. She was a little over the top. Now as an adult, I clean, i keep things up but no way organized or perfect and everything does NOT have a place. Which bothers me but I must not be wired correctly to fix it. My home is livable, doesn't have any gross odors and piles of stuff every where. My friends come over and are not freaked out by my home at least the ones that come back. i do have one friend that sounds like your blog and my mom! She hates to come to my house. She does not work and has one teen and another 8 year old boy and even their rooms are spotless. I just don't have the talent. I envy you!

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    1. I totally understand that. And I would never judge another individual for how they select to clean and live. I have a lot of family and friends who approach cleaning differently. Some more so than me and others not as much. I am sure some view our cleaning habits as over the top. As long as YOU are happy, then that is what is important right? :)

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  36. Hallelujah!!! I, too, enjoy cleaning but not necessarily spending my whole weekend doing it. And although I have my daily chores, I've been trying to find ways to cut down/streamline my cleaning time, so I was excited when I saw your free printable. So that means, I'm IN!!!! By the way, keeping a magic eraser in the shower is pure GENIUS. Thank you for this printable and for the inspiration. :D

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  37. amazing! the other day I also made ​​a list of chores - a fridge, cabinets, closet, etc, almost the same as in your list :) microwave, oven, trash can - I forgot it, but you are reminded, thank you!
    and I'm in ;)

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  38. Wonderful post!
    I've been trying the same organizing tricks for some time now, keeping list of all the task I should do. I even made a separate task list for each room. It's not always working, though, but my kitchen for sure looks way cleaner. I love this idea of Monthly cleaning plan, Pinned and Printed.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  39. I am determined to be a more organized cleaner in order to use my time more efficiently - love these tips and really love the bathroom clean/dirty rag bin under the sink. So smart!

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  40. I'm really looking forward to your cleaning posts. I have daily, weekly, bimonthly (twice a month), monthly and biyearly (twice a year) cleaning routine. It works for now.. :) And, I don't really believe in multi-tasking, hahahah, it gets me confused. :)

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  41. I so badly need a system...we're great with the daily things...the weeklies and monthlies, not so much! You mentioned grout cleaning...what do you use???

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  42. Great post Jen! You know, last year, I did a lot of thinking about time management/priorities as well. We decided to hire a housekeeper to come once every two weeks. She does all the regular cleaning, and I always give her one extra item to do (example: clean the fridge or microwave, wash windows, etc). Now, a year after hiring her, I can't believe I ever hesitated! Yes, it costs some money - but I think of valuable time as money as well, and we found a way to fit it into our budget by cutting back on a few other things. Making this switch has really changed the quality of life around our house, and I'm so happy we decided to make the splurge.

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  43. I'm in! Thank you so much for this wonderful blog!

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  44. There is so much to keep up with for me! It feels exhausting. Never ending chores. I suppose having a schedule would be helpful in maintenance.
    Bright and Shiny

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  45. Hi jen, what an inspiring post. I am trying to keep my home organised and clean by following a few routines. Now i am going to join you in this quest. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

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  46. I'm in!! I've been trying so hard to get my apartment clean. And every time i make major progress, a few days later it's like nothing happened. My roommate and I have super hectic, busy schedules which leads to throwing things on the counter, bed, floor, etc thinking "I'll put that away later." And then later never comes. So hopefully doing things a little at a time, and putting things away right when I get home, will help! I just hope I can keep it up

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  47. This post could not have been more timely for me personally. When I woke up to a very messy kitchen this morning, I knew it was time to do something about keeping the kitchen clean on a daily basis. This posts challenges me to really do something about it. Challenge accepted!

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  48. Jen, there is a new product for cleaning countertops,sinks, all handles and knobs, microwaves, etc. It is called the E-cloth. I saw a laboratory test of this done by a local lab that proved the claim that it cleans 98% of all germs, bacteria, e-coli, etc. All you do is wet it, use it and clean it under hot water. When it dries, it's ready to use again. Silver in the cloth is what disinfects. I wash mine in the washer once a week. Each cloth is good for a year, used like this. Anything cleaned with it absolutely sparkles.

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  49. Where did you find the cute white tub that holds the cleaning products in your picture with the sparkle word on the side?

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    1. Hello!

      The Sparkle tote is a utensil caddy I found in the spring seasonal dept of Target a few years ago. I added the Sparkle label with vinyl.

      xoxo!

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  50. Challenge accepted! This couldn't come at a better time! I am a mom of two young boys, with a third on the way, and I feel like I am always drowning in the house work. My kitchen surfaces are always clean and we are good at the general pickup, but bathrooms and other deep cleaning suffer. This makes it so manageable and quick - just a little each day. I have been following along with each of your posts so far, cleaning along. My dishwasher and washing machine are currently being cycle cleaned as I type this. Thanks so much for putting the work into this and helping me tackle this!

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  51. Hi Jen,
    I am nesting and have been stalking your blog the last couple weeks and today's blog post is no different than your others, absolutely genius! Where did you get the sparkle supplies carrier? Creatively designed it I'm sure :-)
    Thanks for sharing! JuLyia

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    1. That is great to hear JuLyia!

      The Sparkle tote is a basic tin utensil caddy I found in the spring seasonal dept of Target a few years ago. I added the Sparkle label with vinyl.

      xoxo!

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  52. See me nodding enthusiatically? *nods enthusiastically*

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  53. Jen, were did u get the metal caddy i hope i can still find it.

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    1. Hi Natalie!

      The Sparkle tote is a utensil caddy I found in the spring seasonal dept of Target a few years ago. I added the label with vinyl. :)

      xo!

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  54. I am going along with this and as I lok around my house I realize that after years of pondering I have yet to buy an air purifier.I know you have talked about 2 different kinds and was wondering if you could share which you prefer.I do not personally know anyone that owns one and the reviews are all spread out

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    1. We have been happy with both, however, found that the Oreck is easier to maintain {no filters to replace} and seems to work a little harder for us. xoxo!

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  55. Menards sells three white microfiber cloths with a cute grey edge for $1.99 in the automotive section. I just love them and they clean up nice.

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  56. This is coming at a perfect time for me. After my son was in the hospital for 9 weeks from November-January and then caring for him at home in the last month and a half everything went to hell in a hand basket. I'm trying to dig back out. Unlike you, I HATE to clean, and then what happens is that I put it off until I can't stand it. But then it has gotten so out of hand that it takes a long time, and I hate it even more. I'm up for the challenge and trying to turn over a new leaf. I'm going to try to take your challenge and hope that by the end of a month the habit is ingrained. One thing that I am very good about is keeping up with the laundry. Every single night I put a load in before bed and set the timer to run right before I wake up. Then in the morning when I go to feed the dog I just toss it in the dryer (her food is in the laundry room). Folding is my guilty pleasure tv time. Bathrooms are the thorn in my side - with two teenage boys we've now added the razor stubble along with the other boy mess....eeeeewwwww. I've tried leaving a box of Clorox wipes right by the sink, but they never get used and I don't like spending the money. What do you use to clean the bathrooms? And here's my other crazy question. Whenever you see beautiful pictures of bathrooms in magazines or online you never EVER see a toilet brush. I keep ours in the laundry room....downstairs, but our two main bathrooms are upstairs. Not very conducive to cleaning as often as it should be. So I'm asking the queen of clean and organization. Where do you hide your toilet brush?

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    1. First, I am so sorry to hear that your son was in the hospital for so long. I can only imagine the challenges that come from that, and will keep you in my thoughts. I wish I could just come over and help you clean ;)

      I can understand boys and bathrooms. I have three that still can't seem to find the toilet consistently.... razor stubble is only a matter of time...

      You can find links to all of my favorite cleaning products and a few tips for getting started here: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2014/03/monthly-clean-home-challenge-set.html

      As far as the toilet brush, I keep a small one under each sink in each of our bathrooms. I don't like them sitting out, but I need one right there, or I would never do it.

      Best of luck to you as you take on the challenge! I am cheering you on from here!

      Delete
  57. Just found this, but I am so in! Better late than never I guess! Thank you for this, I definitely need help in streamlining my cleaning process along with making sure I am happy with the result! Great blog, keep up the great work!

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  58. Until today, I thought that finding a balance between studying, having a side job, doing all the housework and having some quality time as well was close to impossible, but you just showed me how easily it can be done!

    I will definitely try out your monthly cleaning checklist and also start going by the motto "Every little helps", because I am - ahem, was :) - quite the binge cleaner and wanted to get everything done in one go which of course is not possible, because I either forgot about chores or just procrastinated. I feel that your checklist is just the thing I need and that it will help me remember all the important tasks.

    Thank you for your wonderful and inspiring blog - love the design and colours as well!

    xoxo from Germany,
    Fran

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  59. You've inspired me to take a second look at my cleaning schedule and update it a bit to make it simpler and more flexible. I love the idea of having a list of chores to select from each day instead of feeling a certain task must be done on a given day. I posted all about my new cleaning schedule on my blog and gave a special shout out and link to this post - since it was my inspiration after all. Love the daily cleaning posts as well!

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  60. I just got married and feel so overwhelmed with (unrealistic) expectations of making everything perfect. Your blog is saving my life! Love it. And I love your cleaning supplies caddy! Adorbs! I want one!

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