How to have a weekend free of brooms and sponges? Organizing house cleaning
by Eleonora Vaiana
Every Monday morning, the shrill insistent melody of your alarm cuts through the pleasant fog of sleep. Outside, dawn is cresting the horizon, but far from being able to appreciate nature’s splendor, only one groaning thought dominates the still-hazy mind: it’s time to go to work. And after eight hours toiling away in an office or shop, no one can blame you if the desire to slip on yellow gloves and clean up the house is scarce.
No one likes the idea of exhausting all their mental and physical resources working, then having to come home and, rather than putting your feet up, instead having to buckle down and work on something else. But alas, the dust cares not for such mortal trifles; it accumulates regardless, along with its friend the grocery list and the list of house chores, and is waiting ominously on Saturday morning.
If we are to tackle such a foe, we need some fresh air and a plan of attack, organized in advance, to finally be able to enjoy a proper weekend.
You will need:
- 10 minutes of time per week to spend planning the housecleaning, preferably on Sunday evening
- An agenda or a calendar, whether paper or digital
Those who already use a diary, a planner or a calendar, whether paper or digital, already have an advantage. Otherwise, any calendar will suffice; you can even use an online assistant such as the very useful Google Calendar tool.
First, the key is to simply jot down a list of everything that must be done, without regard for order. Free your mind from the homework you have postponed, think of everything you must accomplish, and allow it to flow forth. Your page will have to become a stream of cleansing consciousness.
Get in the habit of writing every task on your list as soon as it comes to mind.
Relearn what it means to clean
Whether you don’t mind cleaning or the relentlessly re occurring need for grime removal is nothing short of torture, spicing up the planning process certainly will not hurt.
Take your to-do list and some markers, highlighters, or even stickers. Separate your tasks into:
- Jobs which must be done daily
- Jobs which must be done once a week
- Jobs you only have to do once a month
Create a personal legend to make your color coding clear and familiarize yourself as you continue with your system.
Now, underline or highlight the work to be done at each level of frequency with the color you have chosen: all the daily tasks (ventilation of the rooms, washing the dishes, cleaning the bathroom, etc.) will have a different color from the weekly and monthly tasks. In addition to being fun, this system will provide you with an immediate overview when you need to review your chores and you will be able to easily tell at a glance how much you have left to do yet.
Once you’ve finished with the colors, take your agenda or calendar and create to-do lists for each type of cleaning. For example:
- Clean the sink
- Air out the rooms
- Scrub the floors
- Make the bed
- Clean the oven
- Dust surfaces
- Change the towels
- Change the sheets
By the end of the month:
- Clean the windows and mirrors
- Clean the overhead light fixtures
- Clean the doors
- Air the mattresses
- Dust the shelves
This way, you can organize your days based on the tasks you have to perform, which will let you integrate your chores into your normal routine and with your other commitments taken into account. Optimizing them with this method will allow you to complete as many as possible during the week and in the course of daily life; this makes them easier to remember, less painful to complete, and suddenly, you’ll find your weekends have opened up.