In the previous post I talked about how I have been learning to joyfully clean since I have become a stay at home mom. I told you my story of how cleaning was not always a favorite of mine, something I actually loathed and hated. If you missed that story you can catch it here However, thanks to a good friend (and new mom) and a few books I have now began a process that helps me keep my home clean.
First I started by reading these books that the above mentioned mom leant to me. She actually wrote a post about this same thing! You can find it here, we actually did things a little differently, so it might be good to catch both.
In it they outlined how they went from slob sisters to a crazy cleaning duo! It was crazy how much of a messy they were, kinda unbelievable in fact. However, there system really does work.
What you need:
- A note card box
- Neon colored and white note cards
- divider labels 1-31
- Monthly labels (still have yet to find these anywhere)
- small calendar
After you have all this assembled, the book tells you to make a basic weekly plan. The general idea of all the things you are going to do for each day. Here is mine. I taped it to the front of my card holder.
Basic Weekly Plan:
- Sunday: Church, Couponing, Meal Plan
- Monday: Groceries/Errands
- Tuesday: Moderate Cleaning (2-4 hours)
- Wednesday: Family Clean day (where if there are jobs my hubby needs to do or we have to do together we use this day)
- Thursday: Moderate Cleaning
- Friday: Free Day
- Saturday: Family
Right now this works for our family because of its small size. As the family grows, this will undergo some construction. This is not always what my weeks look like either. Sometimes the hubby and I will go grocery shopping and run our errands on a Wednesday when he is off half a day instead of Monday. Or some one might come in to town and I need to go and see them, so a moderate cleaning day may not happen. It is just a guideline so I can have a goal.
The next step is for you look in the back of their book and see what chores they say to do for parts of your home, combine them with what you are already doing, and then separate them into categories. This is where the different colored note cards come in handy.
You will have things that you do daily and then things that you do every other day (EOD), these go on one color of notecard. For example, one of my daily cards is for the kitchen. On it I have all the kitchen jobs that I need to do on a daily basis (load and unload dishwasher, clean countertops, clean/polish sink, sweep floor). Then there are the things that you do weekly (such as bleach the tub) on a different color, and on yet a different color you have those things that you do monthly (orange glow the kitchen cabinets), bi-monthly (change and clean out light fixture bowls), seasonally (clean out refrigerator), and yearly all on a different colored notecard. You also have a separate colored note card for personal things (mine is pink, it reminds me to do certain things, such as print out pictures monthly.) I have also written on the left hand side how often I do these things (daily, EOD, weekly, EOW, Monthly, EOM, Seasonally, Yearly), and then in the middle I have what it is (usually what room) I should be doing.
Here are the color of my notecards:
- Yellow: Daily and EOD
- Orange: Weekly and EOW
- Green: Monthly and EOM
- White: Seasonally/yearly (On white cards I also write down the month at the top then put all the anniversaries, birthdays, and special dates I should remember and might need to buy cards for each year. Helps immensely in getting things out on time! Not to mention you look incredibly thoughtful! If you ever find or make month dividers though, they will take the place of these.)
- Pink: Personal (Side Note: I might have things on a pink card that I need to do Daily, EOD, Monthly, and so on that are just for me. I just write what the time is (Daily, EOD, etc) in the left hand corner)
Once you have successfully labeled all you cards, you then need to put them in order by date. This is where a small calendar comes in handy. Take your numbered 1-31 dividers and place the cards you will be doing for that particular day of the month IN FRONT OF the day. For example. if today is the 3rd, I will put all cards that need to be done that day in front of the number 3 divider. The army does it this way and I found it really helps. You just move the cards all the way to the back and then the divider all the way to the back when your day is through. It is sometimes hard to know exactly where things need to go throughout the month, but here is where you can be creative and just play with it.
This system has been a lifesaver! For me in particular I am a procrastinator, so I will just let everything pile up until the inevitable day before the in-laws come over and I am cleaning like a madwoman and mad at the world that it is so nasty. Now my home stays company clean for the most part. It helps me to not be lazy, to do little things like make my bed every day, cleaning my bathroom every other day (which I used to think my weekly scrubbing was good, but man was I wrong), going to sleep with a clean kitchen, which make me more at ease. One of the best things the book tells you is not to stress over anything, if a card doesn’t get completed that day “file it and forget it” you will come back to it the next time it comes up.
It also helped me to get my cleaning supplies organized, but that is a different post for a different day. This one is long enough. Hope this helps someone else out a much as it did me.