Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Deep Cleaning Routine

Angela wrote after reading my Shiny New Year post:  " Terri, could you please speak about your deep cleaning routine? I would love to eliminate the big seasonal clean. As I get older it is just not doable and I find myself always behind!"  Girl, I so understand!  The reason I broke my cleaning down into a 3 month long routine was to eliminate the seasonal deep clean.  Yes, it's nice to have all the house at once all clean and fresh but it takes too much effort the older you get.  I'd rather have it continually clean, rather than just once every six months or so.  You'll note too that I said I do these tasks every three months.

Daily routines are easy and accomplished in a matter of an hour or so.  I've shared before what my daily routine is.  It consists mainly of the top five: make the bed, clean the floors, wipe down the baths, empty trash, clear the dishes.

I divided my home into four zones (five really but you'll see why I say four in a few moments).  I allot one week (six days of cleaning) to each zone.  The final two or three days of the month are usually allotted to maintenance cleaning/clearing in the shed, so I can keep that in some semblance of order, hence that is my 5th zone).  I have monthly cleaning tasks and quarterly cleaning tasks 

My zones are as follows: #1 entries, laundry, porch, deck, patio
                                      #2 bedrooms, baths (there are only two of each)
                                      #3 living room/dining room
                                      #4 kitchen/breakfast area

 Zone #1 Entries, deck/porch/patio:
               Monthly:        clean glass doors and windows
                                     wipe down railings and woodwork around doors
                                     clear clutter that has accumulated

               Quarterly:  freshen plants, add new ones as needed
                                wash floors/siding
                                 Update door decor
                                 touch up paint  railings/floors/furnishings

Laundry: Monthly:   dust
                               empty the trash (a box where I keep lint,gum wrappers etc found in laundry)
                               inventory paper goods/ cleaning products I keep stored in that area

             Quarterly:  clean washer and dryer (vinegar rinse/scrub agitator, wipe down inside dryer)
                              move machines to sweep and mop under
                              wash curtains in doorway

Zone #2  Beds and Baths

               Monthly:  wash mattress pad/ vacuum mattress
                               dust furniture and ceiling fan
                               put away clutter
                               straighten closet
                               vacuum perimeter of carpet (that area where the vacuum doesn't get next to the wall)

              Quarterly:  lip mattress (marked by quarters so I know if it needs to go up/down or side/side)
                               vacuum under furniture
                               clean mini blinds
                               wash curtains
                                freshen/change seasonal look
                                go through clothes and make mend/house/discard piles
                                straighten drawers of dressers
                                dust walls
                Monthly: clean showers
                               wash window
                               wash area rugs
                               wipe down cabinets/outside of shower/tub
                               treat drains

               Quarterly:  wash curtains
                                wash shower liners
                                 freshen decor
                                dust walls

Zone #3 Living Room/Dining Room
              Monthly:  dust chair rails, blinds,
                             clean ceiling fans
                              wash windows
                              vacuum perimeters/under chairs, cushions (do this weekly in our fave seats)
                              cull magazines
                              clear clutter
            Quarterly:  wash curtains
                             wash slipcovers/ pillow covers
                              change seasonal decor
                              cull books (Owie!)
                              sort file folders (file cabinet/in dining area)
                              straighten drawers (dresser/buffet)
                              wash/dry unused linens (I do a few each quarter)
                              dust walls

Zone #4  Kitchen/Breakfast Area
               Monthly:  clean microwave
                              wipe down cabinet doors
                              wash walls around cooking area/behind sink
                              clean appliances fronts/tops
                              clean windows
                              clean inside of refrigerator
                              wipe down inside of oven
                              clean drains

               Quarterly:  clean oven
                                vinegar rinse coffee maker
                                vinegar baking soda dishwasher
                                clean/organize inside of cabinets
                                clean under stove hood/ under stove top
                                move fridge and stove and clean under/clean sides
                                declutter drawers
Breakfast area:
                Monthly: clean ceiling fan
                              dust furniture
                              clear top of armoire
                              wash windows
                              clean blinds

                Quarterly:  wash curtains
                                 turn rugs/vacuum and mop under them
                                 clean rugs (every six months)
                                 pantry/freezer inventory (I try to update as I use/add things but a fresh list each quarter
                                     is a help)
                                 declutter/straighten inside armoire
That's how I break it down.  It looks like a lot of work and it is, but it's NOT all done at once, which is the beauty of it.  I break each quarterly  list down and choose a certain number of quarterly jobs to do each month.  Some months I might do more and less others, but I try to keep it fairly even so I'm not overwhelmed.  This method doesn't give you that same 'everything is all clean and fresh all at once' satisfaction but it does keep exhaustion at bay which is far better and the house remains fairly neat on top and under the surface as well.  My home is not large and there are just the two of us so the 2nd bed and bath really don't require much attention beyond rotating towels and restocking supplies.  We have just enough company to insure the bedding is freshened routinely.

For this reason, I don't include yard work (the flower beds, picking up limbs and trash are my responsibility) and I save those last few days of each month for the shed or bigger tasks that I want to accomplish.

When I set up this list I purposely did so with an eye to what I might accomplish if I worked full time. At the time I set it up, I was cleaning my own home and my dad's and later it was Mama's and Granny's as well as my own, so I figured that was the same as working full or part time, lol.   I might concentrate my time for quarterly tasks on one weekend day, but divide monthly and daily tasks over the weekday mornings or evenings. I try to be zone specific when working but with John's new night schedule I might mix it up and work part of a week in one zone and part of it in another.  I feel a schedule is much like a budget: you have a road map but it's okay not to stick strictly to just one path so feel free to mix it up to suit YOU and your home.  I find housework truly can be a joy when chores don't overwhelm.



Christy Lee said...

I don't know how on earth I found your blog, but I am glad I did! I have been reading past posts and *stealing* ideas and plans...so glad that I found you!

Christy Lee

BCronmiller said...

Hi Terri;
I just stumbled across your blog. (I'm glad I did!) I also do zone cleaning. I ran across the idea several years ago on a website called Fly-lady and prior to that, I bought a book called "Get Your Act Together" about 2 sisters who devised a program or organize their homes by using 3 x 5 index cards.
I've enjoyed checking out your blog; I'll be back.