You’ve made it through the 28 Day Declutter Challenge, and things have been going along pretty smoothly since then. You’re making your bed everyday and for the most part, the sink is clear of dishes and the clutter is under control although there may be a few areas where it’s creeping back into your tranquil space. Now is the time to think about developing a system designed to keep your house clean.
There are systems out there which schedule particular tasks on a certain day, or to concentrate on a particular room for a week out of the month. The system I advocate was elaborated by Sandra Felton in her book How Not To Be A Messie, which is out of print but might be available in the library. She also talks about her “Mount Vernon Method” in Winning the Clutter War available via my affiliate link at Amazon.
Mrs Felton learned the cleaning crew at the Mount Vernon estate worked their way around a room, cleaning as they went. When it was time for the visitor’s tours to start, they stopped cleaning. The cleaners would pick up the job where they left off the next day.
I like this system a lot. It’s not dependent upon a calendar so there’s no “falling behind schedule.” It works well in a small apartment like ours, with 6 rooms and connecting hallway. It also works well in our two story home in the US.
Here’s how I implement the method:
This is the time for cleaning as opposed to straightening up or decluttering. You’ll want to gather whatever supplies and tools you need to get the job done. Set aside a block of time– at least a half hour– and get to it! The good news is: the more you pay attention to keeping the clutter under control the easier (and faster) it is to actually clean.
Starting at the entry to the apartment and clean the hallway if needed. Move to the next room on the left (or right as your prefer). For me, it’s the bathroom. After I finish in there I move on to the next room if I have time. If not, I pick up the next day.
When I’m working in a particular room, I start at the door and work my way around, top to bottom and left to right. This is the time to dust the picture frames and the ceiling or move furniture to catch the dust bunnies hiding beneath.
Eventually I end up back at the front door. When I’m in the US I head up stairs and start the process over. I picture it as a set of smaller circles (the rooms or areas) within larger circles (the entire layout of the floor I’m working on).
As with every plan, there are exceptions. Mine are the floors. In our apartment they’re tile, so I do a general sweep every day or so and mop the entire apartment each time I do the kitchen floor (at least once a week). In the two story house, I sweep and mop the kitchen and bathroom together and vacuum the carpet each time I’m working in the living room or before I finish working upstairs.
Rarely do I spend more than an hour doing any of this, unless I’m doing heavy cleaning, like polishing furniture. Or I’m “in a mood.” You know what I’m talking about…when that happens I roll with it, hahaha.
So, what do you think? Would a system like this help you keep your house clean? Or do you prefer another method? Tell me about it in the comments!
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