I'm pleased to be able to tell you that I have made some progress, and share with you my new cleaning schedule.
(By the way, if you're the sort of person with a touch of OCD in your cleaning style - you know, can't leave the house until every surface is sparkling, you might want to go off and polish your silverware rather than waste your time reading this post. If, on the other hand, phrases like "I can't remember the last time I -insert dreaded chore of choice here-" regularly roll off your tongue, then sit back and read on!)
But first of all a bit about my relationship with cleaning. Not being the most organised person on the planet, I like the idea of having a clean house, but I can easily get sidetracked . . .
My sinus might be playing up, and I just can't face the dust.
Or my back might be sore, so I'll go to bed with a heatpack.
Or my hormones might be raging, and I'll be fit for nothing but curling up in bed with a book and a big block of chocolate.
Or it's been raining solidly for weeks, and I've lost track of when I last washed the sheets.
Or there's an event on at one of my kid's schools, which fills up my day leaving no time for mopping.
Or it might be none of the above, but I'll be so overwhelmed by the sheer number of chores there are to do that I'll fail to do anything at all!
My goal, I've decided is not to turn my house into a magazine cover-worthy show-piece every day of the week. That, for me at least, would be impossible.What I think is achievable, on the other hand, is a method that gives me some direction, and helps me keep track of where I'm at. Because, quite frankly, I don't think the world will end if, every now and again the floors don't get mopped or we sleep in the same sheets for another week!
Here's why I think having a schedule, any cleaning schedule is a good thing. It eliminates that overwhelming "too many chores" kind of feeling. If it's Monday, just dust and vacuum. No decisions to be made, no need to feel like it "all" has to be done.
I've tried to write my schedule so that it works in with our family schedule as it is at the moment. (For example, my husband leads a Bible Study in our open plan lounge/dining room/kitchen every Tuesday night, so cleaning that area is my Tuesday job)
What I'm hoping will be the secret to my success, though, is the final column, "last completed". By laminating the schedule and using a whiteboard marker, I can easily keep track of when each job was last completed. So I didn't mop downstairs last week? No big deal. I can see that at a glance and make extra sure it's a priority this week.
For the time being, this is my weekly jobs only, although I have put space at the bottom for current spring-cleaning and de-cluttering jobs. If this one is still working well after a month or so, I may attempt a similar system for spring-cleaning jobs also.
What about you? Do you clean to a schedule? What methods have and haven't worked for you in the past? (OCD silverware cleaners need not reply)