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Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Cleaning Plan

In my family, cleanliness is next to godliness, and I often feel like the black sheep. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t want to be orderly, vacuumed, and disinfected. I think I’m ADD. I start scrubbing the toilet and remember to pay a bill. Then the rice boils over and it’s all downhill. I say all this as a preface, in hopes that you will take the following post with a rather LARGE grain of salt. This is the blind leading the blind here. But I THINK I’ve stumbled on a lifesaver. Basically, it’s called “the cleaning plan.” Previous to this plan, I had a very effective system for cleaning. Basically, I didn’t – until something annoyed me so badly I knew it was time to clean it. Now, I don’t have to wonder when the guest toilet will be cleaned. I know - Friday. Anyway, here are the steps:

  1. Make a list of every job in your house, specifying which are daily, weekly, or monthly. (You can add “yearly,” but I didn’t want to be over-ambitious.)
  2. Make a rough schedule of your week.
  3. Assign a specific time in the day to do the “daily” tasks. Seems obvious, but it’s been a big help because now I ALWAYS take my shower during Sam’s first nap, and start dinner during the second…
  4. Divide up the weekly tasks amongst the days. I always do laundry on Monday and Friday, plan my menu on Thursday, and pay bills on Tuesday.
  5. Assign a day to do each monthly task. (I have jobs for each Saturday of the month.)
  6. If you want to include yearly tasks, a good variation I saw had a list of, for example, jobs that needed to be completed in February, like cleaning blinds and organizing the pantry.

This little system, while completely simple, has totally transformed my life for the last 16 days – because without a vision, the people perish, especially when the people take care of a four-month-old. It has accomplished two miracles:
1. For once in my life I have gotten everything done.
2. For once in my life I don’t feel guilt/annoyance when I see dried frozen peas on the kitchen floor. I know they will be gone by Wednesday.

This post was written by Jessica Smartt, a member of

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