The only way for me to stay on top of having a clean house was to set up a routine. Nobody knows myself better than me, so I set up a routine that I can handle comfortably and easily. Thankfully, my husband is involved with the daily cleaning so for us retirees, our cleaning battle isn’t too bad.
Our washing machine & dryer are in the basement. (I didn’t want them on the main floor because it would have taken away from our meager 1120 square feet of living space). It’s been a little bit of a challenge for me lately to go up and down the basement stairs so hubby has taken over the laundry. We worked out a system whereby he washes and dries the clothes but I fold them and put them away. I also coordinate and purchase all the cleaning products. Since I am scent sensitive, we’re limited to perfume-free detergents. I usually buy whatever is on sale BUT we add in a 1/4 cup of Oxi-Clean to spark up our whites and keep our stains at bay. The stuff works very well!
We have a wonderful dog that we love to pieces and despite her short hair, the darn dog sheds. A LOT! This means I have to vacuum the entire first floor (all 1120 square feet of it) EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Sometimes, I vacuum twice a day (in the kitchen and entrance area. Our kitchen, dining and hallway have natural bamboo flooring and despite paying extra to have it scuff-proof, our dogs nails have totally destroyed the flooring. I justified the scuffing in my mind by stating the bamboo flooring has character. The dog however, is essentially banished from the living room, which also has the same flooring, but it is still pristine and untouched. Le sigh. Every time I want to know what a bamboo floor is supposed to look like, I go into our living room and take a look. It’s a beautiful floor, no doubt about it. But for us, it was unsustainable. So the rest of the first floor is all laminate wood flooring. Our dog can chew on the laminate for all we care and it doesn’t show a smudge. Go figure.
The bamboo flooring needs special attention and special products have to be used to maintain their good looks. Once a month, I get on my hands and knees and clean the kitchen, dining area and hallway. The living room I do with a microfiber mop. The kitchen area, after almost 16 years of constantly trying new flooring products (Bona is the worst!) I found out, via a YouTube video, that a simple mix of warm water and just a touch of dishwashing liquid makes the floors very clean. Then, at night and ONLY at night, once a month I touch up the kitchen area flooring with orange oil. The reason why you do this at night is because the oil is very slippery. Once done at night, by morning time the oil has settled in. I have to admit the flooring looks great, despite all the doggie scratches. I do the living room bamboo flooring completely different. I use Pledge Floor Care which both cleans and polishes the floor leaving them nice and shiny.
Of course, one of the main reasons why my flooring is so easy to take care of is because NO ONE IS ALLOWED INSIDE THE HOME WITH THEIR SHOES ON. Shoes must be left at the front door. No excuses. And you can not walk around in your bare feet because it leaves smudges, so, we always wear slippers inside of the home. (We do this in our RV also…it really helps keep a home clean)
One day a month I windex all the glass surfaces. One day per month I lemon-oil all the wood surfaces. One day a month I scrub out the bathtub with Ajax or Comet. In between the bathroom cleaning I use Scrubbing Bubbles for the tub and shower enclosure. I scrub the toilet bowl as needed. I wash off the bathroom counters several times a day.
Every night I clean up the whole kitchen area. Dishes don’t get put through the dishwasher till 11:30PM when I know all eating for the day has finally ceased. I hate to wake up in the morning to a sink of dirty dishes. I wash down the countertops every night, as well as wipe down all the appliances and vent hood above the stove. When it’s ready to food shop again (usually on Wednesday) the night before, I wipe down all the glass interior fridge shelves with a combo of vinegar and warm water. Once a month, all the kitchen knickknacks go in the dishwasher. I self-clean the stove interior as needed.
Every weekend the sheets get washed with a bit of bleach. The rest of the laundry gets done on an as-needed basis. There is no clutter in my house. Everything has a place and everything is in its place. I can tell i an instant if something is moved. I like a feng-shui feel to the house. Everything has to be in perfect balance or I’m not happy. I like the pantry stocked. The toiletries stocked. The towels ready for the week. I don’t like to run out of anything. Especially toilet paper. Doesn’t that just suck? Or coffee filters? And you have to use a substitute? No thanks. I keep an open list pad and pen near my desk and I jot down whatever needs replacing or replenishing.
I keep a shredder by my desk. All mail is handled the same dame day it is delivered. Bills due get put into a folder. Paid bills get filed away, as do credit card receipts. I don’t have any subscriptions so I have no magazines to toss BUT if a catalogue comes in, I give myself 24 hours to read it. After that, it gets thrown out. All fluff goes through the shredder.
Absolutely no magnets or notices get attached to the refrigerator doors! I think that’s a messy habit and always makes the kitchen look cluttered. Any reminder we need goes through our iPhones or alerts on our computer calendar. Coats, jackets, sweatshirts are hung up immediately. Scarfs and hats have their own bin in the front hall closet. Family photographs only go in the office. Not scattered all over the place.
Our home has a second floor, but we never use it. It’s for when the kids and grandkids come over (two bedrooms and a full bath) but that hasn’t happened in years. Every once in a while DH will go upstairs and vacuum. He uses the spare bathroom up there so it is his responsibility to keep it clean. I only make my way up there a few times per year so I have no idea what it looks like (it’s basically untouched, beds made, everything in order). I don’t live there, so I don’t care.
I sweep the back deck, side entrance deck and front entrance deck around once per week or as-needed. Total time daily I spend cleaning is anywhere between 1.5 hours to 3 hours. I enjoy cleaning. It’s the best part of my day. I try to get everything accomplished by noon and then I am out the door. I always put on disco music or symphony music, depending on how intense of a cleaning I want to do. In any event, I consider it a blessing to own a home and have a kitchen and a bedroom and a bathroom. I don’t take these things lightly because I know what it is like NOT to have them.
Here’s that YouTube video I mentioned, on how to clean wood floors. So far, this system has worked out the best for me: