Tuesday, November 13, 2012

30-day Challenge: Week 2 - Cleaning Schedule

I'm back!  Sorry for the longer than expected pause.  Matt and I really appreciate all the comments and sympathy notes.  The service for his grandmother went beautifully...and we were able to travel to Canada in time.  As sad as it was... we know she's no longer in pain.  Thanks again!

...onto a cleaning schedule!

So this week is going to be set up a little different since I really only have a couple days!!  But that's alright, I have the ability to cram a ton of information into a couple posts.  So today I'll highlight: 

1) Making a Cleaning Schedule
2) Tricks & Tips to speed cleaning
3) A list of my favorite cleaning supplies

{The Schedule}
So this is super easy... sit down with your weekly calender and decide how much time a day you have to do tasks around the house.  Keep in mind when trash day is (maybe schedule to clean out the fridge the night before) or note a day when you're out most of the night (so schedule an overall "general tidying" through the house...clothes..toys..etc)  Here's how my weekly schedule looks like: 

I made it pretty and printed it out.  It actually hangs on our fridge underneath our weekly meal plan.  I've had a lot of people comment on it...and I love that because it keeps me on top of my game!! :)

{Speed Cleaning - Tricks & Tips} 
I got these tricks & tips form here and it's helped me a ton!  It's amazing how quickly I get through my chores!  Here's 9 Simple Speed Cleaning Tips: 
  1. Keep Supplies Together:  I have a cute shower caddy tote (like the one picture above) that keeps all my cleaning supplies (including rags, sponges and sanitary wipes).  I store it in the downstairs bathroom closet to handle all downstairs cleaning.  I have a matching one upstairs in the linen closet. 
  2. Pump Up the Music:  Nothing gets me motivated and on task like a great playlist.  We usually dock one of our iPhones and let Pandora blare through the house... (I'm a huge fan of Adele, but Matt prefers Maroon 5.)  Either way...we're so busy belting out tunes that we don't realize we've scrubbed the whole house down in a couple hours!
  3. Start With Your Least Favorite Room:  For me...that would be the kitchen.  It's not just wiping down the counter-tops and doing the dishes. It's the floors, fridge, oven, stovetop...etc.  Getting the ugly monster done first makes me feel like I accomplished a ton...and it motivates me to get the other little rooms done too. 
  4. Clean What Really Needs Cleaning:  If the downstairs bathroom is still spotless from last week because you rarely use it... don't go through a scrub it down again.  Focus on the areas that need the most attention. 
  5. Clean As You Go:  If you see a mess... clean it up.  Don't wait for its appointed day on the schedule.  Picking up a lil here and there are you go throughout your day means less of a "big clean up day" later in the week! 
  6. Back-off the Cleaning Products:  Less is more in many cases!  Carefully read each label to make sure you're using the right amount for each task...sometimes too much can actually damage a surface.  Keep in mind some cleaners need time to work (carpet stain remover... bathroom grime cleaner).  Let those soak while you work on another area. 
  7. Top-to-Bottom:  This helps avoid spilling cleaner or moving dust to an area you've already cleaned. 
  8. Dry-to-Wet: Do your dry cleaning, dusting, wiping down, etc. first. Next, move to your wet cleaning. The more you can take care of with a dry cloth, the less streaking, spreading of dirt, and potential for spilling you'll have.
  9. Put Your Supplies Away:  Make sure your caddy is stocked and ready to go for the next time. :)
{My Favorite Supplies}

So here are some of the cleaning supplies I like to use around the house.  I'm still transistioning to more "green products"... but for now this gets the job done! 

Bathroom: Seventh Generation Bathroom Cleaner 
It cleans very well!  I love the fact that it cuts through grim and hard water spots without needing to soak in for a longtime.  There's no overpowering scent either!  :)
For the mirror I use good ole' Windex.  Gets the shine... every time! Toilet bowls are cleaned with Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner.

As a trick:  I use Windex to clean anything with a chrome finish (fixtures, drains..etc).  It gives it that awesome shine!)

For the hardwood floors we use  Pinesol and finish it with Orange Glo.  For the carpets we use Hoover Steaming Solution and Resolve for carpet stains.

Dusting & Wipe-Downs: I'm a huge fan of Pledge Multi-Surface.  It just does the trick for everywhere in the house.  I can use it in the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms and living areas.  I still use the Windex for glass surfaces, only because I feel it leaves a true streak-free shine.

For the kitchen countertops I use Lysol Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner.  It does a great job.  If I run out I'll make a solution of Water, White Vinegar & Dish Soap (Recipe).  It does a great job as well...and it's more green.

Heavy Duty: When it comes to those... nitty gritty messes I'll pull out my secret weapon, Totally Awesome.  You can buy it at the dollar store!  It's like hotel grade cleaner.  I'm sure it chuck full of crazy chemicals, but sometimes you need that "paint-stripping" effect-like cleaner.  This is it.  You actually have to dilute it down depending on what surface you're using.  I usually use it for those huge cleaning jobs (Spring Cleaning... etc).  Must be very well ventilated...and definitely keep out of reach of children.  In fact, I wouldn't clean with this while lil A is nearby.  (Yeah... it's that good...)

Ah... so there you have it!!  Get to cleaning my friends!!


  1. Geez girl, you are one organized mama. I want to be just like you when I grow up :). I am going to try this for sure.

    I started meal planning last week and even made a recipe I found on another blog. Thanks for the motivation.

    Welcome back by the way.

  2. Thanks for the tips. I'm sorry I have not been available to do the challenge. A lot of things have been going on but I will finish it and blog about my progress. Kisses to Little A.


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