Once upon a time, when I first started my career as a stay-at-home mom of just one very calm and predictable baby, I used to wake up and clean everything in the house that needed it. I worked until the house was clean, and then I sat down to relax and have "me time". This worked right up until we had more kids, really chaotic and unpredictable kids that refused to nap on a schedule. Then of course we added homeschooling to the mix, so everyone is home all day. The above system I like to call "ineffective busybodyness".
In our house education has to rank higher than cleaning the house. I could chase my tail all day cleaning, but the house is never going to look like a model home with our current life. Nor should it. I want us to be a house where you can tell as a family we are having a ton of fun. I don't want it to be sterile and look like nobody lives here. Okay, well, that's not true... I really do want it to look sterile and like no one but me lives here. But it just isn't going to happen unless I am willing to send the kids to school and ban playdough, paint, and glitter. So I decided I could settle for a house that was essentially clean, but looked "lived in", maybe even "well lived in".
Enter the Zone cleaning option. I don't know if someone out there has formalized this system, I just kinda grabbed bits and pieces of what I read on blogs and websites to form my system. The whole family pitches in for whatever the zone of the day is. Yes, I really am exactly. that. mean. This is what it looks like in my house......
Get as much help from the kids as you can……
- Clean out the fridge
- Remember to check the door of the fridge and all the bottles of condiments for expiration
- Wipe down the inside of the fridge.
- Sweep the kitchen floor
- Mop the kitchen floor
- Wipe down the outside of all the cabinets and appliances
- Use Old English lemon oil on all the cabinets
- Try to impose some order on the plastics cabinet (good luck!)
- Clean the Microwave inside and out and the stove
- Scour the sink
- Wipe down the backs of all the kitchen chairs and the legs of the table.
- Check oven, see if need to clean.
Tuesday: Errands and Shopping Day
Wednesday: Kids Rooms/Hall Bathroom/Master Bedroom/Master
- Check the kid’s bedrooms, closets, under chests of drawers, inside of drawers for neat and cleanliness.
- Pick up Master Bedroom and Master Bath
- Vacuum the kid’s bedrooms
- Vacuum Master Bedroom
- Dust shelves/windex mirrors
- Clean hall and master bath sink and mirror
- Deep clean toilets
- Scour bathtubs and shower
- Check linen closet for neatness
- Mop floors in bathrooms
- impose some kind of order on hair products
Thursday: Big Laundry day/Playroom
- Strip beds of sheets and wash them
- Put clean sheets on beds
- Move all the remaining laundry through the washer/dryer
- Fold all clothes and put clothes away in drawers (all of them, no stragglers)
- Pick up playroom
- Check under couch in playroom/vacuum
- Dust all wooden surfaces
- Run damp washcloth over all the window sills and baseboards
- Sanitize light switches/door handles/play station controls/remote controls
- Vacuum playroom
- Clean fireplace surround
- Windex TV
- Clean entertainment center
Friday: Living room
- Windex all glass and screens
- Organize entertainment center
- Vacuum Living room
- Wash table cloths or at least get cat hair off (try to encourage cat to nest somewhere else)
- Clear off the hooks near front door and "landing strip"
- Organize bookshelfs
- Be picky about picking up
- Wipe window sills with damp cloth
- Sanitize door handles/light switches/keyboards/mousse/wii controls/remote controls
- Move furniture to pick up behind
- Clean out glut of recorded shows on DVR
Saturday: Outside/Organize Papers
- Mac Poop Scoop
- Clean Grill/Check gas levels/exchange cylinder
- Mow Lawn
- Edge lawn
- Pull Weeds/Prune Plants
- Clean outside furniture
- Treat any weeds/ants/bugs
- Clean out the garage some
- Evaluate need for fertilizing/grass seed/plants to buy
- Wash exterior of house: front door, front porch, exterior paneling as needed.Organize the home office
- Go through the stacks of mail
- Check the calendar for the following week and update.
- Clean out the cars
- Wash if needed
- Make Menus
- Make Lesson Plans
- Make Grocery lists
- update calendar and sync online, paper, and phone
- Pick out clothes with the kids for the following week (using the calendar) and store them in the correct day's slot in closet so everything is ready to go.