Making Your Battle Plan for a Clean Home
First you should assess the “damage.” Take a few minutes to walk through your home, and do an inspection of each room. If you are planning to do a massive clean up job, it will help if you carry a notepad and pen while you look around. Start by listing each room in your house. After a quick walk through, prioritize. Decide which rooms need the most work. Then do a more thorough inspection.
Go in to each room and make a list of things that need to be done during the clean up. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I not like about this room?
- How can it be improved?
- Is there any unnecessary clutter?
- What is the biggest problem in this room?
- What cleaning products, tools, and other items will I need to get the job done?
- Then ask yourself when the last time was that you did certain tasks in that particular room. (ie – vacuuming, dusting, organizing) If it has been a long time since you performed a certain task in the room, you may decide that it should be added to your notes.
You can use these notes as a check list. Having a list is good because it gives you direction and prevents you from getting side tracked. It also ensures that you will not forget to do something, and as you check off the items on this list you will know exactly what you’ve done and have a sense of accomplishment.
After inspecting each room and getting your lists together, you should make sure that you have all the cleaning products and other items that you need. There is nothing worse than starting to work thinking you have everything you need, and then an hour into the project you realize that you are out of something.
Next you should decide, based on your schedule, when you want to clean. Do you want to try to pack everything in to one weekend, or would you rather spread the work out over several weeks?
- The Marathon Cleanup – Sometimes my dad will have time off from work for holidays or because the plant where he works has a shutdown. Usually he’ll use this time off time to clean up his house. He’ll take two or three days and get up early in the morning and basically clean for most of the day. If you have the time to do this, it can be a good strategy because even though you’re working for long periods of time, the time will go by pretty fast, and you are able to get everything done in one big swoop over a few days. (basically you get it over with in a hurry so you don’t have to worry about it anymore)
- A Little at a Time Cleanup –Through it is great to get everything done all at once and in a hurry, if you are planning a major cleanup of your entire house, you might want to space the work out a little more, especially if you work full time and do not have the time to do a marathon cleaning job. My suggestion is that you pick a day and work in one room of your house, starting with the room that you listed as the one that needed the most work. You may decide to spend several hours on your day off working in one room and then set a goal to try to do one room each week. Or if you only get one day off each week and you do not want to spend it cleaning, you can still plan to do one room each week, but perhaps try spreading the work out over the entire week instead of doing it in one day. For example, plan to dust on Monday, and organize and/or declutter on Tuesday, and so forth.
Don’t be surprised if it takes you longer to do a job than you had at first anticipated. It’s good to set goals for yourself and keep an eye on the clock to make sure you’re not spending too much time on one thing, when you’ve got a hundred other things to do. However, most of the time, especially if you are organizing or doing a lot of extra tasks that you don’t do on a regular basis, it is going to take a little longer than you would expect.