I have the same morning routine for every day.
- Read emails, check blog stats and read RSS feeds while it’s quiet before anyone else is up. (I get up at quarter past six – my husband and children appear at about seven.)
- Unload the dishwasher (and reload with the breakfast stuff).
- Clean the toilets and sinks. (I use antibacterial washable cloths, separate cloths for the toilets and the sinks (obviously!). I don’t use any cleaning products for this daily clean-up – this is just a quick wipe. It takes me no more than 4 minutes to do three bathrooms.)
- Put a load in the washing machine (including the cloths I just used in the bathrooms).
- Wipe the kitchen worktop and table.
- Check the calendar and my to-dos in Things for the day.
- Check my list of meals for the week (to see if I need to take anything out the freezer or buy something later).
Once I get in from work at lunchtime I have an afternoon routine. This varies depending on the day of the week and which area of the house I intend to “deep clean” for the week.
- Hang out the washing on the line or put it in the tumble dryer, depending on the weather.
- 15 minutes decluttering/tidying in “deep clean area” for the week. This week it’s the children’s bedrooms, their bathroom and the downstairs toilet. (I time this with the timer on my iPhone. When the time is up, if there is still mess, I leave it. There will be more time later in the week. I should add that I don’t declutter the older two children’s rooms (aged 6 and 9). That’s their job. I do do my three-year-old’s room though, usually with her “help”!)
- Tackle one or two of the monthly cleaning jobs. Today it is to go through the children’s clothes to see if there is anything they’ve outgrown or gotten so horrible (holes, stains, you get the picture!) they can’t wear them anymore. I’m also going to clean the windows. (I use e-cloths which are just amazing. You only need water and it’s really quick – under five minutes to clean four windows.)
- Check the fridge for any fusty stuff that needs thrown and quickly wipe down the shelves.
- Make a meal plan for the coming week and a shopping list.
- Get the dried washing and do 15 minutes ironing. Again, I time this and stop after fifteen minutes even if there is more to do. (Sometimes, if the pile is really big and I’m the mood for, it I’ll do another 15 minutes later. But most of the time I find 15 minutes ironing a day keeps on top of it all.)
- Process my in-basket (GTD style).
- Make dinner.
Finally, I have a evening/before-bed routine.
- Put the dishwasher on.
- Wipe down the kitchen worktops/hob.
- Check what’s for dinner tomorrow in case I need to take something out the freezer to defrost overnight in the fridge.
- Check the calendar for tomorrow.
- Decide what to wear tomorrow. (Saves time in the morning.)
- Clear the “hotspots”. (In other word, clear any clutter from specific areas that tend to accumulate it – my hotspots are the kitchen worktop, dining room table, coffee table, desk and the top of the hall bookcase. Since these are cleared daily it usually takes less than two minutes.)
Bedtime on a weeknight is between half past ten and eleven. I probably need about seven to seven-and-a-half hours sleep.
Looking at these lists it would appear to be an awful lot to get through. But really, it doesn’t take that long. I listen to podcasts or music while I do all of my afternoon routine so the time flies by to be honest. I still have a major problem with being distracted by the computer, particularly in the afternoon. So I try and reward myself with a little computer time only once I’ve done at least one job on the list. Then I try and get some more done and then give myself another reward. This way I usually get through everything on the list. I can’t pretend to be perfect though – there are days when jobs don’t get done. But I don’t beat myself up over it – if it’s a big job (like one of my deep-clean tasks) I’ll just retimetable it for later in the week. If it’s a little job, such as ironing or cleaning the bathrooms, I forget it and carry on as normal the next day.
(I need to give credit to the FlyLady website which has contributed most of the inspiration for these lists.)
- My household cleaning routines: Part 1
- My household cleaning routines: Part 3 – Tuesday
- My household cleaning routines: Part 4 – Wednesday
- My household cleaning routines: Part 5 – Thursday
- My household cleaning routines: Part 6 – Friday
- Cleaning my house the FlyLady way