I have been a stay at home mom for many years now and you would think that means I’d have this whole housework thing down by now! Sadly, keeping up with the housework is something I continue to struggle with and have for as long as I can remember. As a child and teenager, my room was a disaster. My locker at school? well…we nicknamed it ‘The Abyss’. Things went into those places and oftentimes, they never came out! While my house doesn’t reach that level of chaos I am well aware it could be better! The counters are cluttery, the laundry sometimes doesn’t get folded for a few days and some closets have become dumping grounds for literally anything that will fit into them! I have long been told that cleaning routines could save me from this chaos, but do they really work?
Cleaning Routines, Do they Actually Work?
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There is quite a bit of evidence that the following of routines can be highly beneficial to us both mentally and physically! Routines are said to help us alleviate anxiety and stress, help us build healthy habits (and break bad ones) and even leave us with more time to spend on tasks we enjoy thanks to following better time management.
On the surface, it seems like cleaning routines would be highly beneficial and I want to give them a try, so for the next 30 days (much like our yoga and strength training challenges), I’m going to commit to following a cleaning routine and then report back with my thoughts.
Before I start this challenge however, there are few things that need to be figured out! While looking into cleaning routines in the past I have found that many were too time-consuming or just didn’t fit with our home. To that end, I’ll be making one up myself but using lists such as these to help me out! If it works I’ll release my cleaning routine at the end of the challenge. If it doesn’t I’ll make some improvements and try again!
Cleaning Routine Criteria
- I must be able to realistically complete the tasks each day – I know for a fact I won’t stay committed to a routine that has me slaving away from dawn till dusk and leaves no time for other things. I have to keep the blog and my workouts going and I enjoy spending time with the family during the evenings.
- If I follow the routine my house should show a marked improvement (I don’t expect those cluttered closets to be completely cleared out the first week but they should get better as time goes on!) and seem tidy on a day to day basis.
- I need to be able to make my way through each section of my house (living room, bathrooms, bedrooms, office, kitchen, etc) on a weekly basis as well as keep up with daily tasks such as the dishes and sweeping. This will require careful scheduling as some areas and tasks are far more time consuming than others. It’s far easier to keep the office tidied up then it is the kid’s rooms!
- At the end of the month, I shouldn’t feel depressed, anxious or stressed by my routine. The whole point of the cleaning routine is to keep my house clean and alleviate all of those feelings. While I expect that the first week or so will require a bit of adjustment I’m hoping by the end of the 30 days I’ll be in the flow of things!
This might seem like something of a daunting list but I’m confident that I will be able to make it work! It’s likely that I will have to adjust some things as I go but my end goal is to create a routine that I can perform long term without trouble. And then share it with the rest of you!
Keys to Success With a Cleaning Routine
Like most changes, I believe that the real key to success in this venture will be making myself do it. Especially in the beginning as I’m trying to build the habits. Waking up in the morning and performing the necessary daily tasks might be challenging when it comes to cleaning (because I hate it) but I am hopeful that those tasks will become easier and less time consuming when I m doing them more regularly rather than letting things pile up on me and then going on a marathon cleaning spree that leaves me feeling like I spent a day in soul-sucking depression.
Asides from staying committed to this challenge for the entire 30 day period, however, there are a few items I think will also help.
- The Proper Supplies – Cleaning is a lot easier when you have the right tools to get it done. Sure I could spend forever trying to clean something with soap and water but if I can get something that does the job faster then I should! This is provided that it is safe to use and fits within our budget of course. I would love a robotic vacuum cleaner to help keep up with the dog hair but those things cost a pretty penny so a broom will have to do for now!
- A Way to Keep my Tasks Organized – I am a big fan of following to-do lists, I generally feel motivated when I can cross things off or mark them as completed in my journal so I’m going to use my daily planner to help me keep organized during this venture. I expect that you could also use a digital calendar or magnetic fridge whiteboard too if you want.
- A Way to Keep Myself Entertained and Motivated – While running I tend to find music distracting enough to keep my brain from saying ‘this sucks let’s go home!’ and I know for a fact my brain likes to play similar tricks while cleaning except they tend to be of the ‘let’s do this tomorrow!’ or ‘let’s just watch one episode of this show first’ variety. To combat this I will try to turn on some music or listen to an audio boom/podcast while I work. thankfully my Trekz Air will provide me with a convenient hands-free way to do this!
Do Cleaning Routines Work? The Challenge
Starting from the day I’m writing this (which happens to be a Monday which is convenient) I will follow my created cleaning routine for 30 days and then report back here with my results and thoughts! The results likely won’t arrive until a week after I’ve completed the challenge (I need time to write the article!) But I’ll link it here once they do!
Now. It is time to go forth….and clean.