Happy April, friends! The trees are budding with white and pink blooms, the birds are chirping, and I can hear the sound of our neighbor's lawnmower as I write this. The fresh start of the spring season and this warm weather make me want to open all the windows, turn on some tunes by Corinne Bailey Rae, and get in my spring cleaning groove.
Although I can't say that I've ever enjoyed cleaning, I do love the results. Crumb-free countertops, spotless floors, and clean sheets make my heart happy and keep my stress levels low. But when the busyness of life creeps in, so does the mess. The laundry basket overflows, the dishes pile high in the sink, the desk is covered with mail and paper, shoes clutter up our living room floor... you get the picture. And goodness gracious, there is nothing worse than giving up those precious weekend hours to binge clean our Suite.
So what is a simple, realistic solution for keeping up with the mess? I've found it helpful to separate chores into daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Here's my plan:
1. Make the bed. So simple and so necessary. Our bedroom could be spotless, but an unmade bed makes it look messy every time. This little chore also has a positive snowball effect on the rest of my day; one productive task starts a pattern for me. Estimated time: 2 minutes
2. Tidy up the kitchen. This includes washing the dishes after each meal, doing a quick floor sweep, and wiping down the sink and the countertops. Estimated time: 10 minutes.
3. Keep a clean bathroom. Oh how I love our long bathroom countertop, but it makes it so tempting to keep it cluttered with my makeup, hair dryer, curling iron, toothbrush, and body lotion. Keeping a clean bathroom is as simple as putting things back in the drawer, wiping down the counter, the mirror, and around the toilet, and Swiffer-ing the hair that inevitably litters the floor. Estimated time: 2 minutes.
4. Clutter clean up. File away mail, fold blankets, pick up shoes, straighten pillows, etc. Estimated time: 2 minutes.
That's a total time of a little over 15 minutes a day (and Jake often lends a hand, so that cuts the time in half). Simple, easy, and attainable, right? And after a while, these tasks are bound to become habits.
This is where I plan on taking full advantage of Elle & Company's handy-dandy Cleaning Checklist.
I've separated tasks into different areas of the house. Although I could use the checklist for one big cleaning spree each week, I think it's more time efficient and manageable if I plan on tackling one room each day. Another plus: the tasks in each category take under 20 minutes to complete.
And then there's laundry. We share a washer and dryer with our neighbors, so it's usually best to put that chore on the "once-a-week" list. We always throw in our bed linens and towels, too.
I'm a visual person (as a designer, that's a given) and I love to-do lists. Checking off those little boxes/circles that makes me feel so productive.
In addition to daily chores and weekly cleaning tasks, my goal for April is to tackle some projects that only need to be done once a month or once every few months. These inlclude:
- Cleaning appliances
- Cleaning out our cars
- Wiping down the trim, doors and cabinets
- Cleaning out the fridge and the freezer
- Washing the windows
- Vacuuming under furniture
My hope is to tackle 2 projects each week and share my progress with you here on the blog. And if you want to join in with me, that would be so fun! I would love for us to share tips and inspiration with each other. So who's in? And how do YOU simplify your cleaning routine?