Cleaning has never been top of my wishlist in terms of how to spend my time, but having a clean house IS one of my priorities.
As such, the question I often ask myself is how often should I clean my house? It’s a tricky one!
Being able to open the door to unexpected guests and let them into the house with no fear of embarrassment at the state of the place is the aim, and how to do this in the least amount of time with the best results has been the goal!
So – How often should I clean my house?
There are 3 main ways that you can choose to clean your home and I have looked at them one by one below – why not see which fit(s) you best!
Understanding how you work can make it a lot easier to make things work for you, and can help to create a more organised way of cleaning that works for you rather than against you.
Home Cleaning Method One – LITTLE AND OFTEN
Does just as its says on the tin! – you do a little each day and always keep on top of jobs.
You know when and how things will be done, and your home is always ready for guests.
POSITIVES OF THIS METHOD
- This is a proactive way of tackling cleaning as it means that you are in control, and you know when/how things will be done.
- You don’t need to worry constantly about jobs as you know that there is a time allocated to getting them finished.
- Your time can be minimised on dealing with cleaning as you haven’t let things build up, you won’t need to necessarily do a BIG clean each month etc…. and you will generally feel more sorted and on top of things.
- Spending a little time each day means that everything doesn’t pile up and become a burden
- If something unexpected happens (illness etc..) then you will be more easily able to leave the house for a few days and it not to get too bad in this time, meaning one less thing to think about and waste your energy on when you need it for something else.
- Usually you will have created some sort of schedule for your cleaning (could be simply in your head, or – as I would always recommend- written down). This would mean that anyone in the house could follow the schedule if and when required, and that you are fully aware of when certain jobs will be tackled which means less stress.
- You will usually have good habits inbuilt in you which make your job that much easier. The key to good organising is to create more good habits and less bad habits for whatever you are organising!
NEGATIVES OF THIS METHOD
- You don’t want to become all consumed by your schedule – so you need to ensure you have some wriggle capabilities in it for any unexpected things that need to be prioritized on certain days
- You could say that your house will never be 100% clean, as you will do certain things on certain days – However – coming from a recovering perfectionist who always thought that things had to be done 100% well at all times (me!) – it is very rarely necessary to have a 100% clean home, and very difficult to achieve unless you don’t actually live in it! The Pareto Principle states that 80% complete usually takes 20% of the time and the other 20% takes another 80% of the time – so is that final 20% really worth all that extra time? – probably not in the scheme of things, and that’s why I try and achieve 80% perfect now – that’s good enough!.
Home Cleaning Method Two – BLITZ STYLE
Just getting the whole lot done in one go – maybe leaving it for a while, or just doing the cleaning once a week/fortnight.
POSITIVES OF THIS METHOD
- The most common way to do blitz cleaning is to save all the jobs for the weekend, as people feel they don’t have time during the busy week.
- A proper spring clean is a form of a blitz method, and works really well for a lot of people in conjunction with keeping on top of it for the rest of the year (although it of course doesn’t have to be spring – I find that seasonal works well.
NEGATIVES OF THIS METHOD
- This is a much more reactive way of doing things. You then find that there are critical things that need doing and perhaps the not so obvious things never actually get to be done.
- Letting everything pile up either for a week, or until you can’t take it anymore(!) can be very draining as you have to live with the mess building up around you. You will probably notice a constant chatter in your head that serve to remind you about what needs doing as well.
- This is less effective than the LITTLE AND OFTEN method as you will need longer when you do come to tackle the mess – and many people then find that the weekends become less relaxing and more like chore days which isn’t great.
- This way of doing things is usually found in people who haven’t as yet started getting organised or that haven’t learnt the habits that make life easier.
- This method can also be quite stressful as you will more often than not feel that your home isn’t as clean and tidy as it could be, and then inviting people in, or even just relaxing yourself, will become harder for you.
Home Cleaning Method Three – DELEGATION
There are 2 main ways that delegation is commonly used at present:-
- When people are time poor and cash rich – i.e. have the money to outsource cleaning, ironing etc….
- When people have families and can utilise others around the house to help out – or “earn their keep”
But there are so many more ways that delegation should be used:-
- When you don’t like to do something – why spend your time doing something that drains you when someone else may not mind it?
- When time is short only sometimes – some people find that most of the year they are fine doing everything themselves, but at some busy times it would be wise to get help.
- When you have better things to do with your time – what if a family member fall sick, or you want to start a new hobby, or you have a new priority (new baby, new job etc…)
- When your time is more valuable doing something else – if you can earn more than what it would cost to get help in, then you should ask yourself WHY NOT!?
Basically, delegation can be highly effective, whether you completely delegate or partially delegate, but in order to know whats going on and to get the full benefits of it, I would still fully recommend scheduling the jobs so that whoever you have delegated to know what their responsibilities are (when and what to do!)
The National Soap and Detergent Association believes getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40 percent of the housework in the average home
So – whats the best cleaning method for you?
As with everything in organise my house – whats best is what works for you and your family/home – don’t worry about anyone else…
Personally I choose a mix of all three! this works for me and my familys needs:-
- I do daily cleaning jobs so that they don’t mount up and I am “guest ready” most of the time
- I blitz seasonally just to give the house and general freshen up
- I delegate both to members of the family and to outside help – and this works best for my family and lifestyle.
I also review this setup every 6 months as my families needs/available time etc… are constantly changing, and therefore time commitments and cashflow are too.
I do feel quite strongly that allocating a large chunk of your weekend to cleaning the house can be the most draining way of cleaning though, as you will then feel cheated of weekend quality time, and this is one of the reasons I try and ensure that everything is kept up to date as much as possible each day.
It works best when you have a schedule written out, as you can then see exactly when things are being done, how often and by whom.
If you work full time, then yes, its hard not to leave things until the weekend, but if everyone in the house has small jobs that they can add into their routines morning and evening quite easily, then there will automatically be less to do at the weekend – which can only help!
To answer the question “how often should I clean my house” you need to look at your available time AND how clean you actually want to have your home at any given time.
Spread jobs out throughout the week in line with this time, and think outside the box with things like delegating will all help to make things more manageable – whether you work or not.
Everyone deserves a clean home, and free time – its about getting the balance right and making it work for you.